Symbiotic Existential

Cosmology

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Chris King

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0  doi:10.13140/RG.2.2.32891.23846
Part 4 Apocalypse
Update 5-8-2021 1-2023

 

dhushara.com

 

Contents Summary - Contents in Full

 

Dedication

The Core

Symbiotic Existential Cosmology:

            Scientific OverviewDiscovery and Philosophy

Biocrisis, Resplendence and Planetary Reflowering

The Conscious Brain, Natural Sacraments and Cosmological Symbiosis

The Cosmological Problem of Consciousness in the Quantum Universe

Psychedelics in the Brain and Mind, Therapy and Quantum ChangeThe Devil's Keyboard

Fractal, Panpsychic and Symbiotic Cosmologies

Cosmological Symbiosis

The Evolutionary Landscape of Symbiotic Existential Cosmology

Evolutionary Origins of Conscious Experience

Science, Religion and Gene Culture Co-evolution

Animistic, Eastern and Western Traditions and Entheogenic Use

Natty Dread and Planetary Redemption

Yeshua’s Tragic Mission, Revelation and Cosmic Annihilation

Ecocrisis, Sexual Reunion and the Entheogenic Traditions

Song cycleVideo 

Communique to the World To save the diversity of life from mass extinction

The Vision Quest to Discover Symbiotic Existential Cosmology

The Evolution of Symbiotic Existential Cosmology

Resplendence

A Moksha Epiphany

   Epilogue   

            References

 Appendix: Primal Foundations of Subjectivity, Varieties of Panpsychic Philosophy

 

 

Consciousness is eternal, life is immortal.

Incarnate existence is Paradise on the Cosmic equator

in space-time the living consummation of all worlds.

But mortally coiled! As transient as the winds of fate!

 

 

 

Symbiotic Existential Cosmology – Contents in Full

 

Dedication

The Core

A Scientific Overview

Biogenic

Panpsychic

Symbiotic

Discovery and Philosophy

The Existential Condition and the Physical Universe

Turning Copernicus Inside Out

Discovering Life, the Universe and Everything

The Central Enigma: What IS the Conscious Mind?

Biocrisis and Resplendence: Planetary Reflowering

The Full Scope: Climate Crisis, Mass Extinction. Population and Nuclear Holocaust

Natural Sacraments and Cosmological Symbiosis

The Cosmological Problem of Consciousness

The Physical Viewpoint

The Neuroscience Perspective

Conscious Mind, Resonant Brain

Cartesian Theatres and Virtual Machines

Global Neuronal Workspace, Epiphenomenalism & Free Will

Consciousness and Surviving in the Wild

Consciousness as Integrated Information

Is Consciousness just Free Energy on Markov Landscapes?

Can Teleological Thermodynamics Solve the Hard Problem?

Panpsychism and its Critics

The Crack between Subjective Consciousness and Objective Brain Function

A Cosmological Comparison with ChalmersConscious Mind

Minimalist Physicalism and Scale Free Consciousness

Defence of the real world from the Case Against Reality

Consciousness and the Quantum: Putting it all Back Together

How the Mind and Brain Influence One Another

The Diverse States of Subjective Consciousness

Consciousness as a Quantum Climax

TOEs, Space-time, Timelessness and Conscious Agency

Psychedelics and the Fermi Paradox

Life After Death

Psychedelics in the Brain and Mind

Therapy and Quantum Change: The Results from Scientific Studies

The Devil's Keyboard

Biocosmology, Panpsychism and Symbiotic Cosmology

Fractal Biocosmology

Darwinian Cosmological Panpsychism

Cosmological Symbiosis

Symbiosis and its Cosmological Significance

The Evolutionary Landscape of Symbiotic Existential Cosmology

Evolutionary Origins of Neuronal Excitability, Neurotransmitters, Brains and Conscious Experience

The Extended Evolutionary Synthesis

The Evolving Human Genotype: Developmental Evolution and Viral Symbiosis

The Evolving Human Phenotype: Sexual and Brain Evolution, the Heritage of Sexual Love and Patriarchal Dominion

Gene Culture Coevolution

The Emergence of Language

Niche Construction, Habitat Destruction and the Anthropocene

Democratic Capitalism, Commerce and Company Law

Science, Religion and Gene-Culture Coevolution

The Noosphere, Symbiosis and the Omega Point

Animism, Religion, Sacrament and Cosmology

Is Polyphasic Consciousness Necessary for Global Survival?

The Grim Ecological Reckoning of History

Anthropological Assumptions and Coexistential Realities

Shipibo: Split Creations and World Trees

Meso-American Animism and the Huichol

The Kami of Japanese Shinto

Maori Maatauranga

Pygmy Cultures and Animistic Forest Symbiosis

San Bushmen as Founding Animists

The Key to Our Future Buried in the Past

Entasis and Ecstasis: Complementarity between Shamanistic and Meditative Approaches to Illumination

Eastern Spiritual Cosmologies and Psychotropic Use

Psychedelic Agents in Indigenous American Cultures

Natty Dread and Planetary Redemption

The Scope of the Crisis

A Cross-Cultural Perspective

Forcing the Kingdom of God

The Messiah of Light and Dark

The Dionysian Heritage

The Women of Galilee and the Daughters of Jerusalem

Whom do Men say that I Am?

Descent into Hades and Harrowing Hell

Balaam the Lame: Talmudic Entries

Soma and Sangre: No Redemption without Blood

The False Dawn of the Prophesied Kingdom

Transcending the Bacchae: Revelation and Cosmic Annihilation

The Human Messianic Tradition

Ecocrisis, Sexual Reunion and the Tree of Life

Biocrisis and the Patriarchal Imperative

The Origins and Redemption of Religion in the Weltanshauung

A Millennial World Vigil for the Tree of Life

Redemption of Soma and Sangre in the Sap and the Dew

Maria Sabinas Holy Table and Gordon Wassons Pentecost

The Man in the Buckskin Suit

Santo Daime and the Union Vegetale

The Society of Friends and Non-sacramental Mystical Experience

The Vision Quest to Discover Symbiotic Existential Cosmology

The Three Faces of Cosmology

Taking the Planetary Pulse

Planetary Reflowering

Scepticism, Belief and Consciousness

Psychedelics The Edge of Chaos Climax of Consciousness

Discovering Cosmological Symbiosis

A Visionary Journey

Evolution of Symbiotic Existential Cosmology

Crisis and Resplendence

Communique on Preserving the Diversity of Life on Earth for our Survival as a Species

Affirmations: How to Reflower the Diversity of Life for our own Survival

Entheogenic Conclusion

A Moksha Epiphany

Epilogue

Symbiotic Existential Cosmology is Pandora's Pithos Reopened and Shekhinah's Sparks Returning

The Weltanshauung of Immortality

Paradoxical Asymmetric Complementarity

Empiricism, the Scientific Method, Spirituality and the Subjective Pursuit of Knowledge

The Manifestation Test, Clarifying Cosmic Karma

References

Appendix Primal Foundations of Subjectivity, Varieties of Panpsychic Philosophy

 

 

Natty Dread and Planetary Redemption [57]

Christianity’s Apocalyptic Tragedy and the Immortal Tree of Life

For Elaine Pagels, in memory of Vibia Perpetua

Chris King 13-6-21

Contents

1.     The Scope of the Crisis

2.     An Across-the-Scriptures Perspective

3.    Forcing the Kingdom of God

4.     The Messiah of Light and Dark

5.     The Dionysian Heritage

6.     The Women of Galilee and the Daughters of Jerusalem

7.     Whom do Men say that I Am?

8.     Descent into Hades and Harrowing Hell

9.     Balaam the Lame: Talmudic Entries

10.   Soma and Sangre: No Redemption without Blood

11.   The False Dawn of the Prophesied Kingdom

12.   Transcending the Bacchae: Revelation and Cosmic Annihilation

13.   The Human Messianic Tradition

14.   Planetary Ecocrisis and Apocalyptic Resplendence

15.   Redemption of Soma and Sangre in the Sap and the Dew

 

Fig 146: Crucifixion, Mathias Grunwald

 

1.  The Scope of the Crisis

 

Christianity presents a unique threat to world futures by the misleading portrayal of Jesus as a miraculous supernatural "Son of God", in conflict both with any credible cosmological account of existence and not least with the core principles of Monotheism. The other monotheistic religions also have a scorched-Earth eschatology [58], amid violence, particularly to women (Schwartz 1996), in conflict with our primary cosmological responsibility as a sexual species to ensure the diversity of conscious life survives. The Christian canonical account undermines the capacity of humankind to fathom what kind of universe, or existential cosmos we are actually living in and threatens humanity's ability to survive and flourish in evolutionary time scales without lethal misadventure. It is a cargo cult illusion threatening ours and the living planet’s living future, through a direct conflict of belief with reality, promoted by miraculous fallacy.

 

Fig 147: Akkadian “Temptation seal”: The man, the woman, the tree of life and the serpent (2200 BCE).

 

When the priestly author wrote Genesis 1, claiming the ‘Elohim said "Let there be light and there was Light", creating heaven and Earth out of tohu va vohu, casting the plants as created before the Sun and Moon, and making humanity male and female in “our” likeness, we know that black holes and galaxies had been forming long before, and that neutrinos were flashing through the Earth unnoticed. We now know that all people alive and present at the time, were composed of quarks and leptons grouped in baryons, nuclei, atoms, molecules, organelles, cells and organs, with DNA, RNA and proteins coursing through their veins and permeating their tissues. That they/we were not created from clay or breath, but develop naturally from the fertilisation of egg and sperm. This is not materialism speaking, it is cosmology. Genesis is not the oldest book in the Torah, but is a more recent addition.

 

And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree  yielding fruit after his kind,

whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. ... And the evening and the morning were the third day.

 

And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night:

he made the stars also. ... And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it:

and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

 

The word subdue is the Hebrew verb kavash meaning to place your foot on the neck of your conquered enemy signifying a submission of the enemy to his defeater. The words "have dominion" (from Latin dominium, from dominus ‘lord, master) are the Hebrew verb radah meaning to rule by going down and walking among the subjects as a benevolent leader.

 

We can accept the priestly Sabbatical Creation  as a beautiful allegory based on the understanding available at the time, even though the Yahwistic account in the Garden of Eden is a punitive curse on humanity as sexual beings, casting womankind in the role of the “devil’s gateway” enduring the pain of childbirth under the rule of her husband and depriving humanity of immortal  Paradise, to battle the thistles and thorns in human conflict with nature.

 

We know from Jeremiah’s claims of God’s anger and the resulting response of the people, that the religious practices of Jerusalem in the time of the Kings involved diverse forms of worship, including the Goddess by her various names –  Inanna/Ishtar, or Asherah the ancient consort of El, and the male god Tammuz/Dumuzi. But we also at once know the people were using Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a eucaryote yeast, to make their bread and wine, which a couple of billion years before had arisen from a pivotal symbiosis between an Asgard archaean and a proteobacterium, as we all have. Again this is not materialism, but nature speaking.

 

Jer 7:17 "Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?  The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger

 

Jer 44:17 “But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil. But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine.”

 

Psalm 82’s confession of polytheism likewise shows this diversity:

 

God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods ... I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High ... But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.

 

History in both the Old and New Testaments is perceived through a glass darkly, in Paul’s own words, distorted by the political bias and religious imperatives of the redactors.  The diversity of worship described in Jeremiah in the time of the Kings comes to us through the Yahwistic gloss of the exilic authors in Babylon, sharpened by Zoroastrian apocalyptic ideas, replacing the Hebrew notion of Sheol with a future purification by fire in the end of days, leading to the stark contrast of Heaven and Hell.  This originated from the time Cyrus allowed the Jews in exile to return to Israel, where they instituted a more fundamentalistic paradigm, ordering the men of Israel to forsake their gentile wives.

 

And Shechaniah … answered and said unto Ezra, We have trespassed against our God, and have taken strange wives of the people of the land: yet now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing. Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law” (Ezra 10:2).

 

Life in Israel up to this point had been culturally diverse. Free worship in the tabernacles from ancient times had been supplanted only a few years before the Babylonian annexation, by Jerusalem-centred worship, by the youthful Josiah. As Wikipedia puts it: “Between the 10th century BCE and the beginning of their exile in 586 BCE, polytheism was normal throughout Israel. It was only after the exile that worship of Yahweh alone became established, and possibly only as late as the time of the Maccabees (2nd century BCE) that monotheism became universal among the Jews”.

 

Likewise, we know Christian history is a distorted tale, firstly of the supplanting of the original following of Yeshua by born again Pauline revisionism under threat of the anathema maranatha despite Paul having no direct knowledge of the events, or the key character involved, and then by the orthodox victors who suppressed the Valentinian gnostics and many others, causing the Nag Hammadi texts to be buried in jars until the 20th century, just as later developments like the Nicene creed and the Trinity also constitute confabulations of Yeshua’s mission.

 

2.  A Cross-Cultural Perspective

 

To be fully understood, Yeshua's apocalyptic journey of redemption thus has to be seen in its context. Israel was in a state of flux, effectively ruled by the Romans, with the Sanhedrin Sadduces and the tetrarchs holding high office, Pharisees spread  through the smaller towns and more extreme sects such as the Essenes in desert retreats. By contrast, the Edomite Kingdom of Nabatea which emerged around 300 BCE, was in its cultural prime and was an autonomous state, reaping rich commercial gains as the artery through which trade coursed from the East to and from Europe via Gaza. Edom was a nominally Arab culture whose original female deities, al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat who continued to be worshipped in Mecca up to the time of Muhammad, along with Dhushara the Lord of Seir. Gen 32:3 And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom.

 

In the wake of Alexander cutting a military swathe across the Near East and the ensuing Seleucid empire, these deities were imbued with Greek personae as can be seen in the architectural forms  of Nabateaen deities, where the female deities took on Greek forms like Tyche and Dhushara became a Dionysian deity whose tragic mask had the power to confer immortal life.

 

Israel, Nabatea and surrounding lands all spoke the Aramaic language of Syria. This was the language of Yeshua in Galilee and this was the language of the Nabateans. Galilean Aramaic is noted in Peter’s exposure: “And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto.” (Mark 14:11) Deuteronomy notes of Jacob "A wandering Aramaean was my father". The word Aram goes right back to the Mari texts of the twelfth century BCE. The whole area around Israel was in a state of inter-communication through commerce and a common language. The rulers of Nabatea and the Herodian dynasty closely intermarried.  There was a Jewish population scattered throughout and on all sides diverse beliefs. Nabatea held its own celebrations and religious festivals "on every high hill and under every green tree" as the Jewish curse against the nations goes.

 

Yeshua's mission was invoked when John the Baptist cursed Herodias, accusing Herod Antipas of taking the wife of his brother Herod II (Philip) in contradiction to Hebrew law. Lev 18:16 “Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy brother's wife: it is thy brother's nakedness.” Josephus and Mark both recount aspects of this event. Herod asked Salome the daughter of Herodias to dance (the seven-veils descent [59]) in front of his generals at Macherus on the Nabatean border to their pleasure:

 

And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee; And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee. And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom. And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist. And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist (Mark 621-25).

 

But this was no ordinary occasion and it's about a lot more than the morality of divorce and was in fact exposing a mortal threat to Herod. It is likely that Herod's high captains were present because Herod had sent his previous wife the Nabatean princess royal  Phasaelis, daughter of Aretas IV, fleeing in fear of her life. Josephus notes:

 

About this time Aretas, the king of the Arabian city Petra, and Herod Antipas had a quarrel. Herod the tetrarch had married the daughter of Aretas [called Phasaelis], and had lived with her a great while. But when he was once at Rome, he lodged with Herod [Philip], who was his brother indeed, but not by the same mother (this Herod was the son of the high priest Simon's daughter). Here, he fell in love with Herodias, this other Herod's wife, who was the daughter of Aristobulus their brother, and the sister of Agrippa the Great. Antipas ventured to talk to her about a marriage between them; when she admitted, an agreement was made for her to change her habitation, and come to him as soon as he should return from Rome: one article of this marriage also was that he should divorce Aretas' daughter. So Antipas made this agreement and returned home again. But his wife had discovered the agreement he had made before he had been able to tell her about it. She asked him to send her to Machaerus, which is a place in the borders of the dominions of Aretas and Herod, without informing him of her intentions. So, Herod sent her thither, unaware that his wife had perceived something. Earlier, she had sent to Machaerus, and all things necessary for her journey were made already prepared for her by a general of Aretas' army. Consequently, she soon arrived in Arabia, under the conduct of several generals, who carried her from one to another successively. She met her father, and told him of Herod's intentions. So Aretas made this the first occasion of the enmity between him and Herod, who had also some quarrel with him about their limits near Gamala. So both sides raised armies, prepared for war, and sent their generals to fight.

 

Aretas, who figures as joint ruler with Queen Shaliqat on coinage, then invaded and defeated Herod with the military help of Herod's other brother Philip, attesting to the cooperation between the Herodian and Nabatean dynasties. The name Phasaelis was also the name of Phasael, Herod the Great's brother, himself born in the Hasmonean Kingdom to a Jewish aristocratic family of Edomite descent. What this goes to show is how interpenetrating the affairs of Israel and Nabatea actually were, despite their contrasting religious traditions and how Yeshua came to replace John when he was effectively sacrificed in the Inanna’s descent (Wolkenstein & Kramer 1987).

 

Note that, according to Mark’s account, Herod swore unto Salome "Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom," echoing the sacrificial ending of the Book of Esther [80]. In return, completing Inanna–Ishtar’s descent, Herodias, through Salome’s dance, demanded John's head on a plate, completing the sacrificial descent of Dumuzi-Tammuz.

 


Fig 148: (Left) Aretas IV and Queen Shaliqat jointly on the Nabatean coinage. (Right) Aubrey Beardsley for Oscar Wilde’s “Salome”.

 

Josephus again notes: When they joined battle, Herod's army was completely destroyed by the treachery of some fugitives, who, though they were from the tetrarchy of Philip, had joined Aretas' army. So Herod wrote about these affairs to the emperor Tiberius, who became very angry at the attempt made by Aretas, and wrote to Lucius Vitellius, the governor of Syria, to make war upon him, and either to take him alive and bring him to him in bonds, or to kill him and send him his head. This was the charge that Tiberius gave to the governor of Syria. 

 

However Tiberius then died and the order against Aretas was never carried out.

 

The apocalyptic mission is thus portrayed in the Christian gospels as having passed through sacrifice to John’s baptised successor Yeshua. Luke 7:19 “And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?”  Mark 6:16 But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead”. John makes this even more explicit: 3:28 “Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled”.

 

However it remains historically unclear whether the Baptist intended this succession, as he was beheaded.

 

Luke has John state emphatically the Yeshua is the Christ “And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.” But the winnowing fan is characteristic of Tammuz and Dionysus the dying gods of bread and wine who are combined in the two substances of the eucharist.

 

To understand his mission and how Yeshua envisaged it, we have to turn to sources of material documented long after the events, by followers with divergent eschatologies. None of these authors had direct experience of Yeshua’s presence or were present during his mission, so all accounts are hearsay and thus non-evidential. Despite Yeshua’s miracles forming a key part of his ministry in the gospels, modern biblical scholars are almost universal in their scepticism of these accounts, although they form the central contradiction of Christian beliefs.

 

One way of understanding these hearsay scriptural accounts is to combine (a) the three synoptic gospels, beginning from Mark (c 66-74 CE), with earlier dates largely discredited. It is complemented by the proposed Quelle sayings source, assigning John and Revelation to be later (90-100 CE), historically less reliable and in conflict with the synoptics, with (b) the Gospel of Thomas (c 60-120 CE), forming a counterpoint, underpinned by material from other Nag Hammadi texts, (c) the relevant Talmud entries and (d) the works of Flavius Josephus, excepting the Christian redactions concerning Yeshua (Wilson I 1996) Matthew and Luke/Acts are roughly contemporaneous and around half a century after Yeshua's death and well after the siege of Jerusalem. Most scholars believe Matthew was composed between AD 80 and 90. The most probable date for Luke's composition, along with Acts is around AD 80110. Revelation is commonly dated to about 95 AD. The fact that Acts is deeply embedded in the Pauline ‘heresy’ to convert Yeshua’s mission to a new gentile religion, their accounts of Yeshua have to be seen as highly coloured and thus of similar questionability to the Gnostic texts, with the exception of the Gospel of Thomas, which is a collection of source sayings, and particularly in terms of their retrospective apocalyptic emphasis in the light of the Fall of Jerusalem.

 

 
Fig 149: Time line of the gospels. The Pauline epistles are at least 20 years after Yeshua’s crucifixion, but before the Fall of Jerusalem. The four canonical gospels and Revelation are all after the Fall, consistent with their apocalyptic stance. The three synoptics have both commonalities and differences. Matthew and Luke are believed to have derived from Mark and the Q (quelle = other) source. The hypothesis of a Hebrew rather than Greek origin, deriving from Papias of Hierapolis, 125150 CE [60] has been largely discredited. This time line raises major uncertainties about the origin of Christianity and how much of what is in the synoptic gospels is Yesha's own world view rather than that of Pauline Christianity. Paul began his epistles in AD 49-50 17 years after Yeshua's death and Mark was written close to 70 AD, another 20 years later. The key question to ask is how much of the Hellenistic world view and events in the synoptics, which are essential to establishing the dying saviour role of Son of God did Yeshua conceive?

 

The dating of the Gospel of Thomas remains controversial. Broadly speaking, the early camp includes scholars of gnosticism such as Elaine Pagels (2003), Marvin Meyer (2005,7) and April DeConick (2006,7), while the late camp tends to include ordained priests such as John P. Meier and Joshua R. Porter, and professed evangelicals such as Bart D. Ehrman and Craig A. Evans. This highlights the political rather than historical basis of the late camp position.

 

Evidence for an early origin comes from a number of known parables, including Thomas 8, 9, 31, 57, 63, 64 and 65 where the Thomas version underlies the canonical versions. Thomas 17 modifies Paul's statement in 1 Corinthians 2:9 (53–54 CE), echoing Isaiah 64:4. The episode in John about the doubting Thomas, with the former attempting to discredit the latter, in the passage about Thomas not fully recognising Yeshuas divinity, disclaims Thomas-13’s gnostic view in favour of his own, implying Thomas was in existence when John was compiled. In the same vein Thomas 13, criticising both Peter and Matthew's views of Yeshua, hints at an early stage, when the gospel writers were all vying in their points of view, before the authority of the canonical writers had become established. In Thomas 12, Yeshua refers to James the Just, consistent with Galatians 2:1-14, which most scholars date to 50-60 CE. Sayings 6, 14 and 104 also echo opposition to Jewish traditions, regarding circumcision and fasting agains consistent with Galatians. Although the gospel of Thomas states "These are the secret sayings which the living Jesus spoke and which Didymos Judas Thomas wrote down" where didymos means"twin" the Thomas sayings 55, 99 and 101 express clear opposition to a family tradition  of the desposyni, in contrast with later gnostic texts where the family tradition is emphasised in Thomas being Yeshua’s twin brother. Likewise the reference to James in Thomas 12 does not specify that James is the brother.

 

The late camp tend to interpret the sayings as mid-second century conflations of canonical gospel statements combined with some additional inauthentic or authentic older sayings. For example Thomas 5 "Recognize what is in your sight, and that which is hidden from you will become plain to you. For there is nothing hidden which will not become manifest." is claimed to echo Luke 8:17, and 10 "I have cast fire upon the world, and see, I am guarding it until it blazes." is claimed to echo Luke 12:49. This reading seems incorrect as the two slants have opposing implications and the Thomas passage is more consistent in its conception. Thomas 16, in which dissension is cast upon the earth is claimed to conflate Luke 12:51-2 and Matt 10:34-5. The difficulty here is that these Thomas sayings could be from an older text. Both these passages are assigned to be from Q. This claim is compounded by the claim that in the Oxyrhynchus Greek passages, 5 uses the language of Luke rather than Mark, but arguing from one passage believed to have been written down around 200 CE, this is not conclusive, especially given the lack of agreement about the original language in which Thomas was written (Coptic, Greek or Syriac). Other arguments centre around the supposed similarity to Syriac compilations of the canonical gospels and the lack of apocalyptic content in Thomas in favour of gnostic realisation tat the kingdom is in the mind, but the former is contested and the latter is self-fulfilling orthodox rationalisation, because Thomas’s view clearly differs from orthodox beliefs in the apocalyptic destiny of Christianity.

 

Elaine Pagels (2012) also notes the antagonism between John and Paul expressed by each in the Epistles and the Euangélion, with John adhering to more orthodox practices on food and sex and Paul becoming the catalyst for a new religion, usurping and violating Jewish practices.

 

The Nag Hammadi texts, although diverse and apocryphal accounts, most of which are historically much later, can be given some comparable weighting to the Pauline works, as both are derived by followers who did not actually meet Yeshua and were not present during his mission. This is the only unbiased way to give a investigative balance to the question of Yeshua's actual mission, as opposed to the Christian religious canon, on the basis that checking both sides, of the story, orthodox and gnostic, helps uncover the inconsistencies between them. This approach is again not materialistic, because the gnostic wing of the scripture is both the most spiritually diverse and fantastic and offsets the Pauline works as equally the product of an imaginative rewriting of Yeshua's mission in the eyes of the beholder.

 

It is clear that, whatever his strengths or weaknesses, Yeshua was a brilliant transformative innovator, with an unparalleled insight into the spiritual zeitgeist, a literal Einstein of the existential crisis of his time, who embraced the true meaning of apocalypse, to throw the covers of reality, by bridging the full scope of the extant traditions, both to redeem the lost sheep of Israel and to fulfil the expectations of the wider backdrop of fertility worship of the nations, leading to Christianity becoming a world religion through its popularity among the gentiles. That said, one can also fairly claim, unlike some docetic gnostic texts that, whatever else may have subsequently happened, Yeshua the man had human DNA and was composed of molecules and cells, consistent with the natural world as we have now discovered it to be, given that his mission took place only once he became around 30 years of age. Again this is not reductionism speaking, it is evidential realism.

 

3.  Forcing the Kingdom of God

 

The scope of Yeshua’s mission goes far beyond Essene ideas of the end of days and constitutes a forcible challenge to bring on the Kingdom of the Father, ostensibly in three days, through a sacrificial confrontation, in which the forces of dark and light are brought into violent conflict, in the persona of Yeshua as the baptised Son of God. The span of Yeshua’s mission thus becomes that of a messiah fomenting controversy and chaos focussed on the corruption of Jerusalem, leading to the tragic enactment of the Crucifixion.

 

This has been portrayed in the Christian account as a sacrificial act, in which God’s only begotten son has to die, so that humanity fatally flawed by being infected with the original sin of the serpent can live, provided they believe in him, but otherwise they will burn in hell fire as unredeemed sinners. But whence the origin of this peculiarly pagan sacrificial idea? Why does the God of Creation require his only begotten son to be killed? It is also completely unclear why attacking only certain factors of society deemed to be corrupt serves this purpose. To redeem the sins of the world would require taking on the entire burden of sin, both in the strong rulers and in the weak. Why does inducing a frenzied level of conflict against the authorities in the enactment of a tragedy leading to his own death serve the purpose of defeating sin as a whole? Why is this necessary, or even helpful cosmologically? Isn't it just manufacturing a osmic war to institute evil as the supreme enemy of God when no such enemy exists?

 

This conceives a universe entirely inconsistent with the universe as we now know it to be. If God created the universe as we now know it, "He" created the black holes, galaxies, and the four forces of nature and their underlying symmetries and symmetry-breakings necessary for the complexity of the universe to emerge. He also therefore created the physical circumstances in which life can evolve and become conscious. Social morality is not the driving force of the natural world, but a product of it, and climax diversity arises from adventitious mutation, a balance between predators and prey and parasites and hosts, amid a counterpoint between competition and cooperation, in which symbiosis in a dynamic at the edge of chaos has also been pivotal. Humanity could not come to exist unless these processes of complexification had been able to play out unhindered. Morality is not a prime motivating force, but a product of complex animal societies that arises naturally, because reduction of internal strife makes a species, or society, more resilient against external competition (Alexander 1987).

 

There is thus no way that, if a God, or "The" God, created the natural universe, that the appeal of Yeshua to create a religious suicide bomb to blow apart the presumptions of a corrupt and sinful generation, would abruptly, in three days, or in the same generation, bring on the Kingdom in Power, by annihilation of a physical universe of 13 billion years stable existence, necessary for conscious life to be able to emerge and evolve.

 

Not less, there is and can be no credibility to the notion, of purely diabolical proportions, that God the Father would send his pre-existent only begotten divine son into the world as a human being to curse the sins of a corrupt generation and in a preconceived cosmic war between good and evil would commit his Son to be sacrificed to forgive mankind for their sins, while at the same time returning in the same generation in a terminal Day of Judgment as an avenging Lord to judge all for their sins, destroy the natural universe and create a new Jerusalem in the sky with himself posing as the "Lamb of God" in its very centre. This by its very conception is the core of evil manifest in notions of divinity. There can be no credibility to any such ill conceived notion perpetuated for 2000 years on the cannibalistic notion of consuming the flesh and blood of the saviour or we have no life within us.

 

4.  The Messiah of Light and Dark

  

What is clear throughout the canonical gospels is that Yeshua’s mission, as conceived by the Evangelists, has two complementary and yet discordant themes, leading to inevitable catastrophe.

 

A. The light side provides the wisdom for which Yeshua is renowned, composed of astute sayings, particularly those which stress compassion. To fully understand the breadth and scope of these it is essential to also consider the contrapuntal sayings of the Gospel of Thomas, which are pivotal in gaining a true perspective.

 

A key example of the astute sayings is Yeshua’s golden rule, which is an inversion of Hillel’s earlier (110 BCE 10 CE) silver rule: "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn”, which Yeshua inverted: Matt 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets”.

 

One can immediately see that Yeshua’s statement is derived from Hillel’s, complete with the the trailing “law and prophets” repeating Hillel’s “torah”. It is also notable that Hillel’s statement was prefigured 500 years before by Confucius: “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself”. This gets to the quick of the issue. Both Hillel and Confucius are stating an ethic of avoiding bad acts, respecting the autonomy of others, but Yeshua is going further, invoking active intervention ostensibly for the good.  While this may seem beneficial, there is a pitfall demonstrated throughout history. What if the other person or social group doesn’t want you to do to them what you would like them to do to you? If a large group of people want a conservative society of a certain kind for themselves, even for their own protection, does this mean it is reasonable for them to pass restrictive laws to enforce it on a diverse society, or is mutual tolerance of differences essential for humanity and for nature to flower? If I want you to have sex with me, is it reasonable for me to proactively have sex with you? The answer is no.

 

The Sermon on the Mount goes further than mere cooperation and invokes actively rewarding ones enemies twofold:

 

Matt 5:38 “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain … Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.

 

The central question here is this: Are we invoking a paradigm of natural survival in perpetuity, or one in which all care is cast to the winds, because our rewards are in eternal life in Heaven and not on this Earth? Christians extol these passages as pivotal to Yeshua’s compassionate teachings, in contrast to the narrower, more punitive “eye for and eye” of Old Testament teachings, but they are unsustainable in the natural world of living survival.

 

These questions pivot around the prisoners’ dilemma of tragic temptation universal to the dilemma of cooperation and defection, and hence good and evil. Two prisoners are arrested for a crime. If they cooperate and remain silent they will receive a moderate sentence, but if one betrays the other the one cooperating with the prosecution may get off altogether and the other will go down severely. But this can lead to temptation and both defecting, so they both receive a long punitive sentence. This is the central question around which the ethics revolves and it is also illustrated in the tragedy of the commons (Hardin 1968), where winner-take-all gains tempt people to exploit the common resource before others do and the entire commons is destroyed, just as humanity is doing to the planet today.

 

Elementary evolutionary prisoners’ dilemma game theory (Fielder & King 2004 D) has established that both tit-for-tat – doing to others what they last did to you and win-stay lose-shift – switching between cooperation and defection depending on how the payoffs of the last round worked out, out-survive both systematic cooperation and systematic defection. However tit-for-tat strategies can lead to endless rounds of retaliation characteristic of clan hostilities. Marcus Frean (1994) established a middle ground between eye-for-an-eye and turn-the-other-cheek, called firm-but-fair. This is a form of tit-for-tat that turns the other cheek about a third of the time and leads to the firm-but-fair population reaching 98% of the whole, when each party can make their response asynchronously. Always cooperate is a suckers game, which can be invoked only when we have the out of a quick exit to Heaven, in fear of Hell, otherwise it is cumulative suicide. Social dynamics is a prisoners’ dilemma between cooperation and refections generalised into order and chaos, in which both sides have essential roles. Violent criminal defection is harmful, while movements opposing oppression by people in power are essential. Complex societies thus involve an equilibrium of cooperation and defection. Again, this is not materialism speaking, but the ethics of constructive diplomacy, to protect the whole for the future of all and the survival of human life and nature.

 

Fig 151: Prisoners’ dilemma of the patriarchs – patriarchal oppression inhibits independent  women but cooperating faithful wives and defecting whores can flourish overtly and covertly. Rarity is precious, preventing extinction. A single scarlet woman in a country of faithful wives can claim any man she pleases.  A single faithful maiden in a society of loose women may claim the king's hand in marriage.

 

The Sermon on the Mount also has a strong current of having no care for even moderate self protection of one’s own life. Matt 6:25 “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?”

 

Nor is there any thought for the future, nor the future of life: Matt 6:34 “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.  Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

 

The sayings on the mount are thus being made in a context where no thought needs to be given for survival because of the immanent Kingdom of God in Heaven and the much more dire consequences of being thrown into Hell.

 

These positive sayings are also mixed with destructive sayings: Matt 5:29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell”.

 

This generosity does not apply to anything except the material:  Matt 7:6 “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”

 

It is wonderful that Yeshua considers the lilies of the field, who “toil not” as plants, to be more beautiful than Solomon in all his glory, but the rains fall on good and bad people alike because that is how nature works. The fowls of the air are not fed by God’s grain. The hawks are also part of nature, as are the lion, and all carnivores. Climax life requires an interplay of cooperation and defection. Carnivores’ tooth and claw killings ensure the herbivores don’t become extinct by eating all the plants. Even parasitic diseases end up playing a role in the evolutionary process. Sexuality and  hence all complex life has arisen from a Red Queen race between parasites and hosts, in which the endless variations of  sexual individuals avoid a pandemic that would wipe out a non-sexual species. Hence individual mortality arises from sexuality and we could not have evolved as humans, or be alive without sexuality and hence the mortal coil.

 

Yeshua also intimates that any sexual feelings are against the law. Matt 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust [61] after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. In a sense anyone who looks on a woman with lust is committing adultery, but as long as they don’t act upon it without the consent of the other, that is an essential manifestation of the natural fertility of sexuality, through which all human beings on this planet have come to exist. Lust is natural and fertility incarnate. It is sexual exploitation that is an evil.

 

B. The dark side, all the more ominous because it would ultimately lead to Yeshua’s crucifixion, stands out as completely alien to the Hebrew prophetic tradition, claiming to perform nature miracles walking on water and calming the storms on Galilee, bringing people back from the dead, and other actions causing him to be typecast by the scribes as “Baal Zebul” the Lord of Flies, when he cured a man by mere sleight of hand, rather than the traditional methods of faith healing at the time. Yeshua’s response was incendiary, claiming that the scribes were cursing themselves because the devil can’t cast our devils.

 

Some “miracles” were outright grotesque: After exorcising the legion of spirits of a madman, Yeshua drives a helpless herd of pigs into the lake to drown: Luke 5:13 “And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea”.

 

The credibility of the miracles wanes in the presence of more familiar company of people rather than excited superstitious crowds seeking faith healing, as noted in Nazareth Mark 6:4:

 

A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.” Even the disciples did not have confidence in the miracles at least until the wind died on the lake: Mark 6:51 And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.

 

Yeshua’s mission became a three year long enactment of a Dionysian tragedy, just as Dionysian theatre and the three tragedies for one comedy became the cathartic portal in which the lives of men and gods intertwined in ancient Greece, as it remains the nuclear core of all dramatic productions, movies and television series today.

 

One can have little doubt that controversy and confrontation was anything other than intentional on Yeshua’s part, in the light of his first sermon at the synagogue in Nazareth, where despite admitting his own affliction (possibly the lameness mentioned in the Talmud), his incendiary claims caused the people to seek to throw him off the cliffs.

 

Luke 4:23 And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the

Syrian. And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his way”.

 

Luke’s (80–100 CE) description can be taken in one of two ways. A sceptic would say this is a contrivance of the Christian forefathers, calculated to destine Yeshua’s mission as being at the outset to the Gentiles rather than Israel, where he will not be accepted and indeed betrayed by the Jews.  However, if we accept Luke’s account as genuine, then it is Yeshua saying he is opening mission to envelop the gentile religious paradigm from the outset in a clash of the cultures against the existing hierarchy in Israel. This duality extends throughout all the descriptions of Yeshua’s mission by all the gospels. Either Yeshua is being misrepresented as forming a bridge to the gentiles by the Christian forefathers to further the Christian interpretation of history as a gentile religion, or Yeshua was himself seeking to form an apocalyptic bridge transcending both the Hebrew religion of the Israelites and the fertility traditions of the nations, when Christianity did not yet exist.

 

Yeshua’s purported miracles fall into three types (a) Healing miracles involving (i) curing sickness, (ii) exorcisms of evil spirits or devils and (iii) three resurrections; (b) Procedural “miracles” in which loaves loaves and fishes are shared among a large congregation in much the manner of a communion wafer; and (c) nature miracles including water into wine, cursing the fig, driving swine to drown after an exorcism and calming and walking on the waters. Ranke-Heinmann (1992) notes Yeshua disdaining demands for the miraculous “unless you see signs and wonders, you will nor believe” (John 4.48). “Why dies this generation seek a sign? Truly I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation” (Mark 8.22). She attributes their occurrence to ”a naive addiction to miracles on the part of the authors of the Gospels and their sources”, noting Elisha’s miracles in 2 Kings (4.34 & 6.18).

 

Spiritual healings were mainstream activities in an era where spiritual cures were sought given limited medical  knowledge. It’s thus not simply that crowds seek a faith healer because they heal many people but can be the reverse – they appear to heal many people because crowds gather round them seeking a cure. As Ranke-Heinmann puts it “Crowds didn’t stream towards Jesus because he healed many people; rather, because crowds streamed toward him, he healed many people”. The pool at Bethesda was famous for healing simply via troubled waters. John 5:4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.” The procedural “miracles” were not fundamentally miraculous but just anticipating the communion rite. However, the nature miracles both set Yeshua completely outside the framework of Hebrew religious principles and are systematically consistent with Dionysian traditions. 

 

Fig 152: The three signs of Christ's manifestation on the Epiphany.
Water to wine, the baptism and the Magi. 
Left: Missal of Odalricus - early 12th century (Lavin). Right:Roman Missal.

Lower: Dionysian festival of the Epiphany in Greece.

 

John begins with Yeshua’s first miracle at Cana, where his mother says “They have no wine. Yeshua says “Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come”, but Mary tells the servants “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it” and Yeshua says “Fill the water pots with water.” When they take them to the governor, they are fresh wine. This miracle is likely to be an account derived from a lost earlier source listing miracles, as shortly after casually declaring the son of a nobleman near death to be healed, John notes “This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee”(Bultmann 1962 78).

 

This raises several issues. Why is Yeshua’s mother asking him to perform a miraculous feat over a trivial request for alcohol at a wedding? Doesn’t this indicate a family operation in miraculous cures? But the third issue is pivotal. Why is Mary inciting Yeshua to perform a miraculous feat known throughout the Near East as the signature of Dionysus as the god of wine and miraculous altered states?

 

The word Epiphany from the Greek and means "manifestation," "appearance," or "revelation." ... A festival of Dionysus' Advent was kept on this day in the Aegean and Anatolia. The Christian world has conflated three events, all to Jan 6th, the Magi, John’s baptism and Cana.

 

We keep this day holy in honour of three miracles:
this day a star led the wise men to the manger,
this day water was turned to wine at the marriage feast,
this day Christ chose to be baptised by John in the Jordan,
for our salvation, allelu-Yah (Magnificat antiphon)

 

In a rural area situated in Greece, in Eastern Macedonia, rituals take place at the Epiphany, that coincide with the Orthodox Christian holiday of the baptism of Christ. The locals see no contradiction between the pagan character of their customs and their Christian context, since these rituals are meant to be "a praise to a fertile and good year", a gesture which in turn "rests on the pillars of fruitfulness and productivity".  Dionysus, the god of wine, fertility and theatre, was worshipped in the region. A temple dedicated to Dionysus (4th and 3rd centuries BC) is located at the nearby village Kali Vrisi. The vineyards of Drama surround it on all sides. The regions Dionysian heritage is marked by the annual Twelve-Day (Dodekaimero) celebrations, which culminate every year between January 6 to 8 in the regions villages. Noisy parades are held to herald fertility, during which participants strike large bells to awaken Mother Earth. Lots of dancing to the sound of traditional tunes, played with the gaida (bagpipe) and daire (drum), takes place over three days and three nights at the villages of Monastiraki, Kali Vrysi, Petrousa, Pyrgi and Volakas.

 

Rudolf Bultmann (1962) puts it this way: “In fact the motif of the story, the transformation  the water into wine is a typical motif of the Dionysus legend, in which this miracle serves to highlight the god’s epiphany. And hence it is timed to coincide with the feast of Dionysus , from January 5th to 6th. In the ancient church, this affinity was still understood when … the 6th of January was taken to be the day that the marriage feast was celebrated at Cana”. The same Christian cooption of pagan festivals occurred with Easter (Ēostre) and Yuletide/Christmas (Odin, Mithras, Saturnalia), but with the Epiphany, Cana implicates Yeshua in the contrivance.

 

Uta Ranke-Heinman’s (1992) position is clear: “The 6th January became for Christians, the feast of the power revelation (epiphany) of their God, thereby displacing the feast of Dionysus’s epiphany. As Bultman says ‘No doubt the story has been borrowed from the pagan legends and transferred to Jesus’. On his feast day Dionysus made empty jars fill up with wine in his temple in Elis; and on the island of Andros, wine instead of water flowed from his spring or temple. Accordingly, the true miracle of the marriage feast at Cana would not be the transformation by Jesus of water in wine, but the transformation of Jesus into a sort of Christian wine god”. 

 

Yeshua’s relationship with his family and his friends became more troubled as his spell-binding approach to the mission evolved. “After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days” (John 2:12). “And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.” (Mark: 3:21). “There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him”, upon which he replied “whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother” (Mark 3:31).His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. For neither did his brethren believe in him” (John: 7:3). This is also an indirect swipe against James the Just, mentioned as the leader in Thomas:

 

‘The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that you will depart from us. Who is to be our leader?"  Jesus said to them,
"Wherever you are, you are to go to James the righteous, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being”.’
(Thom (12)

 

Metaphors of the winebibber pervade Yeshua’s mission.  Luke 7.33 “For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil. The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners! But wisdom is justified of all her children.Mark 2;18And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.”  John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

 

This enactment of his mission as a destined dramatic tragedy on a catastrophic collision course with the forces of darkness, perceived in both the devil and the Jerusalem authorities, religious and secular, ultimately culminated in a series of ritual events, from the necromancy of Lazarus in John, through the march of the palm king and turning the tables in the temple, resulting in Yehsua’s trial and crucifixion for both insurrection against the Romans and blasphemy against the Hebrew tradition, ostensibly set at nought (i.e. castrated) in the Saturnalia by the Roman guards, and later crucified on the Cross, echoing the Canaanite cry of the death god Mot to El:

 

And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying,

Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? – My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? “ (Matt 15:34)

 

This doesn’t mean that Yeshua was posing as Dionysus but that he was bringing together all the spiritual currents extant in the greater Israel and its neighbour nations, and adopted currents of Dionysian magical transformation and fertility worship notions of sacrifice of the sacred king, as well as the apocalyptic expectations of the Jewish eschatology in its Zoroastrian-inspired  end of days form. These then form a bridge to a new Heaven and a new Earth.

 

To imbue prophetic validity to Yeshua’s apocalyptic mission, Christian scriptures attempt to conflate these assumed events with passages from the prophets such as Zechariah, where the foolish shepherd  brings about an apocalyptic denouement replete with echoes of Judas’ betrayal:

 

“And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD” (Zech 11:13).

 

But the Christian accounts incorrectly attribute this to Jeremiah and Matthew is in double contradiction with Acts:

 

“Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.  And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value.  And gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me” (Matt 27:3).

 

“Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood” (Acts 1:16-19).

 

Either these “prophecies” were part of a Dionysian enactment, with Jesus and Judas both complicit, or they are a contrived imputation by later writers, who did not have first hand experience of the mission.

 

5.  The Dionysian Heritage

 

Evidence from the Mycenaean period shows that Dionysus is one of Greece's oldest attested gods 1400 years before Yeshua. His attribute of "foreignness" as an arriving outsider-god may be inherent and essential to his cults, as he is a god of epiphany, sometimes called "the god that comes”. With the advent of viticulture in archaic Greece, Dionysus became a god of transformation, and eternal life. His cult involved bands of married women (thiasoi - adherents of a deity) periodically retreating to the mountain forests at night to hold an ecstatic revel rout, where through dances and other rituals they experienced the divinity of Dionysus and the release and liberation he afforded as liber, associated with the orgiastic and ecstatic frenzy of his worshipers, including the maenads  (“raving ones”) who were said to use nightshade to dilate their pupils to make them 'dolorous' from which nightshade’s name Belladonna (“beautiful lady”) comes. In Athens there was a procession on his feast day, when his image was paraded before the crowd, after which he performed a sacred marriage ritual with the kings wife.

 


Fig 153: Dionysian parallels: Simone Martini’s “Carrying the Cross” shows Mary Magdalene, her face smitten with streaks of blood following Jesus in despair. "The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me" Canticles (5:7). Suggested to be one of several secret codas by medieval artists to support the idea that Mary was Yeshua’s lover. The women of Galilee figure as the effective maenads of Yeshua, in supporting him out of their substance, in anointing hm for his burial and in watching from far off during the crucifixion and announcing his resurrection. Gospel accounts of Yeshua walking on water and rescuing Peter are prefigured in the story of Dionysus miraculously turning the pirates into dolphins when they jump into the ocean in fear of his miraculous manifestations. Inset: two Nabatean and Syrian tragic masks used to confer immortal life on the bearer prefiguring the apocalyptic notion that the death of the saviour is the key to immortal life.

 

Dionysus, who was the twice born and resurrected son of God Zeus by mortal Semele, was a horned child who was torn to pieces by Titans who lured him with toys, then boiled and ate him. Zeus then destroyed the Titans by thunderbolt as a result of their action against Dionysus and from the ashes humans were formed. However, Dionysus' grandmother Rhea managed to put some of his pieces back together and brought him back to life. He was said to perform a variety of miracles in connection with grapevines and wine, all to do with the gods seasonal epiphany at the time of his festival, evidencing the presence of his divinity. Epiphania means "appearance" in Greek and refers to the revelation of the Lord's power in his appearanceIn pagan antiquity, 6 January was the epiphany of Dionysus. Vase paintings depict wine flowing directly from grape clusters, presenting wine as a product of the divine. On the occasion of Dionysus’s festival called Thyria (“raging), when Dionysus was thought to be present there, priests under the watch of witnesses placed three empty basins in a building under seal. The next morning when the seal on the door was broken and people entered, the basins were full of wine. In EuripidesBacchae, a maenad struck the ground with her thyrsus, “and the god at that spot put forth a fountain of wine.

 

Dionysus, of all deities, stands as the manifestation of miraculous dread at a level unsurpassed by Yeshua’s miracles on Lake of Galilee. The magical metamorphoses of Dionysus are rendered on the Dionysus Cup from around 540-530 BCE by Exekias. A band of Tyrrhenian pirates sailing by the shore happens upon Dionysus and kidnaps him for ransom, believing him to be a wealthy prince binding him to the mast. To their surprise, the fetters fall away from his hands and feet. The ships helmsman cries out: Madmen! What god is this whom you have taken to bind? Do not lay hands on him, lest he grow angry and stir up dangerous winds and heavy squalls.His mates do not heed the warning and strange things are seen about them. Sweet, fragrant wine runs streaming throughout the piratesblack ship. Vines dripping with clusters of grapes spread across the tops of the sails, while dark ivy blooming with flowers and berries entwines the ships mast. Dionysus transforms into a dreadful lion and summons illusions of wild beasts, the leopard or panther, sacred to him, and lions, tigers, and bears. As the beasts lunge, the terrified pirates promptly jump overboard into the seas cold embrace, but the god enjoys the last laugh as the pirates transform into dolphins upon striking the waves. Only the helmsman, who enjoyed the change of heart, is spared to tell this tale of the wrath of Dionysus.

 

What is distinctly different about the Dionysian tale is that it is and has always been recognised as mythopoetic allegory, not a physical fact, while Yeshua’s alleged miracles and his promises of a return from the dead in power have been crafted by the Christian forefathers to be a claimed cosmological fact more real than the word around us. This is profoundly dangerous, because it lays a false cosmological claim in complete contradiction to every verified form of knowledge, to jam pack the persona of the Son of God into the portal of reality to make a claim of ultimate ascendency over nature on the part of the Son of Man become the Son of God under pain of eternal torment.

 

The Dionysian connection pervaded the Near East with the rise of Alexander and the ensuing Greek empires and became integral to Syria and Nabatea. Dhushara was an ancient Arabic deity originally represented by a simple stone block in a similar manner to the worship of a stone pillar at Bethel by Jacob , as a non iconic face of the abstract God, as Yahweh was. Gen 35:14:Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he had spoken with him, a pillar of stone; and he poured out a drink offering on it, and poured oil on it”. However with the rise of Nabatean commerce and viticulture, Dhushara gained the persona of the Greek Dionysus, just as al-Uzza, al-lat and Manat gained the forms of Tyche, Atargatis and Aphrodite. Nabatean culture had shrines scattered far and wide across the fertile landscape.

 

Astral worship came to involve elaborate repasts on triclinia overseen by “the consecrated and inviolable possession of” Dhushara, in which concern for making detailed preparations for immortal life had a pivotal focus. Dhushara became the god with the tragic death mask conferring immortal life on the wearer: The Nabatean use of the tragic mask furnishes yet another example of their preoccupation with immortality and their intense desire to become identified with their divinity. The mask served as a portrait of the deathless God Dushara, Dusares Dionysos and its wearer became united with him through its use for life everlasting escaping thus the limitations of the mortal span” (Glueck 242) .

 

Given that these forms of worship extended across the East of the Jordan from Arabia in the South to Syria in the North, and the commercial currents running between East to West by sea, it is inescapable that these currents of deity would have been grist to the mill of religious and apocalyptic ferment.

 

6.  The Women of Galilee and the Daughters of Jerusalem

 

Yeshua’s mission is intimately bound up in the affairs of key women who ministered unto him out of their substance, effectively providing the financial funding for the mission: Luke 8:1 And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, and certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, and Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.

 

The seven devils are the seven Galla of Inanna-Ishtar that pursued and ravaged Tammuz-Dumuzi, corresponding to the seven layers of hell when the goddess of heaven does her descent, so mentioning them specifically in the gospels casts Mary Magdalene as the sacrificial Queen of Heaven in the piece, preemptively anointing him for his burial after his sacrifice as a sacred king in the shadow of Dumuzi and Tammuz. This means that, as we converge on the crucifixion, there is a relentless parallel with John the Baptist’s death in Inanna’s Descent enacted by Salome at Macherus.

 

Rather than being anointed by a high priest, as was David and Solomon, Yeshua is anointed by a woman, either on his feet or head and in Mark and John ominously for his burial as a sacred king.

 


Fig 154: Piero della Francesca “The Baptism of Christ”,
Giovanni de Milano “Anointing”,  Piero della Francesca  “The Crucifixion”, Icon “The Holy Myrrh Bearing Women”,  Titian “Noli me Tangere”. The women play a pivotal role in Yeshua’s mission and are thus portrayed as witnesses and ritual participants in all the critical events, from the baptism, ministering unto him out of their substance, with Mary Magdalene, out of whom went the seven Galla of Inanna (above) anointing him for his burial, watching over his crucifixion and witnessing the risen Christ.

 

John’s account has Mary performing the task. John 12:3 “Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him. Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?  This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this”.  This appears to link to Luke’s reference to Mary playing “that good part” in the Dionysian ritual: Luke 10:41 “And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

 

In Mark, Yeshua is anointed on his head and the pharisees murmur against him because of the cost: Mark 14:3 “And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made?  For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.  And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. ...  She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.

 

In Luke this woman is described as a “sinner”, interpreted as a prostitute and they murmur because she is a sinner: Luke 7:37 “And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment”.

 

This sinner has also been associated with Magdalen and with the woman caught in adultery: John 8:3 “And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery, saying to Yeshua “Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act” to which he replied He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her, And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, and so Yeshua said “Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?  She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee.

 

Yeshua’s very fanciful genealogy in Matthew, as King of the Jews, descends through five “fallen” women: (1) Tamar who covered her head with a veil as a prostitute to become impregnated by her father-in-law when he failed to honour betrothing her to a husband’s brother on the death of her husband according to Hebrew law. (2) Rahab, the prostitute who let the Israelite spies into Jericho. (3) Ruth who lay with Boaz at night and later became his wife. (4) Bathsheba who sired Solomon with David, although then married to Uriah, whom David later had killed and (5) mother Mary who was found with child out of wedlock and was partnered by Joseph: Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily(Matt 1:19).

All these women are perceived to be virtuous, but all have at face value sexually transgressed, despite the fact that Mary is claimed by the Christian account to be impregnated by God in the form of the Holy Ghost, just as Semele was impregnated by Zeus.

 

Likewise the parable of the foolish virgins, which is clearly apocryphal, as it appears only in Matthew, overlays an intensely sexual theme of the Bridegroom entering a marriage ceremony with multiple virgins, at least five of which he consorts with. This is of course an echo of the Jewish relationship of God with the bride Israel, expounded throughout the Old Testament in God’s jealousy and violent opposition to the whoring of the nations, taken to a pastoral climax with Rabbi Akiva’s adoption of the Song of Songs, one of the most fertile and haunting love songs ever committed to scripture, as the Holy of Holies, the inner temple sanctum, and which despite its myrrh on the locks enigmatically remains in the Christian bible as the same metaphor.

 

However the dark side of this parable is that it is used sacrificially. Luke 2:19 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days”, again echoing the Dionysian winebibber “And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles..

 

Christianity thus waits endlessly for the messiah’s Second Coming, in contrast to the fertile quest of the Jews to go forth and multiply as a living species. It thus constitutes a hijacking of the fertility principle to enshrine Christianity as the cosmic portal of salvation.

 

The women also play a pivotal role in the tragic enactment of the Crucifixion, with the daughters of Jerusalem and the women of Galilee playing opposing parts as a contrapuntal dramatic chorus:

 

Luke 23:27 And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck”.

 

Luke 23:48 And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned. And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things”.

 

Consistent with the Dionysian maenads and fertility traditions of the nations, the women are intimately involved, while the male disciples are scattered like sheep in Yeshua’s hour of need. The women of Galilee were pivotal and Magdalen prominently among them for pronouncing the risen Christ: And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment” (Luke 23:55).  Luke 24:10 It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.”

 

7.  Whom do Men say that I Am?

 

The canonical gospels pivot on the critical assumption that Yeshua is Christ the Son of God who must die and rise again on the third day. Luke 9:20 “He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God. And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing; Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.”

 

Mark has the latter discussions in more detail which indicates that the entire mission was conceived as a confrontational assault on the division of dark and light in which the sacrifice would bring about the Resurrection in three days. When Peter rebukes Yeshua, his response is to call him Satan, confirming the war of dark and light – Matt 12:30 “if you are not with me, you are against me”, “Mark 8:31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.”

 

Matt 16:13 “When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

 

In his trial, Yeshua confirms he is the Christ and will return in power. Mark 14:61: “But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?  And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven”.

 

In complete contrast, in The Gospel of Thomas, which begins “Whoever finds the interpretation of these sayings will not experience death” Yeshua says he is NOT the disciples master, but they are drunk on his Dionysian spring:

 

Thom (13) Jesus said to his disciples, "Compare me to someone and tell me whom I am like."  Simon Peter said to him, "You are like a righteous angel." Matthew said to him, "You are like a wise philosopher." Thomas said to him, "Master, my mouth is wholly incapable of saying whom you are like."  Jesus said, "I am not your master. Because you have drunk, you have become intoxicated from the bubbling spring which I have measured out.” Again a Dionysian metaphor, but also a veridical declaration of truth.

 

Likewise, the Kingdom, which the canonical gospels declare will come with apocalyptic cataclysm, is the natural world around us obscured by our own barriers to knowing and appreciating reality:

 

Thom (113) His disciples said to him, "When will the kingdom come?" Jesus said, "It will not come by waiting for it. It will not be a matter of saying 'here it is' or 'there it is'. Rather, the kingdom of the father is spread out upon the earth, and men do not see it”.

 

Thom (51)  His disciples said to him, "When will the repose of the dead come about, and when will the new world come?"  He said to them, "What you look forward to has already come, but you do not recognize it.

 

The Kingdom is preceded and evoked by the natural condition in which we all become the sons of God:

 

Thom (3)  Jesus said, "If those who lead you say to you, 'See, the kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father.

 

Thom (20) The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us what the kingdom of heaven is like."  He said to them, "It is like a mustard seed. It is the smallest of all seeds. But when it falls on tilled soil, it produces a great plant and becomes a shelter for birds of the sky.”

 

The end of days is not an end but is as it was in the beginning.

 

Thom (18)  The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us how our end will be." Jesus said, "Have you discovered, then, the beginning, that you look for the end? For where the beginning is, there will the end be. Blessed is he who will take his place in the beginning; he will know the end and will not experience death."

 

Nevertheless he reinforces that he is there to provoke conflict and conflagration:

 

Thom (16) Jesus said, "Men think, perhaps, that it is peace which I have come to cast upon the world. They do not know that it is          dissension which I have come to cast upon the earth: fire, sword, and war. For there will be five in a house: three will be against two, and two against three, the father against the son, and the son against the father. And they will stand solitary.”

 

Yet he will do this by instilling new vision:

 

Thom (17)  Jesus said, "I shall give you what no eye has seen and what no ear has heard and what no hand has touched and what has never occurred to the human mind."

 

Perceiving ultimate reality with the mind counterpoints Paul’s quote, which stresses loving God: ‘But, as it is written, What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him ‘(1 Corinthians 2:9).

 

This is again different from the Old Testament original From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him” (Isa 64:4), which emphasises Yahwistic monotheism, waiting in in faithful covenant.

 

The key to the kingdom is childlike innocence: Thom (46) Jesus said, "Among those born of women, from Adam until John the Baptist, there is no one so superior to John the Baptist that his eyes should not be lowered (before him). Yet I have said, whichever one of you comes to be a child will be acquainted with the kingdom and will become superior to John."  

 

Thom (37) expands hinting that unravelling the Edenic Fall brings back the immortality of the Tree of Life claimed in the opening passage: Jesus said, "When you disrobe without being ashamed and take up your garments and place them under your feet like little children and tread on them, then [will you see] the son of the living one, and you will not be afraid." 

 

He says we all have it within us, but warns that what we lack through denial can also kill us.

 

Thom (70) Jesus said, "That which you have will save you if you bring it forth from yourselves. That which you do not have within you [will] kill you if you do not have it within you.”

 

And that the undivided unity removing the duality of division is the key: 

 

Thom (106)  Jesus said, "When you make the two one, you will become the sons of man, and when you ' say, 'Mountain, move away,' it will move away." 

 

Thom (22) Jesus said to them,  " When you make the two one, and when you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside, and the above like the below, and when you make the male and the female one and the same, so that the male not be male nor the female female; and when you fashion eyes in place of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, and a likeness in place of a likeness, then will you enter [the kingdom].

 

Yeshua sees himself as pure cosmological spirit permeating the natural world. Thom (77)  Jesus said, "It is I who am the light which is above them all. It is I who am the all. From me did the all come forth, and unto me did the all extend. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there."

 

Yeshua feels afflicted by human ignorance of his insights: Thom (28)  Jesus said, "I took my place in the midst of the world, and I appeared to them in flesh. I found all of them intoxicated; found none of them thirsty. And my soul became afflicted for the sons of men, because they are blind in their hearts and do not have sight; for empty they came into the world, and empty too they seek to leave the world. But for the moment they are intoxicated. When they shake off their wine, then they will repent."

 

Some of the sayings tend to a gnostic pessimism about the natural world, but accepting of its potential to produce conscious enlightenment:  Thom (29)  Jesus said, "If the flesh came into being because of spirit, it is a wonder. But if spirit came into being because of the body, it is a wonder of wonders. Indeed, I am amazed at how this great wealth has made its home in this poverty."

 

He does not say physician heal thyself but acknowledges deftly that a physician does not treat their friends:

 

Thom (31) Jesus said, "No prophet is accepted in his own village; no physician heals those who know him." 

 

He makes a cryptic observation that the king will die after the sacred union:

 

Thom (61) Jesus said, "Two will rest on a bed: the one will die, and the other will live." Salome said, "Who are you, man, that you ... have come up on my couch and eaten from my table?" Jesus said to her, "I am he who exists from the undivided. I was given some of the things of my father." ... "I am your disciple." ... "Therefore I say, if he is destroyed he will be filled with light, but if he is divided, he will be filled with darkness."

 

There is a mention of apocalyptic times, but no hint of Christ returning in power:

 

Thom (79) "A woman from the crowd said to him, "Blessed are the womb which bore you and the breasts which nourished you." He said to [her], "Blessed are those who have heard the word of the father and have truly kept it. For there will be days when you will say, 'Blessed are the womb which has not conceived and the breasts which have not given milk.' "

 

Although he rejects Peter’s patriarchalism, he still entertains a notion that the male is spiritual:

 

Thom (114) Simon Peter said to them, "Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of life."  Jesus said, "I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the kingdom of heaven.

 

In complete contrast to the canonical succession through Peter to Paul, Thomas has Yeshua declare that James the Just, his brother the original founder fo the Jewish Christian movement was his ordained successor:

 

Thom (12)  The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that you will depart from us. Who is to be our leader?"  Jesus said to them, "Wherever you are, you are to go to James the righteous, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being."

 

As a counterpoint to the Gospel of Thomas, Thunder Perfect Mind remains the most enigmatic of the Nag Hammadi texts. It reveals a female presence at least as enigmatic and paradoxically transcendent as Yeshua’s persona. Here her statements and Yeshua’s are presented as a refrain between female thunder and male lightning.

Dialogue of the Saviours [62]


Thunder - Perfect Mind

A:'Look upon me you who reflect upon me

and you hearers hear me

You who are waiting for me

take me to yourselves.

 

For I am the first, and the last.

I am the honored one and the scorned one.

I am the whore, and the holy one.

the virgin and the wife..

 

I am [the mother] and the daughter....

I am the barren one, and many are her sons

I am she whose wedding is great,

and I have not taken a husband....

 

En/lightning El-Nino

B: Look upon me you who reflect upon me.

For I am alpha and omega,

the divine and the blasphemer,

Ba'al Zebul and the Holy Ghost,

 

the Father and the Son of Man.

I am the father of my mother

and it is my wife who begot me

or ever I was born

 

I am the Bridegroom

whose communion is celebrated

and I have not

taken a wife.

 

A: I am knowledge and ignorance....

I am shameless and ashamed.

I am strength, and I am fear....

I am senseless, and I am wise. …

 

I am the silence that is incomprehensible

and the idea whose remembrance is frequent.

The voice whose echo is reverberating

the thunder that intoxicates.

 

I am the one whom you have pursued .

I am the one that you have seized.

I am the one that you have scattered

and you have gathered me together.

 

B: I am the word made flesh

and yet the bread of life.

I am the good shepherd

and yet the paschal lamb.

 

I am the true vine

and yet the sprouting rod.

I am the fisher of men

and yet the eye of the storm.

 

I am the lightning uniting heaven

and earth in rains of plenty.

I am the light of the world

and the darkness at noontide.

A: The union and the dissolution.

I am the judgment and the acquittal.

I am the shameless one

before whom you are ashamed.

 

Though sinless, I am the root of sin.

The solace even of my labour pains.

I am the meaning of the word

and the very sound of the name.

 

I am the one whom they call Life

and you have called death.

In my weakness do not ever forsake me,

nor ever fear my power.

 

 

B: Split a piece of wood and you will find me there

Lift up a stone and you will find me there

for I am the light above the All

and to me did the All extend.

 

I am not your master but you've become drunk

from the bubbling stream that I have measured out

and whoever discovers this interpretation

will never experience death

 

I am the one who returns to loosen the bands

and open the prison to them that are bound.

I am the din that is unendurable.

The epiphany of miraculous dread.

 

A: I am the intimate companion of the savior.

He would come to kiss me on my mouth

He asked them "Why do I not love you,

as I love the one who permeates the All?”

 

I am lust in [outward] appearance

and yet I'm the very soul of discretion,

for many are the forms ...

and fleeting pleasures

 

which men embrace, till they become sober

and go up to their resting place.

And there they will find me

and live and not die again.’

 

B: I am the one who is called Truth

and I am cast upon the face of the earth.

I am the one who you have despised

and yet you love me all the more.

 

Why do you curse me and honour me?

Why do you consume and sanctify me?

Why do you leave the body hanging there

when the fire is already alight?

 

I bring you to weave, the garments of salvation

and offer you the requital of true love.

In our blood flows the fruit of the Tree of Life

and in our flesh the healing of the nations.

 


8. Descent into Hades and Harrowing Hell

 

Yeshuas crucifixion and resurrection on the third day, echoes Inanna-Ishtar’s descent as the Goddess of Heaven and Earth, into her sister, Ereshkigal’s domain of Hell in the three days of the dark moon, stripped naked of her garments one by one in the dance of the seven veils, by the galla, who later sacrifice Tammuz-Dumuzi on her return. Hellenistic writers have, since the crucifixion sought to explain Yeshua’s death and perceived ascension, in terms of the Greek cosmology of Hades as the realm of the dead, echoing the Hebrew Sheol, later becoming the increasingly apocalyptic Harrowing of Hell, to delineate a revealed cosmology of God’s cosmic manifestation, both forwards in time to the eschatologic apocalypse and backwards in time to the very beginning in Adam, thus trumping both the pagan world and the Judaic Hebrew traditions, as incomplete flawed realisations of the invincible cosmic deity manifesting in history, in the final conversion of Yeshua, the person and apocalyptic prophet into a Hellenistic man-God.

 


Fig 155:
Five views of Christ’s descent into Hades the Hellenistic realm of the dead, later hyperbolised into harrowing Hell. Christ leads Adam by the hand Vaux Passional, c. 1504,  The Harrowing of Hell - Petites Heures de Jean de Berry, 14th-century, Harrowing Hell - Greek icon, Christ reaches out to Adam and stands on Hades with the broken door behind him, Christ grants salvation to souls by the Harrowing of Hell - Fra Angelico, c. 1430s. This sojourn is initially regarded as to preach to those drowned in the flood, and then extends to preaching to those who dies before Yeshua’s time, then extending all the way back to Adam as depicted upper and lower left, thus cementing  Christ’s reign both forwards to the apocalypse and backward to Eden, claiming Christianity as the divinely ordained faith of the true God of all history.

 

The word "Hell"—from the Norse, Hel; in Latin, infernus, infernum, inferni; in Greek, ᾍδης (Hades); in Hebrew, שאול (Sheol) – is used in Scripture and the Apostles' Creed to refer to the abode of all the dead, whether righteous or evil, unless or until they are admitted to Heaven. This abode of the dead is the "Hell" into which the Creed says Christ descended. This distinction between Hades and Hell continues, from the earliest creeds to this day, in the varying accounts of the Apostles Creed and its precursors: “he descended to the dead” and “he descended into hell”. In the time before it entered the creed, the descent was frequently taken to mean that Christ had gone to rescue the souls of the Old Testament faithful from the underworld, from what Western Catholic theology eventually called the limbo patrum.

 

The Old Testament view of the afterlife was that all people, whether righteous or unrighteous, went to Sheol when they died. No Hebrew figure ever descended into Sheol and returned, although an apparition of the recently deceased Samuel briefly appeared to Saul when summoned by the Witch of Endor. The New Testament maintains a distinction between Hades or Sheol, the common "place of the dead", and the eternal destiny of those condemned at the Final Judgment, variously described as Gehenna, "the outer darkness," or a lake of eternal fire, otherwise known as Hell . The Hellenistic views of heroic descent into the Underworld and successful return follow traditions that are far older than the Orphic and other mystery religions popular at the time of Christ, including that of Gilgamesh and the Odyssey.

 

Milavec (2021) notes the progression in the view of Christ’s descent, which undergoes an apocalyptic extrapolation as time ensues. In Acts 2:23, Peter says that Christ was not abandoned by God in Hades [ο τε νκατελείφθη ε ς ιδην],but says nothing about Jesus preaching in Hades. In 1 Peter however this is specifically described:

 

 “By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison, which sometime were disobedient, when once the long suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. ” (3:20).

 

Justin Martyr (d. 165 C.E.) claims it is the Jews who had died prior to the coming of Jesus: The Lord God remembered his dead people of Israel who lay in their graves, and he descended to preach to them his salvation(Dial. 72.4). The intent here appears to be that the good news of the soon-to-arrive Kingdom of God was being shared with the hundreds of thousands of those Jews from Abraham to John the Baptist. Even though they are admittedly laying in their graves, they receive the message of Gods future salvation intended for those sleepingin hope. Clement of Alexandria (d. 215 C.E.) tells that the Apostles, following their own deaths, descended into Hades where they preached to the pagan philosophers who had lived righteous lives (Strom. VI, 6:45, 5).  The third-century Gospel of Bartholomew portrays the King of Gloryas descending the stairs of a thousand steps into the underworld. Hades, the god of the underworld, is trembling uncontrollably as he descends. Jesus shattered the iron barsof the gates of Hades and grabs the god Hades himself and pummels him with a hundred blows and bound him with fetters that cannot be loosed in an operation to save Adam and all the patriarchs. When Christ meets Adam, he specifically says:I was hung upon the cross for your sake and for the sake of your children, establishing the backwards causality.

 

The Catholic Catechism states this forward and backward causality from end to end of time. “In his human soul united to his divine person, the dead Christ went down to the realm of the dead. He opened Heaven's gates for the just who had gone before him.” His death is claimed to have freed from exclusion from Heaven the just who had gone before him: "It is precisely these holy souls who awaited their Saviour in Abraham's bosom whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into Hell”, echoing the words of the Roman Catechism, His death was of no avail to the damned.

"By the expression 'He descended into Hell', the Apostles' Creed confesses that Jesus did really die and through his death for us conquered death and the devil 'who has the power of death' (Hebrews 2:14):

 

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.

 

Given this annihilating redemptive power over the devil, it remains opaque why deadly sin is still deemed to exist.

 

This Hellenistic view of the underworld extends from the Synoptic Gospels through to Revelation:

 

"And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works

which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day." (Matt 11:23, Luke 10:15).

 

"I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen.

And I have the keys of Hades and of Death." (Revelation 1:18)

 

"The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them.

And they were judged, each one according to his works." (Revelation 20:13)

 

In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus the beggar, Luke 16 has Yeshua referring to Hades in a manner that anticipates the punishments of Hell in the Day of Judgment, preordaining it for the guilty as an antechamber of woe. Versions of the Bible continue to predominantly refer to this as Hades or “the dead”, with only King James using Hell:

 

"And being in tormented in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

 

The Gospel of Matthew allegorically relates that many people rose from the dead, and after the resurrection walked about in Jerusalem and were seen by many people there:

 

And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. (Matt. 27:53)

 

9. Balaam the Lame: Talmudic Entries

 

In contrast to the Christian gospels, the Talmudic entries cast Yeshua as a false messiah who led Israel into misfortune. These entries portray an antagonism which in itself explains the attitude in the gospels is not merely anti-Jewish polemic based on the betrayal by the high priests, but genuinely records a spiritual tension about cosmological pretensions that arose from the Crucifixion and the claim to be the Son of God.

The Lexicon Talmudicum and Talmud babli Sanhedrin 106b, 43a, 51a and the Toldoth Jeshu states (Graves 1946 6, 1953 23, 288): Commentators refer to Jeshu-ha-Notzri [Jesus of Nazareth] by mention of the wicked kingdom of Edom, since that was his nation... he was hanged on a Passover eve... He was near to the kingdom [genealogically].

Likewise the Qur'an refers to Jesus as Isa after Esau the “red man” of Edom. It thus appears that both the Jews and the Arabs recognised the Edomite character of Jesus' mission in a way not understood by Christians themselves, probably because Muhammad used if from the Jews of Medina. “Isa” is used in his return in divining the day of judgment:

Sura 43:61 He (Isa) is surely a knowledge of the hour. ... And when Isa came with clear arguments he said: I have come to you indeed with wisdom, and that I may make clear to you part of what you differ in. “

According to hadith, in Sunan of Ibn Majah, Muhammad said, "There is no Mahdi save Isa son of Maryam”.

Balaam the lame was 33 years old when Pintias the Robber [Pontius Pilate] killed him... They say that his mother was descended from princes and rulers but consorted with carpenters.

The Mishnah (Baraitha and Tosefta) note the following passages highlighting the tension between conventional Jews and Jesus' followers: "It has been taught: On the eve of the Passover they hanged Yeshu ... because he practised sorcery and enticed and led Israel astray ... Our Rabbis taught Yeshu had five disciples Mattai, Nakkai, Netzer, Buni, and Todah.”

Rabbi Elizah ben Damah is cited asking that Jacob came to heal him in the name of Yeshu[a] ben Pantera. He died being forbidden to do so.

A disciple of Yeshu the Nazarene is cited in Sepphoris capital of Galilee saying "It is written in your Torah 'Thou shalt not bring the hire of a harlot ...' How about making it a privy for the high priest? Thus did Yeshu ... teach me 'For the hire of a harlot hath she gathered them, And unto the hire of a harlot shall they return', from the place of filth they come, and unto the place of filth they go.

The Jewish citing of Jesus as son of a Roman 'Pantera' [panther] has been cited as another term of derision insinuating Dionysian heritage, but a Roman gravestone has been found in Bingerbrück Germany for Julius Abdes Pantera, an archer of Sidon, dating from the appropriate early Imperial period.

Another Sanhedrin entry 103a by Rabbi Hisda comments on Psalm 91:10 "There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling" that "Thou shalt have neither a son nor a disciple who will publicly let his food burn (forfeit his salvation in a public display) like did Jesus the Nazarene". Rabbi Abbahu taught "If a man say unto thee 'I am God' he lieth; if he saith 'I am the Son of Man' he will live to rue his words; and if he saith 'I ascend into Heaven' he will not bring to pass that which he saith".

10. Soma and Sangre: No Redemption without Blood

The Gospels portray Jesus as not just an apocalyptic preacher but  preaching a destined death wish to become the sacrificial token of God's so-called love so that sins can be in the day of Judgment. This is a double-edged sword because Jesus will still judge the quick and the dead regardless in the Revelation. It is alien and wholly evil. There is no hint of any assertion that Yahweh ever required such a blood sacrifice. It needs to be exorcised from the Biblical account. It is wrong homicidally destructive and cosmologically degenerate:

 

And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things,

and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed,

and after three days rise again. And he spake that saying openly (Mark 8:31).

 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

 

The Crucifixion and the account of the last supper leads to the cannibalistic Eucharist – to seek immortal life by consuming the bread and wine as body and blood of the Saviour:

 

“Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:53).

 

And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many (Mark 14:24).

 

Fig 156b: The cannibalistic filicide by God that dooms Christianity to be wholly a religion of evil.

 

These portrayals of Jesus instructing his followers to eat and drink his flesh and blood as a sacrifice of the only begotten Son by the Father are the most diabolical act ever conceived in human history that renders the Christian cosmology, fraudulent, wholly corrupt and stained to its very core with the blood of needless homicide. God giving his only begotten son as a sacrifice for sin is the equivalent of Huitzilopochtli, the Aztec war god, sacrificing Moctezuma so that his followers could be forgiven their utterly homicidal sins. Its legacy is martyrdom, Empire, Crusade, witch hunt and  Inquisition, not to mention Islamic suicide attacks, such as 9-11 as martyrs in acting in Yeshua's image.

 

This becomes the central Christian thesis: “Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin”, from “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission” (Heb 9:22), in an erroneous exegesis of Lev 17:11: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”

 

Hence the Eucharist – consuming the soma and sangre of the Christ – becomes the central rite of Christianity as a sacramental religion. But the blood spilled is not merely metaphorical, but actual, as ensuing waves of Christian martyrdom, the blood of the Crusades, and the deaths of the Inquisition and Witch Hunts and the genocide of native Americans by the Conquistadors attest.

 

James Tabor (2012, 2015) astutely traces the origin of Mark 14:24 to a saying by Paul that disclaims direct knowledge of the Eucharist except as a divine communication, not through the disciples or Yeshua's own statement:

 

One of the more controversial but significant arguments I make in my new book, Paul and Jesus, is that the traditional words attributed to Jesus at the Last Supper–“This is my body,” “This is my blood” over the bread and wine – originated with Paul not with Jesus! Here is a summary of my reasons for reaching this conclusion and I invite readers to explore in depth this and other ways Paul and Jesus differed by reading the book itself.

 

Here is what Paul writes to the Corinthians around A.D. 54: “For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is [broken] for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:23-25).

 

Mark, our earliest gospel, written between 75-80 A.D. has the following scene of Jesus’ Last Supper: "And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many” (Mark 14:22-24).

 

The precise verbal similarities between these two accounts are quite remarkable considering that Paul’s version was written at least twenty years earlier than Mark’s. Where would Paul have gotten such a detailed description of what Jesus had said on the night he was betrayed? The common assumption has been that this core tradition, so central to the original Jesus movement, had circulated orally for decades in the various Christian communities. Paul could have received it directly from Peter or James, on his first visit to Jerusalem around A.D. 40, or learned it from the Christian congregation in Antioch, where, according to the book of Acts, he first established himself (Acts 11:25).

 

What Paul plainly says is easy to overlook: “For I received from the Lord what I handed on to you.” His language is clear and unequivocal. He is not saying, “I received it from one of the apostles, and thus indirectly it came from the Lord,” or “I learned it in Antioch, but they had gotten it by tradition from the Lord.” Paul uses precisely the same language to defend the revelation of his Gospel and how it came to him. He says he did not receive it from any man, nor was he taught it, but swears with an oath, “I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11-12). This means that what Paul passes on here regarding the Lord’s Supper, including the words of Jesus over the bread and the wine, comes to us from Paul and Paul alone!

 

This means that the entire cannibalistic interpretation of Yeshua’s sayings at the Last Supper are then repeated by Matthew and Luke based on Mark’s account and later wildly embellished by John’s interpretation of Jesus as the divine preexisting Logos.

 

The Didache, or "Teaching fo the Apostles to the Generations", a manual of church rituals contemporary with Matthewl refers to Eucharist of bread and wine, but not in the context of Yeshua's cannibalistic body and blood:

 

We give you thanks, our Father, for the holy vine of your son David, which you made known to us through your Son Jesus. Yours is the glory unto ages of ages. We give you thanks, our Father, for the life and knowledge which you made known to us through your Son Jesus. Yours is the glory unto ages of ages. As this broken bread was scattered upon the mountains and being gathered together became one, so may your Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into your kingdom. For yours is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ unto ages of ages.

 

Justin Martyr c 150 AD recounts wine mixed with water but again not specifically as Christ’s flesh and blood: There is then brought to the president of the brethren bread and a cup of wine mixed with water; and he taking them, gives praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and offers thanks at considerable length for our being counted worthy to receive these things at His hands.

 

In fact the sacred repast of bread and wine is in no way a new invention of Jesus nor of Christianity. Indeed in  Genesis we find:

 

And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God (Gen 14:18).

 

Moreover Geza Vermes (1961), in addition to noting two messiahs present in the Messianic Rule both of whom are actual humans as in the Jewish messianic tradition he notes that the blessed bread and wine was likely to have been bread and unfermented fruit juice:

 

Little more is learned from the Community Rule than that when the table had been prepared for eating and the new wine for drinking, the priest was to be first to bless the food and drink. The inference would be that after him, the others did the same, an inference supported by the Messianic Rule where a similar meal is described involving two Messiahs, that of David dealing with war and Aaron as a priestly role. Some uncertainty surrounds the meaning of 'new wine', but it would seems from the use of the scrolls, with the exception of the temple scroll, of the alternative Hebrew words for wine tirosh and yayin that the latter often has pejorative connotations. More likely than not, the wine drunk by the sectaries, the drink of the congregation, was unfermented grape juice’.

 

Furthermore, he describes the Essene notion of the End of Days as immanent and actual in a conflict between the Teacher of Righteousness and the Wicked Priest, presumably the High Priest of Jerusalem, rather than an urgent hypothetical catastrophic future event, as in Christianity.

 

Again the position of John the Baptist and its relation to Yeshua’s notion of an apocalyptic end of days remains obscure because we have only the canonical gospels and a short passage from Josephus, neither of which are clarifying.

 

Josephus notes he had a strong following but mentions nothing of Jesus:For Herod had killed this good man, who had commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, righteousness towards one another and piety towards God. Many people came in crowds to him, for they were greatly moved by his words.”.

 

Mark notes:

 

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

 

Luke goes further and has John’s disciples come to test Jesus:

 

 And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another? Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil. The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners! But wisdom is justified of all her children.

 

John has the Baptist lavishly extolling Yeshua as the promised one but neither does this tells us anything about John’s own thinking or whether Jesus was supposed to be sacrificed to God to end sin:

 

John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose. The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.  And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.

 

Tabor (2012) notes that all the canonical gospels are anonymous productions, written a generation after the apostles. Scholars are agreed that none are an eyewitness account and the names associated with them are assigned by tradition, not by explicit claim by their authors in the texts. Mark, which comes first, gives no account of Jesus' birth miraculous or otherwise and in his original version, no post-resurrection appearances of Jesus to his disciples. In addition to Mark, both Matthew and Luke had access to the Q sayings source, probably dating from around AD 50 in which Jesus never speaks of his resurrection from the dead, while Mark, who comes later, refers several times to being raised on the third day. John comes last and is the most theologically embellished in terms of its view of Jesus as the divine, preexistent on of God. This gives a good indication of how mythical rather than historical the canonical gospels are and decisively discredits the canonical gospel accounts as any kind of accurate record of Yeshua's actual life, but rather the products of later beliefs. It reduces our understanding much closer to that of Crossan (1991).

 

Hence we can tentatively let Yeshua off the hook of both claiming Abba sacrificed him, as a Johanine extrapolation of Pauline thinking and the Eucharist as Paul’s own cannibalistic folly and judge Yeshua's chaos messiahship directly in terms of its consequences, especially in the immediate epidemic of martyrdoms.

 

Elaine Pagels (1988 33-6) describes the way in which the Kingdom of the Father has led to precipitate and tortured death on the part of a young female Christian believer. Whatever their courage and conviction, the prophesied Kingdom has been too long in coming to justify such needless loss of life. The fallacy that the Kingdom was about to arrive was shared by groups such as the Montanists. Perpetua's sacrifice of herself is even more poignant in a young girl. Because her name is Perpetua she remains forever a living symbol in her precipitate martyrdom of that physical immortality which is vested in the passage of the generations through the fecundity of the female line.

Vibia Perpetua, fluent in both Greek and Latin, wrote about her experiences from the time of her arrest until the evening of her execution. Perpetua, twenty-two years old, recently married, and nursing her infant son, was arrested along with her friends and her personal slave Felicitas. Perpetua and her companions were scourged and thrown into a stifling and crowded African jail. After her arrest, Perpetua's father, .. “out of love for me," she wrote, "was trying to persuade me to change my decision." Refusing his pleas to give up the name Christian, Perpetua rejected her familial name instead, although she says she grieved to see her father, mother, and brothers "suffering out of compassion for me." At first, she wrote, "I was tortured with worry for my baby there," but after she gained permission for him to stay with her in prison, "at once I recovered my health, relieved as I was of my worry and anxiety for the child."

Then my brother said to me, "Dear sister, you already have such a great reputation that you could ask for a vision indicating whether you will be condemned or freed." Since I knew that I could speak with the Lord, whose great favors I had already experienced, I confidently promised to do so. I said I would tell my brother about it the next day. Then I made my request and this is what I saw. There was a bronze ladder of extraordinary height reaching up to heaven, but it was so narrow that only one person could ascend at a time. Every conceivable kind of iron weapon was attached to the sides of the ladder: swords, lances, hooks, and daggers. If anyone climbed up carelessly or without looking upwards, he/she would be mangled as the flesh adhered to the weapons. Crouching directly beneath the ladder was a monstrous dragon who threatened those climbing up and tried to frighten them from ascent. I began my ascent. At the summit I saw an immense garden, in the center of which sat a tall, grey-haired man dressed like a shepherd, milking sheep. Standing around him were several thousand white-robed people. As he raised his head he noticed me and said, 'Welcome, my child." Then he beckoned me to approach and gave me a small morsel of the cheese he was making. I accepted it with cupped hands and ate it. When all those surrounding us said "Amen:' I awoke, still tasting the sweet cheese. I immediately told my brother about the vision, and we both realized that we were to experience the sufferings of martyrdom. From then on we gave up having any hope in this world (Young 47).

Hilarianus the governor, who had received his judicial powers as the successor of the late proconsul Minucius Timinianus, said to me: "Have pity on your father's grey head; have pity on your infant son. Offer the sacrifice for the welfare of the emperors." "I will not," I retorted. "Are you a Christian?" said Hilarianus. And I said: "Yes, I am. When my father persisted in trying to dissuade me, Hilarianus ordered him to be thrown to the ground and beaten with a rod. I felt sorry for my father, just as if I myself had been beaten. I felt sorry for his pathetic old age. Then Hilarianus passed sentence on all of us: we were condemned to the beasts, and we returned to prison in high spirits.

On the day before her execution, Perpetua wrote down another vision: She dreamed that she was led to the amphitheater, where enormous crowds waited to see her fight with a ferocious Egyptian athlete. 'Then a certain man appeared, so tall that he towered above the amphitheater. He wore a loose purple robe with two parallel stripes across the chest; his sandals were richly decorated with gold and silver. He carried a rod like that of an athletic trainer, and a green branch on which were golden apples. He motioned for silence and said, "If this Egyptian wins, he will kill her with the sword; but if she wins, she will receive this branch" Then he withdrew. "My clothes were stripped off, and suddenly I was a man." She fought and wrestled until she got him into a headlock and so won the fight. "But when I saw that we were wasting time, I put my two hands together, linked my fingers, and put his head between them. As he fell on his face I stepped on his head. Then the people began to shout and my assistants started singing victory songs. I walked up to the trainer and accepted the branch. He kissed me and said, 'Peace be with you, my daughter" And I triumphantly headed towards the Sanavivarian Gate. Then I woke up realizing that I would be contending not with wild animals but with the devil himself, but I knew that I would win the victory."

Two days before the execution, the Christians prayed for her in one torrent of common grief, and immediately after their prayer the labor pains came upon her. She suffered a good deal in her labor because of the natural difficulty of an eight-month delivery. One of the Christian women took the infant daughter to raise as her own, leaving Felicitas free to join her companions.

When the day arrived, Perpetua and Felicitas, together with their Christian brothers Revocatus, Saturninus, and Saturus, were led out of the prison to the gates of the amphitheater. The officer in charge, following the common practice, ordered the men to dress in robes of priests of the god Saturn, and the women to dress in the costumes of priestesses of the goddess Ceres, as if they were offering their deaths in sacrifice to the gods. Perpetua adamantly refused, saying: "We came to this of our own free will, so that our liberty should not be violated. We agreed to pledge our lives in order to do no such thing [as sacrifice to the gods]. And you agreed with us to do this." Again her plea prevailed, and the officer yielded. But just as Perpetua and Felicitas were to enter the arena, they were forcibly stripped naked and placed in nets, so that even the crowd was horrified when they saw that one was a delicate young girl, and the other woman fresh from childbirth, with milk still dripping from her breasts. A mad heifer was set loose after them; Perpetua was gored and thrown to the ground. She got up and, seeing Felicitas crushed and fallen went over to her and lifted her up, and the two stood side by side. Then after undergoing further ordeals and seeing their friend Saturus endure agonising torture. Perpetua and Felicitas, along with the others were called to the centre of the arena to be slaughtered. A witness records that Perpetua "screamed as she was struck on the bone; then she took the trembling hand of the gladiator and guided it to her throat".

 

Given the time sequence outlined in fig 127, the credibility of the canonical gospels remains tenuous to contrived. The Hellenistic role of Paul as the founder of the church as its entire religious view of Yeshua's mission is analysed in detail in the section on Christian cosmology. Paul, whose conversion on the road to Damascus is claimed to have occurred 31–36 CE shortly after the crucifixion dated to 33 CE , admits he had no direct contact with Yeshua: "Last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also." He was martyred in Rome in 64-67 CE around the time of the Fall of Jerusalem. Mark was written 66–74 CE with earlier dates 35–45 generally dismissed. But Luke’s account in his gospel and Acts dates from 80–90 CE and possibly as late as 110 CE. How then can Acts portray direct personal accounts of the Apostles leading up to Pentecost, remains as implausible as the canonical gospel accounts of Yeshua’s mission.

 

Moreover, the ensuing events are fraught with conflicts with the Jews, or Jewish Christian resisters to the gentile mission, and negative ‘miraculous’ events associated with anything but compassion or realisation. Ananias and Sapphira donated to the cause, but kept back some of their capital and were both literally frightened to death for not giving all, ostensibly by the Holy Ghost, but actually by the assembled company, contrived as a miraculous act, demonstrating the need for utter submission to the Christian cause.

 


Fig 156: Left: “The Death of Sapphira” Ambrosius Francken the Elder. Right: Triumph of FaithEugene Thirion

 

Having lost his sight on the Road to Damascus, while persecuting early disciples of Yeshua, possibly Hellenised diaspora Jews converted to Christianity, and blinded by a “light from heaven”, Saul had his sight restored by Ananias. He is initially rejected by the disciples as “they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple”. Later Paul appears in a conflict with Barjesus, a Jew, disclaimed as a sorcerer, whose superior the deputy  Sergius Paulus sought to “hear the word of God”. But Elymas the sorcerer withstood them:

 

Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him. And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?  And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.

 

How far have we fallen into misuse of the very principles of redemption? Who is the wicked sorcerer here? The man who curses another with blindness, or the man who sought to avoid the cult indoctrination of the deputy?

 

11.  The False Dawn of the Prophesied Kingdom

 

The acid test of Yeshua’s mission is the actual appearance of the Kingdom with power in the same generation of those present when he was alive:

 

Mark 8:38 “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.

 

Luke 21:32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.

 

But in Matthew 24 the passage is stunning in its sweep and unremitting declaration of a cosmological  Armageddon apocalypse in Yeshua’s own generation:

 

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

 

The ensuing apocalypse in true Revelation style, is then claimed to be Yeshuas own words:

 

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

 

The persecution of the Christians is then declared:

 

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

 

We then come to the abomination and tribulations of Daniel:

 

When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.

 

Then the woe to the pregnant and breastfeeding mothers:

 

And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.

 

Then we have accounts of the false Messiahs:

 

Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

 

Then we enter full fledged Armageddon with the stars falling from the sky, angels and trumpets:

 

Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

 

But in the very midst, Yeshua is said to claim all his supernatural unveiling and cosmic cataclysm will occur in the same generation as those present:

 

Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

 

Next Noahs flood re-ensues in which half the living are taken:

 

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

 

Finally Christ comes as a thief in the night in the parable of the goodman, but here Luke 12:40  is earlier in the mission contradicting Matthew 24:44 in the timing:

 

"And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come,

he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.

Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

 

Matthew’s statement is implausible and incredible in every conceivable way. For Yeshua’s claimed statement to be true, not only would nation have to rise against nation, which did eventuate in the siege of Jerusalem 30 years later, but the stars would have to fall from the sky amid the greatest tribulation since the beginning of the world, yet this is all claimed to take place while the living standing before him are still alive. No one reading this can have any honest reaction but to realise that either it is a retrospective contrivance on the author’s part, or that Yeshua’s claims in the light of ensuing events are those of a false messiah, in both cases a historical fallacy.

 

Given the date of writing of the synoptics, Elaine Pagels (2012) points out that these passages and those of Revelation occurred after the siege of Jerusalem in CE 66, in a time when Christian faith of the minority of followers who still believed in Yeshua had their faith restored by these events as signs of preliminary “pangs of the messiah” before the Lord’s return in power.

 

Nevertheless, these statements claimed in the gospels to be direct from Yeshua, taken anywhere near face value, despite severe doubts that many of them are inserted to fulfil Pauline interpretations of the Son of God, indicate the intention of his mission to be to bring about by his crucifixion the Kingdom of God through tumultuously violent events. This led to an urgent anticipation by early Christians that the kingdom was at hand, encouraging many to become martyrs rather than denounce their beliefs to the Romans.

 

There is silence all around. The Baptist appears, and cries: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Soon after that comes Jesus, and in the knowledge that He is the coming Son of Man lays hold of the wheel of the world to set it moving on that last revolution which is to bring all ordinary history to a close. It refuses to turn, and He throws Himself upon it. Then it does turn; and crushes Him. Instead of bringing in the eschatological conditions, He has destroyed them. The wheel rolls onward, and the mangled body of the one immeasurably great Man, who was strong enough to think of Himself as the spiritual ruler of mankind and to bend history to His purpose, is hanging upon it still. That is His victory and His reign.

(Albert Schweitzer, The Quest of the Historical Jesus (2001 654)

 

I can sympathise and even empathise with Yeshua’s position. The visionary experience is all consuming, as it is a singular relationship between the individual and what is the Godhead by any other name. Hence the references to the Father as an intimate parental relationship. This means that the visionary is and has to be prepared to do whatever it takes to fulfil the visionary responsibility that has been thrust upon them by circumstances. At the time the world was beset not by environmental apocalypse, but nation against nation. The religious mindset led straight into an apocalypse and if our history serves us well John the Baptist laid this sense of immediate responsibility onto Yeshua in his baptism.

 

If I were in Yeshua’s time and place, I could easily have taken the same position. In a sense his apprehension was fulfilled, because in 66 CE Armageddon ensued in the holocaust of the siege of Jerusalem, in which Josephus recounts over a million lives were lost, resulting in a Jewish diaspora that still exists to this day. The idea that one should trade one’s mortal life for a renewal of the entire world condition of everyone alive  is a transaction no compassionate being thrust into the visionary vortex can fairly abandon. Indeed today if I thought that my own death could secure the ongoing diversity of immortal life on the planet from risk of extinction, I would be psychologically obliged to do it, because not doing so will not save me from mortality, but condemn the fates of endless others throughout the future. But this is not the way of true redemption.

 

By the end of the first century it had become obvious that Yeshua’s messianic expectation had failed to arrive and the Christian forefathers, in the wake of the Pauline heresy of Hellenistic-Judaism – a form of Judaism in classical antiquity that combined Jewish religious tradition with elements of Greek culture, recrafted Yeshua’s mission in their own image of reality. Hence the infusion of pagan Greek elements into the early Christian accounts pervading both Paul’s writings and those of Luke, who unashamedly wrote his gospel in high Greek. Paul was born Saul in Tarsus, which had been among the most influential cities in Asia Minor since the time of Alexander the Great, who died in 323 BC. Although it is known (from his biography and from Acts) that Paul could and did speak Hebrew, modern scholarship suggests that Koine Greek [63]was his first language. All of Mark, Luke, Matthew and John wrote in Greek, not Hebrew or Aramaic. Luke’s Greek is the highest quality in style of anything in the new testament. This constitutes a frank reconstruction of history to forge a new implicitly fraudulent pagan gentile religion on the assumed basis of Yeshua’s mission and teachings powered by such single-minded conviction that countess martyrs intentionally suffered horrific deaths for no good cause.

 

The Gospel of Thomas also appears to have been originally written in Greek. After the Coptic version of the complete text was discovered in 1945 at Nag Hammadi, scholars realised that three different Greek text fragments previously found at Oxyrhynchus (the Oxyrhynchus Papyri), also in Egypt, were part of the Gospel of Thomas. These three papyrus fragments of Thomas date to between 130 and 250 AD. The manuscript of the Coptic text (CG II), found in 1945 at Nag Hammadi, Egypt, is dated at around 340 AD.

 

This virtual universality of Greek occurs despite the suggestion that some documents, such as the Quelle source, may have originally been written in Aramaic. The transition to Greek happened very early:

 

“[M]issionaries, above all 'Hellenists' driven out of Jerusalem, soon preached their message in the Greek language. We find them in Damascus as early as AD 32 or 33. A certain percentage of Jesus' earliest followers were presumably bilingual and could therefore report, at least in simple Greek, what had been heard and seen. This probably applies to Cephas/Peter, Andrew, Philip or John. Mark, too, who was better educated in Jerusalem than the Galilean fishermen, belonged to this milieu. The great number of phonetically correct Aramaisms and his knowledge of the conditions in Jewish Palestine compel us to assume a Palestinian Jewish- Christian author. Also, the author's Aramaic native language is still discernible in the Marcan style” (Hengel 2005).

 

The earliest Christian writing is 1 Thessalonians, dated circa CE 50. In it Paul's message is to wait and not slumber, for the son of man shall come at any time hence, in the Rapture in the air:

 

"And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. ... Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

 

In the light of our burgeoning knowledge of cosmology, the Rapture in the clouds is a dangerous contrivance. What is both alarming and appalling is that it is now over 2000 years since the Crucifixion and the Christian religion, despite failing to convincingly prove the acid test of veracity by the Fall of Jerusalem in CE 66, which committed virtually the entire generation in Yeshua’s presence to oblivion, has locked itself into a perpetual delay of the Kingdom, claiming a false remit of authority, refusing to honestly admit to humanity the entire edifice of belief is a pagan contrivance, holding imperatively to the claimed status of being the ordained stewards of the Lord’s return in the End of Days, the Day of Judgment, as diabolically described in Revelations multiple genocides. This position is inconsistent with the paradoxical visionary immanence of Yeshua’s own teachings, particularly those in the Gospel of Thomas, and strategically fixes the persona of Yeshua as pagan the Christ Son of God into the portal of reality, in a cosmological lie, preventing any evolution of the tradition through the insight of living people to address the actual needs of humanity and the living planet.

 

Paul's 'rapture', is both completely unnatural, and profoundly dangerous, because it leads to many Christians today imagining the second coming of Jesus as the heavenly rapture in which the 'late planet Earth' is carelessly discarded for an eternal life in mid-air.  This completely frustrates being able to address the apocalyptically urgent questions of avoiding a planetary Armageddon from human misadventure disrupting the climate depleting Earth’s resources and causing a mass extinction of the diversity of life, turning the planet from an immortal paradise into a potentially lethal man-made hell.

 

12.  Transcending the Bacchae: Revelation and Cosmic Annihilation

 

The Bacchae, written by Euripides around 405 BCE, is considered to be not only one of Euripides's greatest tragedies, but also one of the greatest dramatic works ever written, modern or ancient. A clear exception has to be Yeshua’s mission and Crucifixion which has clearly reverberated unparalleled throughout two millennia of blood spilled in the name of Christianity in martyrdom, Crusade, inquisition and witch hunt.

 

The Bacchae recounts in violent detail the slaying of Pentheus by the maenads and the reformation of religious practice in Thebes for not recognising the true divinity of the Son of God. To many Christians it may seem an antithesis of all that is good in Yeshua’s compassionate sayings, but the consequences of the Kingdom coming with power invoked slaughter on a genocidal scale which leaves the single murder in the Bacchae paling to insignificance.

 

Semele, was a princess in the royal Theban house of Cadmus. She had an affair with Zeus, the King of the Gods, and became pregnant. As revenge, Zeus's jealous wife Hera tricked Semele into asking Zeus to appear in his divine form. Zeus, too powerful for a mortal to behold, emerged from the sky as a bolt of lightning and burnt Semele to a cinder. He managed, however, to rescue his unborn son Dionysus and stitched the baby into his thigh. This means that the historical journey of the concept of the Son of God by a mortal woman runs from Dionysus to Yeshua 500 years later.

 

Semele's family claimed that she had been struck by lightning for lying about Zeus and that her child, the product of an illicit human affair, had died with her, maligning her name and rejecting the young god Dionysus. Dionysus arrives in Thebes disguised as the stranger. During Dionysus's absence, Semele's father, Cadmus, had handed the kingdom over to his grandson Pentheus, who decided to forbid the worship of Dionysus. Dionysus tells the audience that when he arrived in Thebes he drove Semele's sisters mad, and they fled to Mt. Cithaeron to worship him and perform his rites on the mountainside. Unconvinced of their divinely-caused insanity, Pentheus sees their drunken cavorting as an illicit attempt to escape the mores and legal codes regulating Theban society. He orders his soldiers to arrest the Lydian stranger and his maenads. He orders Dionysus to be chained, bound and tortured, but Dionysus escapes his bands. Similar stories are told in the Pauline letters. When he tries to tie Dionysus he ties only a bull, and when he plunges a knife into Dionysus. the blade passes only through shadow. Suddenly an earthquake shakes the palace, a fire starts.

 

Dionysus tries to persuade Pentheus to abandon his destructive path, but Pentheus refuses. A cowherd arrives and describes sighting the maddened women of Cadmus seen resting blissfully in the forest, feasting on milk, honey and wine that sprang from the ground. They played music, suckled wild animals and sang and danced with joy. But when they saw the cowherd, they flew into a murderous rage. The cowherd barely escaped, but the herd of cattle was captured and torn apart by hand.

 

Dionysus offers Pentheus a chance to see the maenads for himself, undetected. He agrees to do all Dionysus suggests, dressing himself in a wig and long skirts. Once in the woods, Pentheus cannot see the bacchants from the ground, and wants to mount a tree for a better vantage. Dionysus miraculously bends a tall fir tree, puts Pentheus on top, and gently straightens the tree. At once the maenads see him, and with rolling eyes and frenzied cries the women attack, bringing Pentheus down and dragging him to the ground. His mother Agaue, driven mad by Dionysus, proceeds to rip her son to death and returns home with Pentheus's head in her hands.

 

Cadmus, who knows what has happened, sadly approaches his daughter and Agaue begins to weep. Cadmus remarks that the god has punished the family rightly but excessively. In the end, Dionysus finally appears in his true form to the city. He banishes Agaue from Thebes and ordains that Cadmus and his wife will turn into snakes, destined to invade Greek lands with a horde of barbarians.

 


Fig 157: Left: Greek bowl illustrating the Bacchae and Lazzarini’s Orpheus and the Bacchae. Orpheus is a personification of Dionysus. Right: Memling’s “Day of Judgment”. While in the Bacchae, despite madness and mayhem, only one person is killed, in the Christian version, failing to recognise Yeshua as the Son of God results in genocidal cosmological catastrophe.  

 

Christianity, cast in the apocalyptic traditions of John the Baptist and the desert Essenes, adopted a fully fledged End of Days, with Jesus claiming in the synoptic gospels and John to challenge the devil in a final confrontation, through which he would come to return in power at the right hand of God. The siege of Jerusalem, the Jewish diaspora and the depravities of the Roman emperors subsequently sublimed this picture in Revelation into a view of world history in which Christ would return as the Lord and conqueror of evil in the Millennium and the effective Day of Judgment. Despite the failure of this entire concept over two millennia in the absence of the Lord's return, the spectre of apocalyptic victory in tumult and conflict remains integral to Christian eschatology.

 

Also implicating the Hebrew tradition, there are there are forerunners of this, for example in post-exilic Zechariah (520-518 BCE), looking to the restoration of the Temple, which does have an apocalyptic climax, which however ends in pastoral tranquillity, despite the destruction of the enemies:

 

And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south … And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; ... And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one. All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: ... And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited. And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. ... And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. ... and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.” (Zech 13-14). 

 

Similar passages can be found in Isaiah, Micah, Ezekiel and Jeremiah all ending in the peaceful rule of the Lord.

 

In Daniel, which is believed to have originated as a collection of folktales among the Jewish community in the late 4th to early 3rd centuries BCE, the apocalypse is political in nature, with the "abomination of desolation" identified with Antiochus IV, the king of the Greek Seleucid dynasty, who in 167 BCE, put an end to the practice of a lamb being sacrificed morning and evening, on the altar of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. The visionary chapters of Daniel, chapters 7-12, are said to have been added to reassure Jews that they would survive in the face of this threat.

 

In 66 the Jews rose in revolt against the Romans as their ancestors had once done against Antiochus.  The resulting First Jewish-Roman War ended in 70 CE when the legions of the Roman general Titus surrounded and eventually captured Jerusalem. The city and the temple were razed to the ground, and the only habitation on the site until the first third of the next century was a Roman military camp. According to Josephus this resulted in over 1.1 million deaths. It was against this background that the gospels were written, Mark around 70 CE and Matthew and Luke around 80–85. Mark harks specifically back to Daniel to validate the Kingdom as a prophecy:

 

"But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains: … But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory" (Mark 13:14).

 

In Revelation, ἀποκάλυψις (apokalypsis) this world view is taken to its annihilating cosmological extreme in culminating the Christian bible, although it is still not recognised as such by the Orthodox Church. Ironically it is not the latest work. Traditional sources date it to the reign of Domitian (CE 81–96), in the wake of the siege of Jerusalem.

 

Elaine Pagels (2012) has a detailed insightful analysis, both in terms of a revitalisation of early Christian apocalyptic belief as a result of the tumultuous events of the fall of Jerusalem also highlighting its position in terms of the more Judaic elements of John’s vision whom she describes as a “provincial Jewish prophet”, which brought him into open conflict with Paul over issues of ‘kosher’ purity of food, sexual purity noted in Revelation as ‘virginity’ and sexual relationships with pagan gentiles, in which popularity among the gentiles resulted in a “new religion” emanating from the born-again Paul’s influence overtaking the traditions of the Jewish Christians. This gives an insight into how the formative early movements arose from diverse, conflicting positions, generating their own world views, which have later become ‘canonised’ into scripture now believed to be cosmological fact by believers, but which started out as intense poetic allegories intended to inspire the followers of visionary leaders, each following their own conception.

 

However, dangerously for the current era of planetary crisis, Revelation becomes a fully-fledged apocalyptic fantasy of the triage of all life, amid conflict of nations, in which there are cataclysmic life-devastating cosmological phenomena - a great earthquake where the sun becomes black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon like blood, mixing an eclipse of the sun, an eclipse of the moon and an earthquake. The stars of heaven fall to the Earth, the sky recedes like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island is moved out of place.

 

This takes us straight back to the flat-Earth cosmology of the sabbatical creation. There is no way that the islands and mountains would just move and shake when the stars fall and the sky rolls up. It is  a cosmology in frank conflict with the 13 billion year evolution of the universe full of galaxies and the 3 billion year evolution of the diversity of life. This only makes sense as a conscious nightmare vision, and political hyperbole, not a genuine cosmological event. It is the most extraordinary book of eschatological religious vision ever written, bursting with tumultuous battles and cataclysms, from the beasts of belial, to the avenging Lord, amid tumult and destruction, resulting in the triage of all life and impossibly a triage of the Sun, Moon and stars:

 

“The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up  And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea:  And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed. And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise. (Rev 8). And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths” (Rev 9).

 

Later we see the pregnant woman clothed with the Sun standing on the Moon, who is an apotheosis of the Queen of Heaven, Inanna-Ishtar but also identified by Christians with Mary. Her boy-child, the warlord-to-come, is attacked by a dragon, and taken up to God, precipitating the war in heaven:

“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne” (Rev 12).

 

Fig 158: The woman clothed with the sun and the dragon (William Blake).

 

 

On the other side of the cosmic battle we find the great whore of Babylon, the dark manifestation of the same Inanna-Ishtar Goddess figure:

 

“I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, "mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the Earth". And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration” (Rev 17).

 

Pagels (2012) notes the extraordinary time-suspending notion of eternity:   “Then the angel raised his right hand to heaven, and swore by him who lives forever and ever … There shall be no more time. What use time standing still for eternity is to those in Heaven remains obscure.

 

Elaine Pagels  further notes that many of the motifs, such as the Leviathan have echoes in some of the oldest Biblical passages that predate Genesis:

 

And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads; and on its horns were ten crowns, and on its heads were blasphemous names. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard, its feet were like a bears, and its mouth was like a lions mouth. And the dragon gave it his power and his throne and great authority

 

Thus the author of Psalm 74 praises God for having vanquished Leviathan:

 

God, my king, is from old, working salvation in the earth. You divided the sea by your might; you broke the heads of the dragons in the waters; you crushed the heads of Leviathan; you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.

 

Pagels notes that Israel's storytellers, perhaps to reassure their hearers that God's power is uncontested, morphed the sea monster Tiamat into tehom, the Hebrew term for 'the depths', the primordial sea over which they say that 'wind from God' moved in the beginning”.

 

The cosmic Christ appears as a feudal dictator-Lord of mass destruction treading the Dionysian winepress of revenge:

 

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God” (Rev 19).

 

Unmitigated death and destruction is cast on the unbelievers:

 

“And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh” (Rev 19).

 

As gratuitous violence, Revelation reigns supreme as a vision of destructive planetary apocalypse, that is profoundly dangerous, deceptive and misleading – an unmitigated planetary and cosmological disaster. Religious historians cast this in the light of prophetic beliefs in a time of wars of conquest, and particularly the fall of Jerusalem in 66 CE, by heathens over the true followers of God (Pagels 2012) .

 

However, as long term prophecy to this day and age, it tells of the diabolical violent rule of order of the Lord Son of the God of Creation, over the fecundity of nature, in the complete destruction of Earthly life, cast in the personae of the Great Whore and all the beasts, in which Christianity would move from the wantonly spilled blood of martyrdom, to its adoption as the authoritarian state religion of Rome, and thereby became the religion of dominant empire, leading to the Crusades against another totalitarian religion, albeit in the more compassionate person of Saladin, then the Gnostic Cathars and Albigenses, beliefs spilling out of the Crusades to the Holy Land, through Inquisition and Witch Hunts to the current planetary crises of human exploitation of nature in dominion over it, in climate crisis, the mass extinction of the diversity of life and nuclear mutually assured annihilation, currently being severely tested in the war of Russia on Ukraine, two Orthodox Christian countries. Thus we see a religion of assumed divine order at war with the chaotic fecundity of nature committing a genocide of life amid cosmological conflagration, to achieve the investiture of the avenging Lord of ultimate legislative command, the ultimate Darth Vader of Cosmology, leading to a sandbox replica of the Heavens in a sterile “Holy City” in the sky fashioned through the compete annihilation of the living , in which even the fearful are condemned alongside the murderers:

 

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

 

This is a huge tale of human misadventure in pursuing a false destructive ideology of oppresive order. Yet it contains two pivotal elements the Tree of Life entwined around the throne of the Lamb, giving its Twelve monthly fruit for the healing of the nations and the notion of the sacred marriage, or hieros gamos.  However the sacred marriage is here not that of the true fertility between woman and man as sexual beings that generates the passage of the living generations, but in the corrupted form of the Lamb and the Heavenly Jerusalem, Christ and his Church, falling in the shadow of the dysfunctional marital relationship of Jehovah and the whoring bride Israel, whose ultimate Holy of Holies is sequestered in the metaphor of unrequited love in the Song of Songs: 

 

Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready (Rev 19).  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And there came unto me one of the seven angels and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife (Rev 21).

 

Finally we come to the Tree of Life itself, hidden since the foundation of the world in Eden, still beckoning to our living futures:

 

And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations (Rev 21).

 

Resurrection Revelation  A Song after a brush with death, out of which the idea of planetary resplendence arose.

 

Fig 159: The Tree of Life in the new Jerusalem with the twelve gates, the throne of the lamb, and the twelve monthly fruit for the healing of the nations conflating the transcendent and the physical into a contradictory fantasy (Heavenly Jerusalem from Apocalypse 13th cent).

 

13.  The Human Messianic Tradition

 

The concept of the Christ, Mashiach or ‘anointed one’ in the Jewish tradition is someone who brings about an epoch or paradigm of long-term future goodness, as I learned from a local Rabbi. Before Yeshua's time there were a progression of messianic anointed, principally kings, in contrast both to the prophetic figures of Old Testament history, who were anointers, or protesters in sack cloth and ashes. Each of Saul, David and Solomon were anointed by a priest and and Cyrus the Mede was acclaimed as anointed in the scriptures (Isiah 45). All of these were clearly and unambiguously human men. Both 'messiah' and 'christ' mean 'anointed' in their respective languages, so the key to being a messiah is being anointed either by a priest, by a woman, or by God 'himself' as in the quotation of Isaiah 61 which Yeshua read in Nazareth "the Lord hath anointed me" and which Jane and I read together as woman and man in the name of God and Gaia on the night of millennium Eve on the Mount of Olives.

 

Out of the Old Testament anointed, Solomon shines forth in his kingly splendour, in his religious heroism in establishing the first temple, and in his reputation as having a deep knowledge of the natural and supernatural, from the hyssop that grows out of the wall to the key and seal of the magical arts. He was also above all the consort of the feminine, in the Song of Songs, in the Wisdom of Solomon, in the Wisdom of the Proverbs, in giving the Queen of Sheba all she desired, in his many wives and concubines, and his permissiveness, criticised by the Yahwist prophets for letting his many wives worship the strange deities of their own predilection. He is thus a messiah of fertility and abundance, as well as anointed by a high priest in the religious tradition.

 

In the lead up to Yeshua's mission, there was a growing tradition of Jewish apocalypticism in the shadow of the Zoroastrian renovation cosmology, that led to increasing eschatological expectations of a final end of days confrontation, as articulated in the accounts of prophets such as Zechariah, and in contemporary works such as Enoch and Jubilees. We can also compare Yeshua with contemporaries such as the Essene Teacher of Righteousness, all of whom are regarded by all as human beings. We can compare the cosmic scale of the conflict portrayed between God and Satan surrounding Yeshua's mission with the invectives in the Dead Sea scrolls casting the same kinds of apocalyptic conflict in a more regional and humanly political light in terms of known adversaries. John the Baptist likewise, for all his scorched-Earth apocalyptic rhetoric, is accepted as a human forerunner.

 

Fig 160: Bar Kochba Knesset Menorah detail

 

Since Yeshua, in the Jewish tradition there have been a succession of human messiahs, most or all of which have been a source of lamentation to Jewish people. A century after Yeshua, Bar Kochba was anointed by Rabbi Akiva [64] who brought about the final diaspora of the Jewish people in the last futile resistance to the Romans. For his pains, Akiva, was tortured and executed along with nine other prominent Rabbis by the Romans, after revolt of bar Kochba, whose name means "son of a star" following Numbers 'prophecy' 14:7 that "a star shall shoot out of Jacob" died, apparently strangled by a snake after the final battle of Betar. Thus we can see Jesus is not the only one, by any means, anointed, or anointer, to give his life for the cause.

 

Both Yeshua's and bar Kochba's missions can be seen in the Jewish two-messiah model of a Josephic messiah who dies followed by a prophesied Davidic messiah who is victorious. Jesus is Yeshua ben Joseph and died claiming to return in an eschatological parousia disconnecting from the limitations of Jewish descent of traditional law. Great effort nevertheless went into demonstrating his Davidic connection, e.g. with Bethlehem. Later Maimonides expanded this concept into a set of almost impossible criteria, including bearing the long lost lineage of David, rebuilding the temple and regathering the diaspora.

 

The 15th and 16th centuries account several Jewish messiahs, including David Re'uveni and Shlomo Molkho who was burned at the stake. The latter influenced two messiahs from Tsvat in Galilee, Isaac Luria and his successor Hayim Vital. Luria's new phrasing of the Kabbalistic myth of the Zohar provided for a cosmic rescue mission to be carried out by the messiah and newly endowed the messiah with the ability to determine the nature of the individual soul and human deeds in the effort.

 

Fig 161: Shabbati Zevi

 

By far the largest messianic event influencing those to follow and causing continuing ferment and interest internationally was the messiahship of Shabbati Zevi who led a Jewish expedition eastward from Europe but was imprisoned in Turkey and apostatised to Islam. This began a tradition of duplicitous conversion in which successive messiahs extended the antinomian theme, culminating in Isaac Frank who espoused mysticism and sexual liberation opposed rabbinical teachings and whose daughter become the only female Jewish messiah in his stead. Following this, a line of Hassidic messiahs, begins with Israel ben Eliezer and continues in the messianic following of Menachem Mendel Schneersohn today. The uneven fates and fortunes and angst induced by messianic personalities has in turn led to much pain and a loss of confidence in the messianic persona on the part of Jewish people, faced with both the holocaust and flux and change both in the New World and in the fortunes of secular Zionism in the 'Holy Land'.

 

What this parade of messiahs show is that the messianic tradition is one of human innovators and that the elevation of Yeshua to a man-God status is a disconnection from the messianic tradition into pagan beliefs in a super-human hero, characterised more closely by the fertility deities who bridge the realm between the sacred king and the personified god in roles such as Adonis, Tammuz and Dionysus, all of which are human heroes grown into deities associated with death and regeneration, and their projection onto the end of days revelation of the day of judgment, in the son of humanity coming in power, and the personae of Quranic Isa (Jesus/Esau reflecting Nabatean connections) and the mahdi in Shi'ite Islam.

 

There is a central problem with the idea that God the Father should choose the time and place of Yeshua to pronounce his only begotten son should be sacrificed in a final struggle with Satan to end the dysphoria that began with the mythical Fall in Eden. Why then, over one of many rumblings of civilisation and empire, albeit that of Jerusalem, and not now, since it is now that we have discovered the means of total nuclear annihilation and are laying waste to the planet in a mass extinction on a scale likely to reverberate over evolutionary time scales of millions of years?

 

The answer lies in the social history and the evolution of religious ideas of a God acting in history and the confluence of the Zoroastrian concept of a final renovation with an increasingly apocalyptic Yahwistic following coming out of the Exile, and its subsequent overthrow by Cyrus and his favour for the Jews. This confluence came about neither from a cosmic God of the universe with a psychopathic jealousy and a tunnel vision for Zion, nor from a local God of history alone, but the collision, ferment and fertilisation of human religious imagination through cultural interaction.


14.  Ecocrisis, Sexual Reunion and the Tree of Life

 

Fig 162: The Evolutionary Tree of Life showing its extreme age noting the mass extinctions which have ravaged it.

 

The Tree of Life, connecting all forms of creation, and the Tree of Knowledge, connecting to heaven and the underworld, and are both forms of the world tree or cosmic tree, portrayed in diverse religions as the same tree. Uniquely, the Eden origin sets these two trees in opposition withholding the Tree of Life which conferred immortality from Adam and Eve because they had become aware of their sexuality. This is little more than a device of the patriarchy to blame woman for sexual fertility. The seven branched fruiting Tree of Life, as depicted in fig 147 at 2200 BC is far more ancient than Biblical Eden. The life tree  has been revered throughout the ancient cultures of the Near East as a symbol of perennial survival, as also noted in fig 163, but underlying this faith is an even more ancient truth going back to our gatherer-hunter origins in the genetic Tree of Life – the immortal Tree of Evolution of living diversity, upon which Homo sapiens is utterly dependent as a species, for our food, many of our medicines, for the air we breathe and the balance of the climate and the entire verdant paradise that Earth is capable of being in perpetuity if we don’t critically injure it or allow an ill fate to befall it.

 

But the shoots and whole branches of the Tree are being cast into the fire of mass extinction by human misadventure. This is the most climactic crisis to face humanity in evolutionary time and it is one the traditional religions, despite attempts by some church leaders to address, are tragically ill-equipped to deal with, because the founding presumption of patriarchal monotheism is that nature is a flawed creation of God, doomed by moral sinfulness, that will be discarded in favour of eternal life in Heaven if we believe in Him, but if we do not the fires of Hell await us.

 

Fig 163: Assyrian Sacred Tree 865 860 BC Ashurnasirpal II

 

There is thus an acute reason, driven by sheer urgent necessity, to address the obstruction Christianity and other patriarchal world religions are causing to the planetary condition and unfold an epoch of planetary resplendence, in which the climax diversity of life can reflower. The planet is genuinely facing an apocalyptic crisis because a combination of business-as-usual exploitation of the Earth’s habitat and climate and archaic religions based on patriarchal religious and moral imperatives, amid scorched-Earth desert eschatologies, is precipitating a mass extinction of the diversity of life which could also result in perpetual human attrition, or our actual extinction, while our only true redemption is to regain the immortal conddition life and with it humanity has enjoyed for 3.5 billion years of Earthly Paradise. This is a far more ancient crisis that is foreshadowed in the Fall from Eden, and has emerged with humanity in evolutionary time in the transition from gatherer-hunter existence within nature into urban civilisation and empire in dominion over it, with resulting habitat destruction and potentially irreversible climatic disruption and it can be resolved only by restoring the immortal paradigm of life as a whole.

 

Christianity is pivotally at fault because it has contrived an eschatology of history to make the planetary future subject to the return of a miraculous man-God whose powers are so extreme over the entire universe as to make it difficult or impossible to correct the fallacy and for any true enlightenment about our actual cosmological condition to prevail.

 

The status of nature in Christianity has been hotly debated, especially since historian Lynn White published the now classic "The historical roots of present-day ecologic crisis" (1967) in which Christianity is blamed for the modern environmental crisis, which he concludes is largely due to the dominance of Christian world-view in the west which is exploitative of nature in an unsustainable manner. White asserts that Judeo-Christians are anti-ecological, hostile towards nature, imposed a break between human and nature with attitude to exploit the nature in unsustainable way where people stopped thinking of themselves as part of the nature. This exploitative attitude combined with the new technology and industrial revolution wrecked havoc on the ecology. Colonial forestry is a prime example of this destruction of ecology and native faiths.

 

Although we are each mortal sexual beings, unfolding life is immortal.  As a biological species, we are utterly dependent on the genetic and species diversity of life, for our food, for our climate and environment, for our health and medicines and for a sustainable economic future. This is the principle of cosmological symbiosis that the Judeo-Christian notion of dominion over nature stemming from Genesis has instead made a tragedy of the commons (Hardin 1968).  But this is not the teachings of Yeshua we find in the Gospel of Thomas (3):

 

"If those who lead you say to you, 'See, the kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you.
If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you.”

 

Biocrisis and the Patriarchal Imperative

 

The Fall from Eden echoes in metaphor a descent from Paradisiacal gatherer-hunter existence into the tortured labours of tribal agrarian and shepherding societies. It signals two occluded founding features of our conscious heritage:

 

(1)   Cultural Biocrisis: It declares the conversion of Paradise into human conflict with nature, tilling the thorns by the sweat of the brow, dominating nature rather than coexisting with it, and the Tree of Life imprisoned by God to retain his power over mortal knowledge.
 

(2)   Patriarchal Oppression: It confesses in stark terms, a deep sexual falling out between woman and man in which the cultural patriarchy (Lerner 1996) has blamed Eve “the mother of all living” (Gen 3.20) for the Fall, by  for heeding the serpent’s claim that the tree of knowledge would make one wise, so woman was cursed and made subservient to her husband, under pain of childbirth and both are doomed to mortal sexual existence.

 

These questions are fully covered in the associated sections on the evolution of humanity, and religion where the emergence of super-intelligence is linked to female reproductive choice in XY-chromosome based mammalian evolution and the severe consequences of the patriarchal dominance emerging 10,000 years ago is discussed as well as the evolution of religion from animism and the social consequences of religious violence, particularly against woman and nature is discussed in full.

 

The Evolving Human Phenotype:

Science, Religion and Gene-Culture Coevolution

 

Origin Myths, Human Dominion over Nature and  Patriarchal Dominion over Woman

 

Fig 164: The Sabbatical creation is a flat Earth cosmology in which the heavens are beaten domes (firmaments) in which the sun moon and stars are fixed and the plants are created before the heavenly bodies.

 

In the Sabbatical Creation of Genesis 1 ‘Elohim creates humanity female and male in their likeness.

 

On the first day “Elohim (God in the male plural) creates Earth from primal chaos (tohu va vohu) and light and darkness by Logos declaration:

 

In the beginning 'Elohim created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of 'Elohim moved upon the face of the waters. And 'Elohim said, Let there be light: and there was light. And 'Elohim called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

 

The second day a firmament (beaten dome) is created called heaven dividing the waters above heaven from the waters below:

 

And 'Elohim said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And 'Elohim made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And 'Elohim called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

 

The third day land and seas are divided and the earthy plants come into being:

 

And 'Elohim said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And 'Elohim called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and 'Elohim saw that it was good. And 'Elohim said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the evening and the morning were the third day.

 

The fourth day, we find the Sum, Moon and Stars:

 

And 'Elohim said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And 'Elohim made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

 

The fifth day we have the creatures of the water and air – fishes and fowls:

 

And 'Elohim said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And 'Elohim created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and 'Elohim saw that it was good. And 'Elohim blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

 

The sixth day is very busy – all the land animals  appear, and as if an afterthought, 'Elohim makes humanity male and female in “our likeness”, implying the 'Elohim is indeed a male and female divine couple:

 

And 'Elohim said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And 'Elohim made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and 'Elohim saw that it was good.

 

And 'Elohim said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So 'Elohim created man in his own image, in the image of 'Elohim created he him; male and female created he them.

 

Then there is a sting in the tail of paradise, because humanity is given dominion over all living things to replenish and subdue the earth. Humanity has taken subduing nature to heart, but is manifestly failing to replenish it, so the covenant of dominion has been grievously violated. Dominion in the Hebrew radah is that of a benevolent leader, but it is not right for humanity to act as divine regents over the diversity of living nature, our survival lies in being symbiotic guardians of planetary life.

 

 And 'Elohim blessed them, and 'Elohim said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And 'Elohim said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. And 'Elohim saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

 

Finally, on the seventh day, “Elohim rests on the Sabbath setting up the religious paradigm:

 

And on the seventh day 'Elohim ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And 'Elohim blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which 'Elohim created and made.

 

This is a very beautiful creation myth, founded on the formation of complements, light and dark, waters above and below, day and night, female and male. It teaches that both sexes are in the likeness of the divine and that, while humanity is granted dominion over nature, this is not just to subdue, but to replenish the Earth and its living diversity. Moreover, it is not a literal creation that is any kind of justification to deny natural evolution. There are manifold inconsistencies. The Earth and land plants are incorrectly created before the Sun and Moon and the fishes and birds before earthly fauna. The stars are not fixed in a beaten dome, and the heavens are not a lid on the flat Earth, but outer space filled with galaxies containing billions of suns. Neither are the six days in any way meaningful, nor the notion of a recent creation some 4000 years ago.

 

In the Fall from Eden account Yahweh wanders in the garden from which a mist has watered the Earth.  He creates Adam from the dust of the ground, and breathes into his nostrils the breath of life and he becomes  a living soul. But then having made Eve from Adam’s rib, Yahweh curses woman for eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge and withholds the Tree of Life:

 

Fig 165: Brothers Limbourg “Garden of Eden”

 

Unto the woman he said, “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee”.

 

And unto Adam he said, “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return”.

 

And the LORD God said, “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life”.

 

 

 

This is also reflected in Jacob imposing patriarchy against the older matrilocal tradition of Laban (Sanday 1981), who notes his kinship with Jacob (29:15). The seven years Jacob spent with Laban for each wife, living with the family of his wives indicates the line of Laban gave matrilinealpower to the son of the mother over his daughters’ endogamous partners (Gen 30:26), and to his sons (Gen 31:1).

 

Nancy Jay (1992) notes that moving to the family of the wife is consistent with the injunction in Genesis to leave your father and mother and cleave unto your wifeand with Jewish marriage practice to go into the wife's tent, resulting in paradoxes of descent in early patriarchal traditions of the tribes of Israel:  

 

Israelite tradition did not deny descent from women and consequently faced the dilemma: How is a pure and eternal patriline to be maintained if descent from women is not denied? Endogamy appears to be a solution; marriage to a woman of the same patrilineage ensures the offsprings' patrilineage membership even if it is figured through the mother. Close agnatic endogamy (marriage within the patriline) is extremely rare except in Semitic traditions. In a way reminiscent of the Patriarchs, throughout the Arab world families have preferred men to marry their father's brother's daughters. The descent line of the Patriarchs continued only through endogamy: Isaac and Jacob (but not Ishmael) married endogamously. Joseph married exogamously but his sons were adopted by Jacob, correcting this, and other, irregularities of their descent”. ... “for Jacob entangled in the local “matrilineal” scene a sister’s son working for his mother’s brother married uxorilocally and avunculocally to his mother’s brother’s daughter could not escape for twenty years” … “What is determined by bequeathal of the gods is not title to an inheritance share but, rather, who is to carry on as paterfamilias ... Hence Rachel's desire to possess the gods of Laban, if it meant anything in this connection, could mean only that she wished Jacob to be recognized as paterfamilias after Laban's death”

 

Is there any portion or inheritance left to us? Are we not counted of him strangers?  

for he hath sold us, and hath quite devoured also our money. (Gen 31:14)

 

 

Fig 166: Although the three generations from Abraham to Joseph appear to have covered 700 years of history, making the genealogy of the 12 tribes mythological rather than historical, the peculiar tradition of frequent endogamous marriages which preserve both maternal and paternal lines is consistent with a slow transition from matriarchy (Jay 94). Sarah “queen” or “princess" in Hebrew is portrayed as the concubine of a pharaoh doubling as the sister and secret spouse of Abraham (Gen 12:15), while also his half-sister (Gen 20:12) as is Rebecca with Isaac and a Philistine king (Gen 26:6).  Laban is also Rebecca’s brother (Gen 24:29), so Jacob’s marriages to Rachel and Leah are with full cousins.

 

 

 

This was climaxed by Jacob’s precipitate departure, portrayed as abetted by Rachel and Leah, utilising the metaphor of female compliance. As they are leaving, Rachel steals her family teraphim, or house deities. She then hides them under her skirts, to avoid Laban finding them, when they are pursued. The end result is a pointed capture of the older tradition by the Hebrew patriarchy, using Rachel’s menstrual skirts to cement woman’s compliance with the matrilocal overthrow:

Now Rachel had taken the images, and put them in the camel's furniture, and sat upon them.

And Laban searched all the tent, but found them not. And she said to her father,

Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise up before thee;

for the custom of women is upon me. And he searched but found not the images (Gen 31:34).

 

Conflicting paternal and maternal conceptions can also be made out in the patriarchal blessing of the firstborn, (1) a socio-legal one, which assigned exceptional status to the first male in the paternal line – “the first fruit of vigor” (Gen. 49:3, Deut. 21:17), and (2) a religious one, which assigned special status to the first male issue of the maternal line – “the first issue of the womb” (Ex. 13:2-15, Num. 8:16).

 

More ancient influences than the biblical can also be seen in the spiritual and religious beliefs of our oldest surviving culture of the San Bushmen, a founding human culture, in genetic, evolutionary and archaeological terms, whose historical presence goes back over 100,000 years and whose ancestor, the mitochondrial Eve is literally the “mother of all living” (Fielder & King 2017). Although over the course of the last two millennia, the San may have had contact with other religious influences, their cosmology and deities have a fresh founding quality, just as engaging as Genesis 1. In addition to their trickster heros and first person experience of the numinous in the trance dance, the Bushmen believe in the existence of two gods: a greater god manifesting the creative force and a lesser god invoking the malevolent forces of uncertainty and misfortune, each with a shadowy consort, but having little of the moral imperative seen in more recent religious traditions including monotheism.

 

In “Nisa” (1981) Marjorie Shostak provides an engaging detailed portrait of a !Kung San woman, her sexual relationships with men and her trials of familial life. What emerges from this account is the life of a spirited woman who throughout struggles to maintain her autonomy of choice over her life in a nominally patriarchal society in which the headmen would like to assert a patriarchal imperative, but in which the society has remained remarkably free of the oppressive influences of civilisation succeeding the agricultural revolution which itself was discovered by female gatherers, thus having remarkable similarities to features of sexual relations Western society is only recently re-engaging. We cannot thus assume that history dictates the dominance of patriarchy.

 

The Origins and Redemption of Religion in the Weltanshauung

 

Underlying religious history is a deeper evolving substratum of implicit beliefs at a subconscious level that deeply influences and cross-fertilises religious movements. This casts religion, and before religion animism, in a much older setting as a stream of consciousness mind set evoking images of  human origins, creation of the universe and the relationship between humanity and the deities we invoke to explain existence.

 

We can see this in the creation myths across diverse cultures, in the Fall from Eden and in the progression from older belief in Sheol and nature deities into the stark division of Heaven and Hell and traumatic notions of eschatological renovation in the end of days.

 

Carl Jung has drawn attention to these deeper undercurrents in his concept of the collective unconsciousness:

 

“In addition to our immediate consciousness, which is of a thoroughly personal nature and which we believe to be the only empirical psyche (even if we tack on the personal unconscious as an appendix), there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals. This collective unconscious does not develop individually but is inherited. It consists of pre-existent forms, the archetypes, which can only become conscious secondarily and which give definite form to certain psychic contents”.

 

Jung’s view of the collective unconscious comprises in itself the psychic life of our ancestors right back to the earliest beginnings. It is the matrix of all conscious psychic occurrences, which exerts an influence that affects the freedom of consciousness, since it is continually striving to lead all conscious processes back into ancient motifs and experiences.

Jung described archetypes as imprints of momentous or frequently recurring situations in the lengthy human past:

 

“Archetypes are typical modes of apprehension, and wherever we meet with uniform and regularly recurring modes of apprehension we are dealing with an archetype, no matter whether its mythological character is recognized or not”.

 

Joseph Campbell in turn presented a mythopoetic account of spiritual and religious traditions across cultures in which aspects of Yeshua's mission, rather than being confined to the Jewish influences, has a wider backdrop in the persona of dying and resurrecting heroes from Adonis, through Tammuz, to Dionysus, sometimes arising as deified leaders. While I don’t personally hold to this view, it appears to have influenced the writers of the canonical gospels and the founding accounts of Yahwistic Genesis.

 

The entire religious quest  is underpinned by the Weltanschauung (James 1868) the deeper world view, that originates from the unique world experience of a people, ensuing over several millennia, also expressed in their language and more anciently in the diverse forms of animism that preceded formal religions I have underscored the Weltanshauung of Immortality as the founding conscious world view of humans during our emergence, that has now become an urgent quest to redeem humanity from the immanent mass extinction of living diversity. This now becomes the light of resplendence for life as a whole that redeems the apocalyptic tragedy of the religious imperative and enables humanity to find redemption in reflowering the Tree of Life of the evolving biosphere.

 

Given a planetary condition of environmental apocalypse that is a threat to our own survival and that of the diversity of life as a whole, it becomes essential to look deeply into the collective unconscious for the driving forces. Clearly both religion and business as usual exploitation are driving this, but our knowledge of the natural world remains powerless to address a situation that  we all feel disquieted by because it is unable to fathom that nature of consciousness that is central to religious belief. A combination of human tribal motivations that evolved to ensure human dominance accentuated by archaic religious conceptions whose doctrines have the same intent of ensuring perpetual dominance of religious belief, both by moral imperative and dire penalties, such as death for apostasy means everyone knows the situation is insane but no one knows how, or what to actually do about it.

 

The one and only way of addressing this is to induce a foundational change in the religious zeitgeist that addresses the root cause hidden behind the religious facade. Symbiotic Existential Cosmology and the Weltanshauung of Immortality provide that hope of a paradigm transformation just like the one that happened at the beginning of Christianity but coupled to the Sacred reunion of woman and man and repositioning the eternal Heaven-Hell divide with the immortal generations of life in Earthly Paradise in the epoch of the Tree of Life. This is the only way a long-term epoch of future goodness can ensue in the religious tradition.

 

The Cristo Rey Communicado Rio Madeira, Brazil 1999

 

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets, but to fulfil.

 

Paradiso and Inferno

 

I begin this hymn to the regeneration of life in night vigil amid relentless tropical lightning, reclining in a hammock on the Conquista, a river boat to Manaus, in consummation of a long series of journeys along many rivers from the very source of the Amazon in sedge swamps in the high altiplano, through the alto-Urubamba, past the precipitous peaks surrounding Machu Picchu, the white-water rapids of the Pongo de Mainique, the last wild portal of the Andes, to that anaconda, the muddy, log-strewn Ucayali, winding its way relentlessly north for many days, to become at first the Peruvian Amazon at the junction of the Maranon, amid the lagoons and meanders of the Pacaya and Samiria, only to become deposed again to the Brazilian Solimões, now ever-larger, sweeping steadily under the hull of the river boat as it cuts its way towards Manaus and the final confluence with the clearer, darker Rio Negro, where the mighty Amazon will finally and unambiguously wind it's way unchallenged to the Atlantic Ocean.

 

Fires in the dry tropical forest in the vicinity of Ascension which also had fifty houses burned a month before by raging uncontrolled fires set by hacienda owners.

 

Of course all the tributaries, from the Mamoré to the Madre de Dios, Mother of God, from the Negro to the Napo, are Amazonas in the integral whole, just as la selva, the forest and its ecological diversity of plants, fungi and animals is the verdant Amazonas - the largest tropical forest on Earth, literally the lungs of our living planet, fashioned from over 250 million years ago, as the Andes began to push upward, reversing the westward river flow of the original continental valley that had from time immemorial flowed to the Pacific, to form the world's hugest river basin, as the giant shallow lake spanning almost the whole of the South American continent finally broke through to the Atlantic in the East.

 

Yet the Amazon is unique neither in its diversity nor in the destruction taking place. Diversity is threatened todo mundo - the world over - by a mass extinction which will haunt human civilisation throughout the rest of our fragile history, unless we can take the steps now to plant the seeds of renewal. Hence this hymn to life.

 

Vistas negro: The panorama of instant death. The burning of dry tropical forest in Bolivia,  September 1999 for hacienda agribusiness development.

 

The rivers we traverse form an endlessly flowing highway, bordered by thatched villages with their attendant gardens and small plantations, mingling natural harmony with forest destruction, sometimes living closely in cooperation with the natural world, but nevertheless on a vast scale taming and forever changing the face of the forest along every river bank, because of the mass movement of population into the jungle, diminishing or eliminating many keystone species, from the seed-eating fish such as the great paiche to the the tall hardwoods, such as the stately mahogany, and with them the many other dimensions of climax forest diversity, as the secondary growth of a few dominant species lays claim to areas cleared of virgin forest too extensive to regenerate in full diversity.

 

Many indigenous peoples have learned how to live in close proximity with nature over countless centuries, without causing massive wholesale destruction, although it is true that the first waves of migration of 'primitive' humankind did cause the demise of many of the America's great land animals. Many village societies today do demonstrate how it is possible to live in cooperation with natural diversity and reap, through nurturing it, the benefits of abundant food, diverse medicines and many natural products which enhance the quality of life both at home and in far-flung urban societies. It is from such village culture that a more compassionate relationship with the natural world already made by many indigenous peoples and can be engaged and celebrated by an enlightened eco-society. It is also possible to have a productive world with genuine abundance for all without wholesale destruction of the world's great wilderness areas, given a fairness of distribution of resources to those in genuine need. Currently, for example, there is up to 50% more food produced world-wide than required to feed every man woman and child, so the real problem is fair distribution, clouded by ownership and property rights and who pays the distribution costs.

 


A village on the Ucayali where our canoe stopped to trade.

 

However, unrestrained developmental forces are encroaching upon the landscape from all directions with an ever accelerating pace of wholesale devastation, which could see the great forest resources of living diversity reduced to a few national parks, comprising only a tenth of their former area, before the end of next century. If this happens, as current rates of felling and burning indicate, two thirds of the living diversity of planet Earth could become extinct by 2100. Much of this drive for extinction is abetted by international financial pressures, but it is also comes from a deep misunderstanding of humanity's relationship with nature, fuelled by personal greed.

 

Miracle and Paradise: The Rains of Plenty

 

Our river journey has now taken an unforeseen twist. Upon reaching Manaus, we have decided to turn south up the Rio Madeira towards Port Vehlo and the devastation of Rondonia and Acre by taking the Cristo Rey, a boat which is my very namesake. This will leave open three possibilities to turn East and cross to Rio possibly via the Pantanal, to carry on south up the Rio Madre de Dios - Mother of God and traverse the wild north of Bolivia back into Peru and possibly Manu and to continue on by road to Rio Branco and Xapuri where Chico Mendes was assassinated. As the thunder rolls again and the boat has run aground, turned around and is travelling west. None of us can be sure of the outcome.

 

If this is the bearer of the logos of reality shouldn't it be accompanied by miraculous portents? Yes and no. To bring off the renewal of the epoch of paradise will be a miracle orders of magnitude beyond anything Jesus himself achieved in his lifetime. On the other hand Jesus himself, was a well-known thaumaturge of the therapeutae. His reputation for miracle thrived on the hypnotic hysterical atmosphere of crowd hysteria and evaporated in the harsh light of familiarity as the comments about his performance in his own home town of Nazareth illustrate. Comments ranged from "physician heal thyself" to commenting that he could only perform a few simple healings because of the lack of faith of his compatriots. Faith healing is a common shamanistic skill shared by many famous healers throughout history. As for Jesus claimed nature miracles on the waters of Galilee, wait for the lightning to strike.

 

Lightning strike at Borba

 

It just did as I spoke. In Borba, a city on the Rio Madeira with a church sporting San Antonio holding a child. Of course lightning strikes with tenacious frequency at sunset, as all rain-makers of the desert know. The Amazon is no exception. We have been besieged by thunder and lightning everywhere we have travelled. Take this as a verdant sign of healing rain if you will. Right now it is spring time and the beginning of the rainy season in the Amazon where we are, just south of the equator. The choice for life's diversity is after all yours.

 

In the last analysis I am pronouncing this Logos, not because I like or pretend to the role, which is dangerous, despite the fact that it comes as a victorious healing of life rather than the Crucifixion's atonement of death, but simply because I can't fairly depart from this incarnation and return to the cosmic source knowing the Earth is in its unique hour of need culminating the whole of evolutionary time leading up to the 'phenomenon of man' as Teilhard de Chardin put it, that despite the enormity of scientific discovery we are entering the space age adrift, steered like a rudderless ark by irrational forces of economic greed, plunging us into a global eco-crisis, through severe lack of foresight, and no respect for the future generations to follow. We all know this situation is insane yet none of us can figure quite what to do about it. We have become disempowered. When one human being can stand and declare the truth of an insane society heading for the precipice of oblivion, it is time to stop and take stock. Judge this communication by its works. Which makes more sense, a world developing towards its own boom and bust decline through institutionalised personal greed, or the vision of the lone ferryman of the Styx, with a tongue like a sharp sword, holding the tiller of fate fast for the Tree of Life?

 

Central to revisioning the cultural paradigm is regaining our sense of genetic continuity in the evolving of life's diversity. The paradigm of the Fall has led to an epoch of dominion over nature in which the continuity of life has not been respected as a prime cosmological sacred responsibility. The tendency to see God as an agent of order over chaos, and of man over woman, has led to the frank repression of natural diversity in the form of wilderness in superimposing a humanly-devised order. It is time to revere nature as sacred in renewing Earth for the future flowering of all life which shall follow. There can be no greater celebration. All the generations to follow shall call us blessed and hallow our names for this.

 

The key affirmations of the logos are very different from the assumptions of traditional religion. They espouse cosmology, sexuality, biology, consciousness, evolution and the preservation of life's diversity over cosmic time in a great flowering of life. They embrace gnostic insight and shamanistic illumination using the visionary power plant sacraments rather than traditional forms of worship. They pronounce liberation from poverty, and from corporate exploitation and from the oppression of moral edict and even the law of order. They unveil the epoch of the Tree of Life in the ending of traditional religion in the renewal of the ethic of true love, sacred marriage of woman and man unrestrained by moral confines. An explosive mixture at critical mass, yet poetic, natural justice in the healing of humanity's cosmic future.

 

"'Tell us what the kingdom of heaven is like.'

He said to them, 'It is like a mustard seed. It is the smallest of all seeds.

But when it falls on tilled soil, it produces a great plant and becomes a shelter for birds of the sky.'"

Gospel of Thomas

 

The Tree hidden since the foundation of the world behind a flaming sword in Eden, by a jealous God.
Revealed again by evolutionary science. That Truth is the Tree of Living Diversity,
in whose branches our immortal survival is enshrined, throughout our generations forever.

Cristo Rey Sep 2022.

 

Revival in Tierra de Vera Cruz

 

On the Conquista and the Cristo Rey, almost everyone is in the throes of a Christian revival which is blowing in the wind across Latin America. Several of the crew are born again - amicable but committed to spreading the word that Jesus saves. Many people sing religious hymns loudly. Everyone wants to know what denomination you come from. A woman is studiously leafing through Biblical Apokalypsis beside me as I write. A more intellectual looking man is reading "Hermenutica". Another young man is poring over a Portuguese comic of the New Testament. Direct simplicity of belief conveyed in Jesus saves, Christ loves you. Christ is coming soon! - Jesu salvae. Cristo te ama. Cristo viene pronto! - as scrawled in white paint on the rock faces of the mountain pases out of La Paz. The question that continues to smoulder in my mind as I move through the Amazonas is "Can this ocean of spiritual belief, the historical endowment of the Western cultural tradition to the Garden, corpus Christianity as a social movement of transformative love, be tapped to seed a renewal of humanity's relationship with nature?”

 

Julio Cañari Alvarado with the Virgin on the Cristo Rey

 

To those that would decry the intrusion into the ecological arena of an old style religion which has rejected evolution, treats nature as abhorrent and diabolical and opts for a naive divine creation of a universe only a few thousand years old, I reply that where the great gardens of Earth's living diversity lie are also populations following major world religions, that saving life's diversity is not just a scientific or even rational question, because the Earth stands before us much like an artist's palette, that because the Church is a river to her people, infiltrating every town and village far into the jungle, given a wind of change to fulfil the destiny of the Tree of Life, she too can become a flood tide for renewal of life's diversity, by appealing to human altruism and love in a way which science never can on logical grounds alone.

 

There is no logical or scientific way alone to save the ecology of the planet. Indeed, Bertrand Russel has pointed out that science itself preaches that life is meaningless in a universe of utterly immense violent forces and that only the cosmic heat death awaits those intrepid ones who would venture into the black hole of intellectual honesty. This dilemma of science - that it has no net ethical content - means that science can be used equally for healing our planet's ecology or reducing it to a fragile genetically-engineered nightmare - for every committed ecologist there is an unscrupulous corporate genetic engineer. The choices are creative and have to do with love and inspiration not simply scientific logic.

 

Although the evolutionary process will be with us as long as there is life on Earth and humanity may pass away through accident or misadventure long beforehand, we have gained such powers to alter the living face of the planet that is its now only through our love and creative vision that the planet will in the short term become whole again. This is a creative process of free choice which goes far beyond the rational and scientific. In so far as love and social justice have a meaning they are also the key to the future of life's diversity. Great social movements, the Christian church included, have a key part to play because they can give people the will, love and ethical commitment to share and protect Earth's living resources for the greater good.

 


 

A Millennial World Vigil for the Tree of Life

 

During a sacred mushroom velada in the 1980s, I had a sudden epiphany that, if the world hadn’t resolved the world’s biodiversity  and climate crises by the millennium in 2000, I should make a sabbatical vigil to the Amazon as Earth’s natural Eden of tooth and claw and to Yerushalayim as our historical religious nexus point, to pronounce the Sacred Reunion of woman and man under the immortal banner of the Tree of Life, that other tree hidden since the foundation of the world by a flaming sword in Genesis [65].

 

With the world in a state of unmitigated short-term thinking amid bouts of genocidal conflict and no sign of a cohesive agreement to preserve biological diversity, let alone avoid a hard landing caused by human impact and climate change, I managed to secure another academic sabbatical to do a biodiversity field study of human impact in the Amazon in 1999 and to attend a millennial celebration in Jerusalem at the end of the year (King 2017).

 

The aim was not to evoke an apocalyptic climax, but to make a careful discrete mark in history in a rite of passage declaring that after 2000 years of unfulfilled waiting, the time had come for a true unveiling of the reunion of the female and male sexes of humanity under the immortally perennial banner of the Tree of Life. So we enacted a simple root set of ritual transformations. This is not to fulfil the Christian world view in a second coming, but to make a paradigm shift to an immortally sustainable human future. Scientific discovery has occurred because science has remained open to new theories and ideas which overturn existing assumptions. Key to scientific veracity is the sceptical principle that nothing is proven true until verifiable, in diametrical opposition to religion which is socially addicted to affirmative belief as the pillar of true faith. Archaic religions are urgently in need of a root paradigm shift but place formidable obstacles in the way. Christianity has invested in a miraculous saviour whom no one can unravel because the miraculous construction of the saviour prevents progress under threat of eternal torment or inquisition as a heretic. Islam likewise pronounces death both for apostasy and for any new prophet arising as the Bahai faith shows.

 

Fig 167: Rock painting with French kiss (Tanum Sweden), rock carving c 10,000 BC Europe , Negev Desert  Catal Huyouk: The hieros gamos, leading to progeny. The courtship of the planter queen Inanna and the shepherd king Dumuzi (Wolkenstein and Kramer).

 

A key feature of the apocalyptic epoch is the fact that, while the Judeo-Christian idea of apocalypse is the expectation of an imminent cosmic cataclysm, in which God destroys the ruling powers of evil and raises the righteous to life in a messianic kingdom, a prophetic revelation, or a great disaster, the true meaning is “unveiling” Gk apo- “un” + kaluptein “cover”, that is a sacred marriage. The entire period has been one of patriarchal domination, in which woman was cursed and social patterns involving the matriarchy and female reproductive choice were violently repressed. We can thus see that reflowering apocalypse is centrally about the sacred reunion the ancient hieros gamos [66] celebrated since the dawn of time in the fertility of woman and man personified in Goddess and God, leading to fertile offspring.

 

This is where the balance of human visions of the future come together in a species where sex wars have always been a reality of the asymmetric prisoners' dilemma of our sexes, because of the huge investment of the female in a pregnancy which leaves her vulnerable and travail for months, the potential risks to life of delivering a large head, and years of lactation and early child-rearing. Humans are at an effective extreme of mammals, only 3% of whom are socially (but not in general genetically) monogamous for the same reasons.

 

Fig 168: Jane anoints Chris with olive oil from Jericho  in the old wastes at the Tomb of Lazarus in Bethany and Chris(t) now anointed, kisses her feet and wipes them with his hair. Inset: The remains of the oil 22 years later. We visited Jericho to pronounce the renunciation of genocide in the spirit of sakina in the name of Isa (Esau = the returning Yeshua).

 

Jane King who partnered with me for the major phase of my sabbatical to the Amazon and to Jerusalem and I were hosted by Yitzhak Hayutman [67] at the Academy of Jerusalem for a twelve day workshop in the Millennium on the Sacred Reunion and the Tree of Life, in which we discussed the Shekhinah[68] the feminine face of Deity manifest on Earth prominent in the Zohar and I gave an evening lecture on biocosmology, the evolutionary tree of life and the need to avoid a hard landing for the biosphere to avoid precipitating a mass extinction of biodiversity, as a fulfilment of the unveiling of reality. The then Director of the School of Mathematics granted my application on the understanding that I would not claim to be walking on water.

 

On Millennium Eve we hosted an all-night celebration on Mt. Scopus, in a little park overlooking the Dome of the Rock. We had been offered a grove next to Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives by a member of the family who originally kept the keys to the Haram-al-Sharif, but we were driven out by a court injunction and police prohibition.

The vigil was dedicated to the Sacred Reunion in reflowering the Tree of Life in preserving the biosphere and its biological and genetic diversity throughout our future generations. It is the spirit of Gaia and that of God that hath anointed us - the conjoint spiritual insight to perform the act of redemption not God and Gaia as literal deities.
I sang The Hymn to the Epoch, video followed by a round of dedications from all.

 


Fig 169: The all night gathering on Millennium Eve. Inset: view of the Dome of the Rock from the celebration

 

Jane and I pronounced together our Anointing Reading for the new epoch of reflowering of the Tree of Life, reciting our Gaian variant of the Messiah’s Jubilee passage in Isaiah 61, which Jesus pronounced in the synagogue at Nazareth, pronounced this time as woman and man together as Bride and Bridegroom in the name of God and Gaia:

 


Fig 170: Jane and Chris pronounce the anointing Millennium Eve.

 

The spirit of God is upon us, the spirit of Gaia is within us

because they hath anointed us, to sing good tidings unto the meek

they hath sent us to bind up the broken-hearted,

to proclaim liberty to the captives

and the opening of prison to them that are bound

to proclaim the acceptable year, to comfort all that mourn

to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion

in Palestine, in Sidon, in Syria, Arabia and the world

to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning

the garments of love for the spirit of heaviness

that they might be called trees of compassion

the planting of the divine, that all might be glorified

in the abundance of wisdom

and we shall renew the old wastes

and we shall restore the former desolations

and we shall repair the waste cities,
the desolations of many generations

they hath clothed us with the garments of salvation

and I as a bridegroom decketh myself with ornaments,

and I as a bride adorneth myself with jewels

for as the Earth bringeth forth her bud,

and as the garden causeth the things that are sewn in it to spring forth

so shall harmony and fulfilment spring forth among all the nations

this day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.


 

This rite of passage served two key purposes to address foundation issues in the collective unconscious manifest in the Weltanschauung [69] , the archaic formative world view driving patriarchal monotheism expressed in the Yahwistic Genesis firstly in Eve being cursed for heeding the serpent, to be obedient to her husband, under pain of childbirth, appeasing male paternity uncertainty, confessing an archaic conflict with the matrilyny and female reproductive integrity and secondly with dominion over nature in the Tree of Life in Paradise hidden from humanity behind a flaming sword, dooming us to conflict with the thorns of the wilderness in the sweat of human dominance.

 

cursed is the ground for thy sake;

in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee;

 

This transmission is not a matter of belief but of human realisation in action. This wasnt intended to be a magical pronouncement that would change the world overnight simply by saying it, but a series of rites of passage to dedicate a unique unparalleled event in its time and place, revealing the foresight to take responsibility to speak the words that are key to redeem the apocalyptic tradition in the sustainable epoch of the Tree of Life. The evening was accompanied by folk and harp music, chants to the Shekhinah and recitations from all present to bring in the new epoch, pronounced  together “as one is to one” as Devorah Brous, who had coordinated the event stated. Eliyahu MacLean blew the shofar and pronounced the blessing of the collective Mashiach:

 

We are here together the collective Mashiach and our vision here tonight will spread

peace in our hearts and peace on the City of Peace below Yeru-shalom Jerusalem.

and bisrata shem in Jah Allah we'll be as a light and a source for peace

in the whole world and in the whole universe.

 

On the Epiphany, we led a small messianic march, of a spontaneous thirteen participants, from the Ascension site on the Mount of Olives, by Gethsemane, the Gates of Mercy on the Eastern wall, the Vale of Kidron where the Asherah was removed from the temple and burned in the time of Josiah, to the Western Wall  הַכּוֹתֶלהַמַּעֲרָבִי.

 

Fig 171: Jane and Chris pronouncing the Gates of Mercy open and the thirteen in the Vale of Kidron.

 

At the gates of Gethsemane we pronounced the Dialogue of the Saviour and Thunder Perfect Mind. At the Golden Gates of Mercy in the Eastern wall  שערשושן (بابالذهبي barricaded by the Muslims in the Ottoman period and thought to be the gate through which people would pass in the Day of Judgment), we pronounced them open from Isaiah 60:

 

And your gates shall be open continually, they shall not be closed day or night.

The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, the juniper the box tree and the cypress together

 

Fig 171b: Jerusalem Panorama. Centre left the Garden of Gethsemane with a bus outside and above it the Orthodox church with gold leaf onion tops and to the right again the Jewish cemetery of the 144,000. Centre right the Gates of Mercy (compassion). In the Vale of Kidron, where the Asherah was burned by Josiah, and lower left centre is Absalom's pillar and an aqueduct tunnel you can wade through running from there to the Pool of Siloam. On Millennium Eve we had been granted the site in the olive grove to the left of Gethsemane to reflower the Tree of Life by the family who had originally held the keys to the Dome of the Rock, but it had to be moved to Mt. Scopus top left, because the authorities refused permission.

 

According to Jewish tradition, the Shekhinah (שכינה) (Divine Presence – the feminine face of God manifest on Earth) used to appear through the eastern Gate, and will appear again when the Anointed One (Messiah) comes (Ezekiel 44:1–3). I pronounced this passage alone at night in the portico of the gate, as appears in the full length movie Apocalypsia:

“It is for the prince; the prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before the LORD;

he shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate, and shall go out by the way of the same.”

 

Finally we arrived at the Western (Wailing) Wall, where we pronounced the Sacred Reunion of woman and man, not just God and the bride Israel, but woman and man in the flesh, as the Song of Songs actually declares:

 

Fig 172: Pronouncing the reunion of woman and man in the Song of Songs

which Rabbi Akiva extolled as the Holy of Holies [70]

 

I sleep but my heart waketh:

it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh,

saying open to me my sister,

my love, my dove, my undefiled :

for my head is filled with dew,

and my locks with the drops of the night.

I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on?

I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?

My beloved put his hand in the hole of the door,

and my bowels were moved for him.

I rose up to open to my beloved

and my hands dropped with myrrh,

and my fingers with sweet-smelling myrrh,

 upon the handles of the lock.

 

 

 

Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm:

for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave:

the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.

Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.

 

If you imagine for one moment that I was suffering from messianic delusions in the Holy City, here's what happened next!  Jane and I had to separate immediately after we pronounced the Sacred Reunion at the Western Wall. Jane flew to the US and I ended up for three days, stranded in Frankfurt airport because my adult son, who I had been flying with earlier on,  changed all his bookings, and mine also got cancelled, including my next flight to Delhi to pay my respects to Kali on the Ganga to complete the appointment with fate. Jane and I had parked our little sleeping van in the Frankfurt airport car park and fled to Jerusalem. It was still there with flat tyres and “hundreds" of parking tickets, so I had a place to sleep. After pleading with Lufthanza for three days for a connection to India, they eventually came up with a plan to fly me into Nepal. I had found from the Indian embassy that I could get a 72 hour transit visa at one day's notice in Kathmandu. When I arrived in the evening, the Kathmandu border control seized my passport because I had only a credit card and they wanted $US cash for the entry visa and then chucked me out of the airport, where there was a huge crowd trying to get in and the doors were locked tight. That meant that, with no passport I couldn't get money, so I had to go to an emergency agency to get a postal visa advance, then next day paid to get my passport back and then finally my treasured 72 hour transit visa, meanwhile visiting yet again the erotic Lakshmi and Durga temples of Kathmandu and the burning ghats of Pashuptinath in the valley opposite Boudhanath. Then down the Himalayan foothills by bus and to the plains of India.

 


Fig 173: Chris pays his r
espects to Kali in Varanasi Jan 2000.

 

I have had a long affair with Varanasi, that timeless sacred city a kind of love affair amid the purgatory of existence, as deep as Jerusalem. The first time I was there in 1976, I struck up a personal relationship with a rickshaw driver who made the most desperate genuine pitch. He in turn took me to a wrestler who cared for a traditional Indian house on Kedar Ghat just beside the Golden Temple. I took a medieval room for 2 rupees a night, and had a designated two-foot square cooking area in the galley and a site on the roof where one could sleep in the cool with my padlock key on a string round my neck. The wrestler knew a boatman so I could also go down and sleep on the roof the boats with the boat builders and listen to the eternal refrains echoing out from the temples and watch the panorama of the bathing ghats at sunrise. I could eat a beautiful vegetable platter at the boatman's house for a few rupees and share the life with his huge family. The wrestler would do regular pujas in the foyer and we would all go up on the roof and smoke opium ghoolies together. There was also ganga at the government ganja shop a little out of town.  Each morning there was lemon curd, which you had to get to before the dust and manure and flies took over, served in small bisque-fired clay cups which you smashed ritually to avoid disease.

So above is a photo record of my hard won vigil of devotion to Kali as the supremely dangerous Goddess that puts mankind on notice, more extreme that the hapless knight in Chaucer's  Wyfe of Bath who had to solve the riddle of "what women want" under pain of death, namely sovereignty. Kali is the archetype of the ancient planter Goddess. You can find her in sacrificial mode in Mohenjo Daro in the Indus valley at 2500 BC alongside Pashupatinath the Shivaic Lord of the Animals complete with his Sadhu trident. I gathered the kali images from the little alleys I knew by heart that ran behind the bathing ghats to the burning ghats, paying my respects as Shiva is to Shakti, Durga and Kali in her various forms and for light relief, as Krishna is to the cowgirls, to pay my utmost respects to the founding meditative religious traditions of human culture.

 


Fig 174: Chris, Heath, Adam and Jane traverse the Andes and Amazon in the Burning Season to document the immolation of biodiversity.

Bolivia burning season, Ucayali, Pongo Mainique, banana boat, Iquitos, Pantanal.

 

This was deadly serious – as serious as our mutual anointing with olive oil from Jericho at Lazarus's tomb in Bethany. It completed a journey that had taken us through the burning season in Bolivia and all the way from Maccu Pichu, following the Urubamba through the high Andes, then down through the jungle in dugout motor canoes, racing the rapids down to the Pongo de Mainique, the "manic gorge" where the Urubamba cuts through the last of the Andes. The lowland rainforests and mid-montane cloud forests within a radius of five miles of the Pongo possibly comprise the single most biologically-diverse site on the face of the Earth. Then more burning season and down the Ucayali in a banana boat, from Atalaya to Pucallpa, where we took Ayahuasca, with the leprous shaman Snr. Trinico, then the Amazon in river boats in cheap hammocks, with a sojourn in a jungle nature reserve, to Iquitos, then Manaus and south up the Rio Madiera to the Crocodiles and giant storks of the Pantanaal.

 

This was a world vigil that started with the immolation of the tropical forest, our true Garden of Eden in the Amazon, then Reflowered the Tree of Life in Jerusalem and ended up with the immolation of humanity by Kali on the burning ghats of Varanasi. I hope you all understand this devotion to Kali and to the jungle of tooth and claw illuminates the Mount of Olives gathering in a whole new light.  And this entire spiritual vigil on an academic sabbatical, for which I was never forgiven by the Dean of Science!

 

This brings us finally back to the motif of the Tree of Life in the Fall from Eden. The role of religion and of spirituality, ethics and our sense of human conscience is to ensure we collectively cherish and replenish the Earth throughout our generations forever, so that its biological and genetic diversity flourish, its climate remains optimally habitable and all the generations of conscious beings have a full opportunity to experience the mysteries of life and existence. The epoch of the Tree of Life is thus the epoch of sustainability, in which life is able to continue and evolve so long as the Earth shall live. This is the cosmic destiny that human consciousness faces as the guardians of the living planet.

 

Although in this celebration effectively everyone was the collective Mashiach, as far as I know, I am the only person in the last 2000 years to correctly identify the culmination of the messianic epoch in the Tree of Life in perennial immortality of planetary Paradise throughout our generations forever. This is the only epoch of long term future goodness that is relevant or achievable in the universe at large, and which is urgently critical in a planetary crisis of climate and habitat amid an apocalyptic mass extinction of living diversity, likely to harm Paradise for thousands, or millions of years, of extinguish life as we know it, unless we act decisively. It depends on the the reunion of woman and man, ending the epoch of patriarchal dominion over woman and nature. To allow this to fail and for Earthly life to be extinguished, since we don't know if life exists elsewhere, could rob the universe of all its manifest meaning.

 

The responsibility of any mashiach in the era of scientific and natural discovery is and has to be to provide verifiable scientific  information, veridical collective wisdom and visionary spiritual impetus to enable such a transition to perpetual abundance to become a reality, thus fulfilling the messianic expectation transparently, not as a religious leader, or a miraculous faith healer, but as a research scientist disclosing a cosmology of immortal coexistence.

 

This transmission is thus also to inform and convey this reality and release responsibility for it freely back to the world, twenty years later, by transparently declaring that the underlying inspiration for the vigil arose from a velada on sacred mushrooms, some twenty years before the millennial event. This becomes a visionary process in which we all can participate and seek our own reunion with the cosmos, without relying on a religious leader, or doctrine, or moral imperative, to bind us to the faith, except to have guides and helpers to ensure safe passage in our visionary trips. Thus the epoch of religion (religio “to bind together”) becomes the epoch of resplendence (resplendere “to shine brightly”).

 

Subsequently, when I returned to Aotearoa, in 2003 my partner Christine and I co-authored "Sexual Paradox: Complementarity, Reproductive Conflict and Human Emergence" (Fielder & King 2004) to affirm the reunion of woman and man and of courtship and female reproductive choice, alongside mutual partner choice as a key component of the prisoners’ dilemma of our asymmetric sexes, running a Red Queen race of evolution, while standing still, catalysing the emergence of human intelligence and culture. The natural condition is sexual paradox in a game-theoretic edge-of-chaos. This is a climax example of asymmetric symbiosis, which the patriarchy has sought to appropriate in sexual dominion over the female, to our evolutionary disadvantage in future, just as dominion over nature is damaging.

 

This is an acutely damaging part of history since the neolithic, that has led to the sequestering, enforced veiling and chaperoning of women, stoning for adultery applied principally to the female “because she didn’t cry out”, to menstruation becoming regarded as unclean and to diabolical practices of female genital mutilation on behalf of the patriarchy to avoid women enjoying sex and hence being able to make natural reproductive choices. This has in turn led to unremitting expectations by major world religions to increase their following and world domination by reproductive ascendency.

 

But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you (Deut 22:20).

 

If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you (Deut 22:23).

 

Recapitulation

 

The cosmological  situation as we have now discovered it to be is that the conscious sentience of the universe arises from the living biota and so far as we know, only the conscious biota. As the mediators of conscious intent, we each inherit a personal responsibility to care for the universe we inhabit and to ensure life within it continues to flower and does not suffer risk to its future viability through human exploitation. This is the prima facie responsibility, we each inherit as incarnate sentient beings.

 

It is abundantly clear that humanity is risking a planetary extinction of the diversity of life due to human misadventure, driven by business as usuals, non-renewable  energy consumption and habitat destruction and by the scorched earth moral delusions of world religions which are founded on moral imperatives that deny the sacredness of cosmological nature in what is an immortal Paradise, in favour of fantasies of  heavenly and diabolical realms.

 

Fig 175: “Paradise Found” David Miller

 

We can thus no longer continue to see through a glass darkly in the distorted prism of Christianity’s eschatological expectation and the false belief in a man-God who still hangs mortified on the cross two thousand years later in every church, whose flesh and blood we must consume, while endlessly awaiting the return of the Lord in power to have forgiveness of sins and achieve immortal life. It is now time for us to put away childish things (Ranke-Heinmann 1992), to see face to face and know also as we are known.

 

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child:
but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face:
now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (1 Corinth 13:11).

 

It is we who are the portal of cosmic awareness and the buck stops with us to take responsibility as stewards and guardians of the tree of evolutionary life, to ensure it survives and flowers in perpetuity. To allow this to fail is to anoint us all for our burial, with no hope of salvation.

 

The remedy the psychic species provides is to give us a direct route to experience reunion with the awakening of the conscious universe, so that we can learn to protect the planet as guardians of life in evolutionary and cosmological time scales. This both alleviates our mortal fear and gives us the ability to make our lives a meaningful part of unfolding life rather than a curse upon it.

 

The meaning and significance in the spiritual quest of humanity lies not in false fantasies of Heaven and Hell or the Rapture in the sky, but in developing the spiritual insight and practical motivation to care for the planet as guardians of the diversity of life in evolutionary time, so that life can truly flower as a cosmological phenomenon of conscious illumination over cosmological time scales. This is profoundly urgent and it can be achieved if we recognise the wisdom and inevitable necessity of this together.

 

15. Redemption of Soma and Sangre in the Sap and the Dew

Despite its history of spilled blood, violent Crusade and eschatological apocalypse, redemption is at hand. Christianity stands uniquely positioned as the founding religious tradition underlying Western culture. Christianity is also uniquely positioned as the prime vehicle of a worldwide sacramental religion, founded on holy communion- a flesh and blood sacrament - the sangre and soma albeit symbolic of a sacrificial death – “cannibalistically” eating the flesh and blood of  the saviour. This aspect of Christianity is a disjunct with the Hebrew tradition and has closer connections with the Greek epoptea, the maenads and their belladonna, and Dionysus as the god of wine and altered states, echoing Yeshua’s miraculous dread. It is thus, by an accidental fusion of cultural histories, the natural forerunner of a sacramental tradition of true integration with life immortal. These simple wafers of bread and sips of diluted wine carry no effect in themselves, but claim to infer a reality so powerful that merely to partake of the eucharistis deemed to be the innermost mystery of communion with the godhead. If such a sacrament is going to be of functional effect, one should as the “acid test” of validity, expect it also to be a potent psychoactive substance in biological terms.

The notion of “sacrament” as something natural that is consumed to make ‘holy’ or whole poses a central question of symbiotic paradox in consciousness. How is such completion achieved in the universe? Is it arrived at through an outer journey of scientific or empirical discovery in the material world? Is it to be found through philosophical analysis and discourse? Is it to be found in a covenant of submission to the will of God? Is it to be pursued through an arduous meditative journey into the innermost reaches of the mind and soul to the cosmic self? Or is it to be found in symbiotic reunion in the interactive mysteries of the living sacramentsof the biosphere and the nierika portal to the cosmological mind at large?

Each of the three entheogenic living sacraments discussed in Section 1 have been adopted within nominally Christian traditions, seamlessly integrating the biospheric sacraments with Christian sentiments, attesting to Christianity’s redemption as a sacramental tradition to reflower the Earth as a living paradise throughout the generations of humanity and life as a whole. Some researchers have also associated Christian roots with entheogens (Allegro 1970, Hoffman et al. 2001, Brown & Brown 2016).

The experiences of these participants are consistent with each of those who ascend its spiritual peaks identifying with being first person transformative visionaries forming a spiritual consensus deeper than religious doctrine. Maria Sabina, despite being in the Catholic sisterhood, expressed in her chants these visionary positions: “I am the Lord eagle woman. Woman of a sacred, enchanted place am I, says, Woman of the shooting stars am I. … I am Jesus Christ, says … I'm the heart of the virgin Mary." Likewise with peyote: “Jesus came afterwards on this earth, after peyote”.  “The white man goes into a church and talks about Jesus, but the Indian goes into a teepee and talks to Jesus”.

Maria Sabina’s Holy Table and Gordon Wasson’s Pentecost 

Maria Sabina (see section 1) was both a Mazatec curandero of the “little things that spring forth” – teonanactl – flesh of the gods and at the same time a life long member of the Catholic sisterhood. The sacred mushroom is known to the ancient Meso-Americans as the Flesh of God, echoing the soma and sangre of the Christian Eucharist (Harner R229 90). The mushrooms were consumed before a small altar. The curandera kept one corner free so that the Holy Ghost [71] could descend in the form of the sacred words that came to her, the words of her little book: I see the word fall, coming down from above as though they were little luminous object falling from heaven. The word falls on the Holy Table, on my body, with my hand I catch them word for word.” (Halifax 134).


Fig 176: Upper row: Maria Sabina at prayer during the velada, giving mushrooms to Gordon Wasson, Maria collecting Psilocybe mushrooms for the velada. Lower row: Maria Sabina
performing a mushroom velada. Blessing the mushrooms before the altar, the altar, consuming the mushrooms.

On both nights Wasson stood up for a long time in Cayetano's room at the foot of the stairway, holding on to the rail transfixed in ecstasy by the visions that he was seeing in the darkness with his open eyes. For the first time that word ‘ecstasy’ took on a subjective meaning for him. ... There came one moment when it seemed as though the visions themselves were about to be transcended, and dark gates reaching upward beyond sight were about to part, and we were to find ourselves in the presence of the Ultimate. We seemed to be flying at the dark gates as a swallow at a dazzling lighthouse, and the gates were to part and admit us’  … ‘In sum, concluded Wasson, the mushrooms "transport one for the nonce to heaven, where all the senses unite in a joyous symphony shot through with an overwhelming feeling of caritas, of peace and affection for the fellow communicants. The effect is a transcendence of the barriers existing between people, including the language barrier.’ (Riedlinger 31).

The mushrooms were consumed before a small altar. The curandera kept one corner free so that the Holy Ghost could descend in the form of the sacred words that came to her, the words of her little book: I see the word fall, coming down from above as though they were little luminous object falling from heaven. The word falls on the Holy Table, on my body, with my hand I catch them word for word.” (Halifax 134).

Illumination of life, Illumination from on high, says
Illumination of the sap, Illumination of the dew (Maria Sabina)

Acts notes the advent of the Holy Spirit in the “upper room”: “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2.1).

Riedlinger (1992) notes:He also knew that, many centuries ago, the Mazatec Indians had combined what was to them a new religion, Christianity, with their ancient pagan practices, producing a syncretic hybrid focused on physical healing. In that sense, it is true, as Wasson noted, that the "Old Order does not mix with the New. The wisdom of the Sabin [Wise Ones], genuine though it was, has nothing to give to the world of tomorrow." In other words, such practices cannot be appropriated whole; they cannot be transplanted from one culture to another without changing their content and-forms to address the paticular needs of the host culture.

“In light of Gordon Wasson's numerous referrals to the original Pentecostal experience, I believe he thought it feasible for modem Christianity to likewise adopt certain elements of this indigenous hybrid, [of pre-Colombian and Catholic notions] producing an experiential form of Christian worship in the Pentecostal mode which uses hallucinogens as sacraments for calling down the Spirit. Wasson's opinion of what this portends for Christian worship is unequivocal”:  '... God's flesh! How those words echo down the centuries of religious experience! The Christian doctrine of Transubstantiation is a hard saying, calling for great faith .... The Mexican Indian with his teonanactl has no need for Transubstantiation because his mushroom speaks for itself. By comparison with the mushroom, the Element in the Christian agape seems pallid. The mushroom holds the key to a mystical union with God, whereas only rare souls can attain similar ecstasy and divine communion by intensive contemplation of the miracle of the Mass’.

The Man in the Buckskin Suit

While the Huichol sacred use of peyote (see section 1) has continued ever since the arrival of Columbus, the Native American Church, also known as Peyotism and Peyote Religion, teaches a combination of traditional Native American beliefs and Christianity, with sacramental use of the entheogen peyote. The religion originated in the Oklahoma Territory (18901907) in the late nineteenth century, after peyote was introduced to the southern Great Plains from Mexico. Today it is the most widespread indigenous religion among Native Americans in the United States (except Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians), Canada (specifically First Nations people in Saskatchewan and Alberta), and Mexico, with an estimated 250,000 adherents as of the late twentieth century.

 

Jesus came to the white man as flesh and blood, but to the Native American as peyote. John Wilson, who many claim as the ‘founder’ of the peyote religion in the United States claimed that he was continually translated in spirit to the ‘sky realm’ by peyote and it was there that he learned the events of Christ's life and the relative position of several of the spirit forces such as sun, moon and fire.

 

He reported that he had seen Christ's grave, now empty and that peyote had instructed him about the Peyote Roadwhich led from Christ's grave to the moon (this had been the Road in the sky which Christ had travelled in his ascent. Most peyotists strongly affirm the Christian elements as an important part of their religion (Anderson 36, 51):

 

"God told the Delawares to do good even before He sent Christ to the whites who killed him

God made Peyote It is His power. It is the power of Jesus. Jesus came afterwards on this earth, after peyote.

 

"You white people needed a man to show you the way,

but we Indians have always been friends with the plants and understood them …

The white man goes into a church and talks about Jesus ,

but the Indian goes into a teepee and talks to Jesus.”

 


Fig 177: My roadman Tellus Goodmorning. The Nierika or cosmic portal of Kauyumari or Elder Brother Deer, linking the underworld with Mother Earth, through which the gods came (Nierika Arts). Through it all life came into being. It unifies the spirit of all things and all worlds. (Schultes & Hofmann 1979). Don Jose Matsuwa, peyote in flower, deer holing peyote in its mouth (Monte Alban 500 BC). Lower: A peyote meeting involves alternate rounds of chanting around the fire and personal healing, overseen by a road man and mother waters. La visión de "Tatutsi Xuweri Timaiweme” – a Huichol world view.

However, it is Christ in his second-self who came to give the peyote ritual to the Menomini:

"This old man was a chief of a whole tribe, and he have his son to be a chief. He said, 'I'm going to go, and you take my place. Take care of this [tribe].' And the boy, he went out hunting; He was lost for about four days. He began to get dry and hungry, tired out; so he gave up. ... So he went, lay himself down on his back; he stretched out his arms like this [extending his arms horizontally], and lay like that. Pretty soon he felt something kind of damp [in] each hand. So he took them, and after he took them, then he passed away. Just as soon as he - I suppose his soul - came to, he see somebody coming on clouds. There's a cloud; something coming. That's a man coming this way, with a buckskin suit on; he got long hair. He come right straight for him; it's Jesus himself. So he told this boy, 'Well, one time you was crying, and your prayers were answered that time. So I come here. I'm not supposed to come; I said I wasn't going to come before two thousand years,' he said. 'But I come for you, to come tell you why that's you [are] lost. But we're going to bring you something, so you can take care of your people.' ... So they went up a hill there. There's a tipi there, all ready. So Christ, before he went in it, offered a prayer. ...'Take this medicine along, over there. Whoever takes this medicine, he will do it in my name.' So that's how it represents almost the first beginning." (Anderson 23-4).

Santo Daime and the Union Vegetale

The indigenous use of Amazonian ayahuasca (see 1, 2), has been reformed into modern religious movements. There are three main churches: Santo Daime, Barquinha and União do Vegetal (UDV). The Union Vegetale or UDV is a nominally Christian movement devoted to experiencing inner harmony through partaking of ayahuasca tea, to remember past lives and to understand the true meaning of reincarnation as well as to become familiar with the origin and the real destiny of nature and of man. The UDV seeks to promote peace and to "work for the evolution of the human being in the sense of his or her spiritual development". It has over 18,000 members, distributed among more than 200 local chapters in all the states of Brazil, as well as in Peru, Australia, several countries in Europe, and the United States. The translation of União do Vegetal is Union of the Plants referring to the sacrament of the UDV, hoasca, or ayahuasca tea.


Fig 178: Left: Santo Daime church with double cross and large ayahuasca flasks. Left centre: UDV ceremony with ayahuasca boiling in large pots and people reclining to experience the effects. Right: Chungatuya curing – Pablo Amaringo. Inset: Left Chacruna and the Vine of the Soul make ayahuasca, right my curandero Snr. Trinico.

Likewise in Santo Daime, a Christian core is combined with other elements, such as an emphasis on personal gnosis and responsibility, an animist appreciation of nature, such as the Sun, Moon and Stars, as well as the totemic symbol of the beija-flor (hummingbird). They do not track members, but estimates suggest tens to hundreds of thousands attend the Santo Daime church each week. Spiritual beings from indigenous Amazonian shamanism and deities from the African pantheon are also incorporated into the doctrine. The nature of the work is sometimes personified and addressed as Juramidam, "God (jura) and his soldiers (midam)”, disclosed to Irineu in his visionary experience.

Ayahuasca, consumed by Daimistas in ceremonies, has many different traditional names, but is known within the Santo Daime as Santo Daime, meaning Holy Daime, or simply, Daime, as originally named by Irineu. Dai-me (with a hyphen) means "give me" in Portuguese. A phrase, Dai-me força, dai-me amor ("give me strength, give me love"), recurs in the doctrine's hymns. Participants in the ritual come to submit themselves to a process through which they may learn. This may include various wonders — ayahuasca is known for the visions it generates, and the sense of communion with nature and spiritual reality — as well as more mundane, less pleasant lessons about the self. The Daime is thought to reveal both positive and various negative or unresolved aspects of the individual, resulting in difficult "passages" involving the integration of this dissociated psychological content.

These movements clearly show how Christianity can make a transition to a sustainable tradition reparadising the planet. However, what is at stake here goes far beyond Christian horizons. It is the discovery that the mystical visionary state is unlocked, not by doctrine or conscious control, but the incipient visionary cyclone surrounding the portal to ultimate reality that comes from the symbiosis with the Other – the cosmological consciousness of the mind at large.

The Society of Friends and Non-sacramental Mystical Experience

 

This doesn’t mean that everyone needs to take the sacrament, as in the Eucharist in ‘Holy Communion’. Indeed Pentecost was alleged to have taken place ‘in the upper room’ in the manner of a mystery cult, but the change in sacralising the entheogenic sacraments can induce a root change in the zeitgeist, by those partaking becoming a similar source of conscious ‘spiritual knowledge’ informing the wider population of the inner nature of reality as it is experienced in the first person.

 

In this respect, the Society of Friends (Quakers) form an almost ideal counterpoint to the sacramental visionary path. Quakers embrace mysticism, as the personal experience of the divine (Atchley 2017, Brown 2012, Meyer E):

 

Rufus Jones (18631948) was arguably the foremost Quaker scholar, writer, and advocate of opening to mystical experience as a central practice among Friends. He built on foundations laid by Meister Eckhart, the anonymous author of The Cloud of Unknowing, William James, and many other Christian mystics—people who had had direct experiences of God and tried to describe them. Jones concluded that the founders of most great religions of the world got their spiritual understanding through mystical experience. The Hebrew Bible and the New Testament are filled with reports of direct experiences of God. Mystical experience makes God sure to the person who has had the experience,wrote Jones (Atchley 2017).

 


Fig 179: George Fox reading a Bible under a tree (Robert Spence), Quakers Meeting (Egbert van Heemskerk the Elder)
Below: Modern Quaker Meeting Berkhamstead Right: The certificate of my marriage to Hallie witnessed by all present.

 

However they refrain from using the term mysticism as as too confining. This leads to an all-inclusive acceptance of divinity experienced directly in person transcending conventional notions of God and extending to “the Divine ground of all being”:

 

Jones cautioned against using the term mysticism.Each seeker of God withinis confronted by a unique personal and cultural labyrinth that he or she must negotiate to directly experience God. Because each path is different, it is impossible to make an ism out ofthe journey to experience God. But perhaps we can agree that we seek direct experience of the Divine Ground of All Being – the term Christian theologian Paul Tillich used for the transcendent Holy Spirit. Perhaps we can agree that we are all dancing around a divine Light that eludes naming. Jones also pointed out that we are seeking our own direct experiences of God, not second-hand descriptionsof mystical experiences in books and scriptures. However beautiful and uplifting Eckharts descriptions of his direct experiences of God might be, we cannot have his experience. We can only have our own (ibid).

 

Quakers specifically forgo the eucharist as a ritual distraction from the experience of Divinity and even more importantly are founded on an utterly egalitarian principle of complete equality of spiritual experience, shared between periods of contemplative silence and sharing personal accounts of their experiences (Wilde 2016):

 

The Quakers have never celebrated the Eucharist or any sacraments. This is partly because they are a tradition which is historically teetotal, like Methodists. More importantly, it is because Quakers find that all ritual distracts and takes focus away from God. Also, Quakers believe that ministry is not only equal between men and women, but that it belongs to all people, not just a few ministers.

 

This brings their tradition very close to the principle of subjective empiricism by mutual affirmation.

 

  Quakers do not have a written creed. Instead, they hold to personal testimonies professing peace, integrity, humility, and community.

  Quakers believe that God's kingdom is now, and consider heaven and hell issues for individual interpretation.

  Unlike other Christian denominations, Quakers believe that humans are inherently good. Sin exists, but even the fallen are children of God, Who works to kindle the Light within them.

 

The Society of Friends thus forms a perfect counterpoint to the sacramental tradition for those who wish to pursue the discovery of true spirituality not contaminated by prescriptive doctrine and ritual that also lies in the purest traditions of the Christian origins that led to Pentecost.

 


 


Fig 180: “Adam and Eve” Lucas Cranach

The disciples said to Yeshua, "Tell us how our end will be." Yeshua said,

"Have you discovered, then, the beginning, that you look for the end?

For where the beginning is, there will the end be”

(Gospel of Thomas 18).

 

Niño Song Cycle

 

‘Elohim: Living on the Open Road

To Shakti a Devotion

The Hymn to the Epoch video

The Song of the Biosphere video

Black Rose video

Dialogues of the Saviour

Kitten’s Cradle

Resurrection Revelation

 

Video Talks

Resplendence: A Revolutionary World-view

Symbiotic Cosmology with Deepak Chopra

 


Symbiotic Existential Cosmology Next Section

Footnotes

[1]   This document is an informational spore,  finer than a mustard seed,  for free circulation in intact form, to illuminate through a creative commons. 

    All quoted research is cited to the original authors, consistent with the principles of academic review in the widest pursuit of knowledge.

[2] perennial lasting or existing for a long or apparently infinite time; enduring or continually recurring.  From Latin perennis ‘lasting the year through  

    -ial. Oxford languages. The term is used to indicate lasting throughout the lifetime of conscious existence in the universe.

[3] Author Email: [email protected] Web: dhushara.com  This article is open commons CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Please distribute.

[4]  efficacy – the ability to produce a desired or intended result. Latin: efficere accomplish.

[5] The cosmic web has also been raised as a possible source of fractal complexity (Vazza & Feletti 2020).

[6] The approach of SED is guided by the hypothesis of the existence of the (random) zero-point radiation field, ZPF. This rather more elaborate approach goes through a statistical evolution equation in phase space, to arrive at a description in x-space, in which the dissipative and diffusive terms are seen to bring about a definitive departure from the classical Hamiltonian dynamics.

[7] I am not suggesting that everyone should take these agents to achieve such states, but just that they need to be respected as having these potentials for existential insight by society as a whole. Neither am I recommending that people take them without expert guidance, at least at the outset. Neither am I suggesting they be taken by minors, until the age of full adult legal consent.

[8] Veridical – truthful, coinciding with reality.   Etym. "speaking truth" Latin veridicus "truth-telling, truthful," from verum "truth,"

     neuter of verus "true" + dic-, stem of dicere "to speak".

[9]  Natural selection has shaped our perceptions to be, in the typical case, accurate depictions of reality, especially of those aspects of reality that are critical for our survival. “People could not orient themselves to their environments, unless the environmental information reaching them through the various sense organs offered a perception of space that corresponds to their physical “reality.” Such perception is called veridical perception – the direct perception of stimuli as they exist. Veridical perception also causes a person to experience changing stimuli as if they were stable: even though the sensory image of an approaching tiger grows larger, for example, one tends to perceive that the animals size remains unchanged. One perceives objects in the environment as having relatively constant characteristics despite considerable variations in stimulus conditions” (Britannica, APA).

[10] empirical based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic.

    Etym. Greek empeirikos, from empeiria ‘experience. Observational empiricism is appropriate for verifiable physical investigation

     and experiential empiricism for veridical conscious affirmation.

[11] efficacy – the ability to produce a desired or intended result.

[12] This use of Kali is as a demon distinct from the Goddess  Kālī, who like Brahman is conceived of as “ultimate reality”.

[13] animism – the belief that all things animals, plants, rocks, rivers, weather systems etc. possess a distinct spiritual essence – as

   animated and alive.

[14] Humanity is doomed” All countries 56%, Australia 50%, Brazil 67%, France 48%, Finland 43%, India 74%, Nigeria 42%, Phillipines 73%, Portugal 62%, UK 51%, USA 46%

[15] dharmathe eternal and inherent nature of reality, regarded in Hinduism as a cosmic law and in Buddhism the nature of reality 

   regarded as a universal truth.

[16] Hieros gamos or Hierogamy (Greek ἱερὸς γάμος, ἱερογαμία "holy marriage") is a sacred marriage that plays out between a god and a goddess, especially when enacted in a symbolic ritual where human participants represent the deities

[17] Galileo despite being excommunicated for his science, was still a devoted Catholic and a traditional patriarch. He never married his children's mother and deemed his daughters unmarriageable, and soon after Virginia's thirteenth birthday he placed both girls at the Convent of San Matteo, where they lived the rest of their lives in poverty and seclusion. By contrast Galileo's son Vincenzio, who was born in Padua like his two sisters: Virginia and Livia, was named after his grandfather, and after his mother's death, his birth was legitimised by the Grand Duke of Tuscany. Virginia was Galileo's first child, born in Padua, Italy the same year that the Dominican friar Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake in Rome for insisting that the Earth travelled around the Sun instead of remaining motionless at the centre of the universe. Although none of Galileo's letters are known to have survived, 120 of Maria Celeste's exist. These letters, written from 1623 to 1634, depict a woman with incredible brilliance, industry, sensibility and a deep love for her father (Sobel 1999).

[18] veridical – coinciding with reality (Oxford Languages). Mid 17th century: from Latin veridicus (from verus ‘true’ + dicere ‘say’) + -al.

In psychology – of or relating to revelations in dreams, hallucinations, etc, that appear to be confirmed by subsequent events

[19] Vitalism is the belief that "living organisms are fundamentally different from non-living entities because they contain some non-physical element or are governed by different principles than are inanimate things”. Where vitalism explicitly invokes a vital principle, that element is often referred to as the "vital spark", "energy" or "élan vital", the vital force or impulse of life, a creative principle held by Bergson to be immanent in all organisms and responsible for evolution, which some equate with the soul.

[20] Arthur Schopenhauer concluded that the inner reality of all material appearances is Will. Where Immanuel Kant had concluded that ultimate reality - the "thing-in-itself" (Ding an sich) - lay beyond being experienced, Schopenhauer postulated that the ultimate reality is one universal will.

[21] intentionalitythe fact of being deliberate or purposive. mental states (e.g. thoughts, beliefs, desires, hopes) which consists in their being directed towards some object or state of affairs. Intentionality is chosen rather than causality to include the effect of will complementing physical causes.

[22]  No not take too much stock by Castaneda’s writings. His accounts of mushrooms and peyote are unreliable and he gathered a cult following of a troupe of woman writers, who appear to have died or committed suicide in Death Valley after he died.

[23] Weltanschauung  – a particular philosophy or view of life; the world view of an individual or group: welt "world" (see world) + anschauung "perception" (related to English show). William James (1868)

[24] This article and the complementary one “Natty Dread and Planetary Resplendence” were co-conceived out of a quantum change experience evoked by psilocybe mushrooms. Taken together they inform a sacramental paradigm shift towards planetary survival.

[25] psychedelic mind-manifesting" psychē (ψυχή, soul"), dēloun (δηλοῦν, "to make visible, to reveal”), as opposed to hallucinogenicinducing hallucinations and psychotomimetic (psycho- mind + mīmētikós, imitative) mimicking psychotic behaviour/personality.

[26] Feynman notes in his Nobel address: “I received a telephone call one day at the graduate college at Princeton from Professor Wheeler, in which he said, ‘Feynman, I know why all electrons have the same charge and the same mass’ ‘Why?’ ‘Because, they are all the same electron’!suppose that the world lines which we were ordinarily considering before in time and space instead of only going up in time were a tremendous knot, and then, when we cut through the knot, by the plane corresponding to a fixed time, we would see many, many world lines and that would represent many electrons, except for one thing. If in one section this is an ordinary electron world line, in the section in which it reversed itself and is coming back from the future we have the wrong sign to the proper time to the proper four velocities and thats equivalent to changing the sign of the charge, and, therefore, that part of a path would act like a positron. But, Professor, I said, there arent as many positrons as electrons.”  This became the basis of his representation of positrons as electron holes and for the entire Feynman diagram approach to quantum field theories.

[27]David Bohm’s (1952) pilot wave theory posits a real position and momentum for a particle such as a photon guided by a particular non-local form of pilot wave. It illustrates a form of hidden variable theory which does not require collapse of the wave function, but the predictions hold only for a situation where no new particles are created with new degrees of freedom during the trajectory. Its interpretation is thus inconsistent with the Feynman approach, where the transition probability includes all paths and all possible virtual particles created and annihilated during the transition. To the extent that its predictions coincide with those of quantum mechanics, phenomena, from weak quantum measurement (Kocsis et al. 2011) to surreal Bohmian trajectories (Mahler et al. 2016) can also be interpreted correctly by entanglement using standard quantum mechanics.

[28] The approach of SED is guided by the hypothesis of the existence of the (random) zero-point radiation field, ZPF. This rather more elaborate approach goes through a statistical evolution equation in phase space, to arrive at a description in x-space, in which the dissipative and diffusive terms are seen to bring about a definitive departure from the classical Hamiltonian dynamics.

[29] moksha – derived from the Sanskrit word muc (to free), the term moksha literally means freedom from samsara (existential illusion). This concept of liberation or release is shared by a wide spectrum of religious traditions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.

[30] Synesthesia: a perceptual phenomenon in which stimulation in one sensory or cognitive mode leads to experiences in a second mode.

[31] This follows in line with the filter theories of Henri Bergson Matière et Mémoire (1896) and William James  Human Immortality. (1898) 

[32] Bob Jesse and Bill Richards are co-authors of Roland Griffith’s 2006, 2008 mystical experiences studies.

[33] entheogen "god (theos) within", is a psychoactive substance that induces alterations in perception, mood, consciousness, 

   cognition, or behavioufor the purposes of engendering spiritual development or otherwise in sacred contexts. (Wikipedia)

[34] holotropic “wholeness seeking” – states which aim towards wholeness and the totality of existence – e.g. Brahman–atman.

[35] epistemic humility – a posture of scientific observation rooted in the recognition that (a) knowledge of the world is always interpreted, structured, and filtered by the observer, and (b) scientific pronouncements must be built on the recognition of observation's inability to grasp the world in itself.

[36]  science“what is known, knowledge (of something) acquired by study; information;" also "assurance of knowledge, certitude, certainty," from Old French science "knowledge, learning, application; corpus of human knowledge" (12c.), from Latin scientia "knowledge, a knowing; expertness," from sciens (genitive scientis) "intelligent, skilled," present participle of scire "to know," probably originally "to separate one thing from another, to distinguish," related to scindere "to cut, divide" (from PIE root *skei- "to cut, split;" source also of Greek skhizein "to split, rend, cleave," Gothic skaidan, Old English sceadan "to divide, separate").  Etymonline

[37] empirical based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic.

    Etym. empiric via Latin from Greek empeirikos, from empeiria ‘experience, from empeiros skilled’ (based on peira trial, experiment’).

    experimental late 15th century having personal experience, also experienced, observed’: from Latin experimentum practical experience

[38] Organisms are commonly regarded as: (1) phenotypes that interact with their environments, that survive, reproduce, and pass on genes and (2) the entities that are producedby genes. Hull (personal communication) argues that his notion of interactoris significantly different from Dawkins’ ‘vehicle. As in (1), Hulls regards his concept as a populational notion (the population of entities that directly interact with the external environment), while Dawkins’s ‘vehicle, as in (2), is regarded as more embryological (vehicles are the entity that replicators produce).

[39] heredity (n.) "the passing on of physical or mental characteristics genetically from one generation to another" Etym. 1530s, "inheritance, succession," from French hérédité, from Old French eredite "inheritance, legacy" (12c.), from Latin hereditatem (nominative hereditas) "heirship, inheritance, an inheritance, condition of being an heir." Legal sense of "inheritable quality or character" first recorded 1784; the modern biological sense "transmission of qualities from parents to offspring" seems to be found first in 1863, introduced by Herbert Spencer.

[40] It has been claimed that concealed estrus is not an evolved trait but an underlying primate condition  and that overt estrus is an evolved trait due to sexual and social selection e.g. in chimps and bonobos (Laland & Brown 2002 13), as the majority of primate species, including most apes, do not reveal their time of ovulation.

[41] Anneken Hendriks was an Anabaptist of Friesland, living in Amsterdam. Through treachery she was taken prisoner by the city officials. Because she held fast to her faith, she was severely tortured on 27 October 1571, with the intent of learning from her the names of other Mennonites. But even this ill treatment could not make her recant, and consequently she was put to death on the town square (Dam) on 10 November 1571. The execution took place in an unusually cruel manner. Anneken was tied to a ladder; her mouth was filled with gunpowder, and in this condition she was carried from the city hall to the ignited stake and thrown into the  flames. She was fifty-three years old and an ordinary woman who could neither read nor write. In her sentence she was condemned because "she was married according to Mennonite custom, and at night in a country house." The Martyrs Mirror records that there is a song concerning her, but gives no further information, apparently meaning the song found in the Dutch hymn book Veelder-hande Liedekens (1569), which begins "Ick moetu nu gaen verclaren, Watter t'Amsterdam is geschiet" (I must now declare to you, What took place at Amsterdam).

[42] The approach of SED is guided by the hypothesis of the existence of the (random) zero-point radiation field, ZPF. This rather more elaborate approach goes through a statistical evolution equation in phase space, to arrive at a description in x-space, in which the dissipative and diffusive terms are seen to bring about a definitive departure from the classical Hamiltonian dynamics.

[43] It is interesting to note that the surrealist movement in art claimed that there was more to reality than mere outward manifestations. There was a deeper reality (literally surreal means super reality) that lay behind outward appearances. When the word surreal is used with its intended meaning, then surreal trajectories is the correct term to describe them! Unfortunately [Englert et al.] use the term in a pejorative sense” (Hiley et al.)

[44] idiosyncrasy a mode of behaviour or way of thought peculiar to an individual idiosunkrasia, from idios own, private’ + sun ‘with’ + krasis ‘mixture’.

[45] veridical – coinciding with reality (Oxford Languages). Mid 17th century: from Latin veridicus (from verus ‘true’ + dicere ‘say’) + -al.

[46] ergodic– relating to, or denoting (e.g. chaotic) systems or processes with the property that, given sufficient time, they include or impinge on all points in a given space and can be represented statistically by a reasonably large selection of points.

[47] satori – sudden enlightenment Oxford Lang. See also subitism derived from the French illumination subite (sudden awakening).

[48] singulare tantum  a noun which appears only in the singular form – objects which may in principle be counted but are referred to as one.

[49] In physical cosmology, the Copernican principle states that humans, on the Earth or in the Solar System, are not privileged observers of the universe. (Wikipedia)

[50] Large Hadron Collider responsible for discovering the Higgs boson completing the standard model of physics, fig 29.

[51] animism (Latin: anima, 'breath, spirit, life') 

[52] It is empirically true that global heating “punishes” humanity in clear functional terms, but not as a moral punishment in the religious sense. Gaia may even have full agency in a sense we don’t yet appreciate. “Why not?”, as physicist Brian Josephson commented to me citing James Lovelock. The question we have to ask is this: Is a tornado less alive than a prokaryote? A prokaryote is tightly controlled as a genetic process and likely not conscious, but a thunder storm is in a sense more alive in the way our brains are dynamically. If alive means primitive subjectivity then a thunder storm should be accepted as alive in that sense. Any physical system capable of unstable autonomous dynamics is a candidate. Attributing agency in this way might have a deeper basis in consciousness understanding quantum reality from personal experience. What kind of form tornado or Gaia secret life might take is no easier to estimate than the putative "free will" of a quantum. But it IS an empirical question!

[53]perdidolost, done for, ruined, defeated or about to be killed etc. Cambridge Dictionary

[54] Advaita Vedanta (Sanskrit: अद्वैत वेदान्त –"non-duality"), propounded by Gaudapada (7th century) and Adi Shankara (8th century), espouses non-dualism and monism. Brahman is held to be the sole unchanging metaphysical reality and identical to the individual Atman. The physical world, on the other hand, is always-changing empirical Maya. The absolute and infinite Atman-Brahman is realized by a process of negating everything relative, finite, empirical and changing. All souls and their existence across space and time are considered to be the same oneness. Spiritual liberation in Advaita is the full comprehension and realization of oneness, that one's unchanging Atman (soul) is the same as the Atman in everyone else, as well as being identical to Brahman.

[55] Brihat Bṛhat (बृहत्).a. (-tī f.) [बृह्-अति (bṛh-ati)] (1) Large, great, big, bulky; (2) Wide, broad, extensive, far-extended (3) Vast, ample, abundant

(4) Strong, powerful (5) Long, tall (6) Fullgrown (7) Compact, dense (8) Eldest, or oldest (9) Bright.  Aranyaka (āraṇyaka) "produced, born, relating to a forest" or rather, "belonging to the wilderness". It is derived from the word Araṇya (अरण्य), which means “wilderness".

[56] velada soirée, nighttime meeting,  literally  a shamanic mushroom vigil  Spanish velar Latin vigilō ("to watch, guard”) as in vigilant.

[57] This article and the complementary one “Natural Entheogens and Cosmological Symbiosis: Solving the Central Enigma of Existential Cosmology” were co-conceived out of a quantum change experience. Taken together they inform a sacramental paradigm shift towards planetary survival.

[58] eschatology the part of theology concerned with death, judgement, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind.

    Greek eskhatos ‘last’ + -logy.

[59] Inanna the Queen of Heaven’s  descent into Hell, stripped one by one of her seven veils, by the Galla of her sister Ereshkigal’s domain of Hell, before returning to let them sacrifice her beloved husband and partner Dumuzi for usurping the sovereign’s powers in her absence, only to have him resurrected and sacrificed seasonally as a God of fertility.

[60]  “Matthew collected the logia in the Hebrew dialect and each one interpreted them as best he could."

[61] Matthew’s Greek uses πιθυμέω (epithūméō) to set one's heart on a thing, desire, covet. Passion has a more benevolent sexual meaning

     involving infatuation and love, but the Greek  πάσχω (páskhō) is "to suffer, to be acted on, to undergo, experience” rather than an act, or desire.

[62]  Titled in recognition of The Dialogue of the Saviour (Robinson 1990).

[63]Koine Greek 'Common Greek', also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the common supra-regional form of Greek spoken and written during the Hellenistic period, the Roman Empire and the early Byzantine Empire.

[64] Akiva (50-135 CE) was instrumental in drawing up the canon of the Tanakh. He stoutly defended the canonicity of the Song of Songs, (as the Holy of Holies) and of Esther, despite it being an allegory of Ishtar. He was executed by the Romans after the Bar Kokhba revolt. Akiva said of Bar Kochbah 'This is the King Messiah'.  Johanan ben Torta retorted: "Akiva, Grass shall grow from your cheeks and yet the son of David shall not appear”.

[65] I noticed in writing this that this expression comes from Matt 13:35 claiming Yeshua is revealing his deepest insights, right after Yeshua pronounces the parable of the mustard seed, which is also quoted in Thomas 20. The parable says the Kingdom of Heaven (not the Christian religion) is effectively the seed of the greatest herb, the Tree of Life in whose branches the birds lodge.

[66] Hieros gamos or Hierogamy (Greek ἱερὸς γάμος, ἱερογαμία "holy marriage") is a sacred marriage that plays out between a god and a goddess, especially when enacted in a symbolic ritual where human participants represent the deities.

[67] The grandson of one of the founders of Tel Aviv.

[68] shekhinah שכינה  "dwelling" or "settling" and denotes the indwelling of the divine presence of God manifest in the tent of Sarah, also linked to ruach ha-kodesh רוחהקודש, the divine influence of God over the universe or living creatures i.e. Holy Spirit.

[69] Weltanschauung  – a particular philosophy or view of life; the world view of an individual or group: welt "world" (see world) + anschauung "perception" (related to English show). William James (1868)

[70] I have always defended the Song of Songs as the most fertile expression of the Sacred Reunion but for this, a Zionist woman from Tsvat threatened to report me to Mossad as a Gentile “thief in the night”. Our dialogue is recounted in my song Black Rose video.

[71] In Christianity, the Holy Ghost, or Spirit, is the ultimate reality not to blaspheme against: “ Jesus said: He who blasphemes against the Father will be forgiven, and he who blasphemes against the Son will be forgiven; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either on earth or in heaven. (Thom 44, as in Mark 3.28, Luke 12.31, Matt 3.28 with the exception of the Father). The grammatical gender of the word for "spirit" is feminine in Hebrew (רוּחַ, rūaḥ), neuter in Greek (πνεῦμα, pneûma) and masculine in Latin (spiritus). The neuter Greek πνεῦμα is used in the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew רוּחַ. Holy Spirit was equated with the feminine Wisdom of God by two early Church fathers.

[72] efficacy – the ability to produce a desired or intended result.

[73] Albedo is a quantity that indicates how well a surface reflects solar energy. ... the "whiteness" of a surface, with 0 meaning black and 1 meaning white. A value of 0 means the surface is a "perfect absorber" that absorbs all incoming energy.

[74] https://www.bbc.co.uk/reel/video/p08hppxt/how-the-dutch-are-reshaping-their-post-pandemic-utopia

[75] Weltanschauung is used as an English word, from the German because the English worldview is too vague and not comprehensive enough. (For anschauen = to look at, rather with the meaning "to take a good look at", for schau = to show, display, as opposed to blicken = to look, or aussehen from sehen = to see). Primarily it means a way a person looks at the phenomenon of life as a whole. Some people (particularly those who have not lived very long) have not formed any broad (inclusive, even "sophisticated") view of life. Others consider a large number of factors before forming their overall view — maybe in their seventies — of the phenomenon of human existence. Typically a person's Weltanschauung would include a person's philosophic, moral, and religious conclusions — including e.g. the duality of spirit and matter — and perhaps their conclusions about the origins of the universe and of the development of life.

[76] According to Hesiod, when Prometheus (fore-sight) stole fire from heaven, Zeus, the king of the gods, took vengeance by presenting Pandora to Prometheus' brother Epimetheus (hind-sight). Either Pandora or Epimetheus  opened the jar left in her care containing sickness, death and many other unspecified evils which were then released into the world, or the lost blessings of the Gods as the other story goes. Though she hastened to close the container, only one thing was left behind usually translated as Hope.

[77] According to Arthur Schopenhauer, it is the laws of nature that arise from a transpersonal will, not the will from the laws of nature. Felt volitional states are the irreducible foundation of both mind and world. For Schopenhauer the inner essence of everything is conscious volition that is, will. Nature is dynamic because its underlying volitional states provide the impetus required for events to unfold. Even in the absence of all self-perception mediated by the sense organs, we would still experience our own endogenous, felt volition. Will is indeed free because it is all there ultimately is.

[78]Spiritualitas L. from spiritus n. which means 'the breath of life', also psyche, or soul. Traditionally, spirituality referred to a religious process of re-formation which "aims to recover the original shape of man", oriented at "the image of God" as exemplified by the founders and sacred texts of the religions of the world and within early Christianity to refer to a life oriented toward the Holy Spirit and broadened during the Late Middle Ages to include mental aspects of life. In modern times, the term broadened to refer to a wider range of experience, including esoteric and religious traditions. Modern usages refer to a subjective experience of a sacred dimension and the "deepest values and meanings by which people live", often in a context separate from organised religious institutions. It may involve belief in a supernatural realm beyond the ordinarily observable world, personal growth, a quest for ultimate or sacred meaning, religious experience, or an encounter with one's "inner dimension"..

[80] Esther (Ishtar), the beautiful Jewish wife of the Persian king Ahasuerus (Xerxes I), and her cousin Mordecai (Marduk), persuade the king to retract an order for the general annihilation of Jews throughout the empire. The massacre had been plotted by the kings chief minister, Haman, and the date decided by casting lots (purim). Instead, Haman was hanged on the gallows he built for Mordecai. When word of the planned massacre reached Esther, beloved Jewish queen of Ahasuerus and adopted daughter of Mordecai, risked her life by going uninvited to the king to suggest a banquet that Haman would attend. –. Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king's house, over against the king's house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house. And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre. Then said the king unto her, What wilt thou, queen Esther? and what is thy request? it shall be even given thee to the half of the kingdom. And the king said unto Esther at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? even to the half of the kingdom it shall be performed. Then answered Esther, and said, My petition and my request is; If I have found favour in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my petition, and to perform my request, let the king and Haman come to the banquet that I shall prepare for them, and I will do to morrow as the king hath said. Then Esther the queen answered and said, If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request: For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. Then the king Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther the queen, Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so? And Esther said, The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman. Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen. And the king arising from the banquet of wine in his wrath went into the palace garden: and Haman stood up to make request for his life to Esther the queen; for he saw that there was evil determined against him by the king. Then the king returned out of the palace garden into the place of the banquet of wine; and Haman was fallen upon the bed whereon Esther was. Then said the king, Will he force the queen also before me in the house? As the word went out of king's mouth, they covered Haman's face. And Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who spoken good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. Then the king said, Hang him thereon. So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai.