I started an advanced Spanish class last night. An Italian chap arrived early for class and the two of us had quite an adventurous conversation about wild travels, illicit drugs and such (followed by him asking what I do for a living…). He then asked if I had seen Zeitgeist, an internet film. I said I had heard of it, but had not seen it. He excitedly tried to explain to me that it explains everything about how nothing is as it seems; except maybe the stuff Zeitgeist promotes. Hmm. What’s the real story behind the real story, that’s what I want to know.
I am reading different things that explain a different story behind the gospels than what they say about themselves. The most fascinating by far has been The Jesus Dynasty by James D. Tabor. He is an archeologist who has long tried to find the historical Jesus. He ends up with Mary having gotten pregnant from a Roman soldier (maybe by rape, maybe not). The Roman is buried in Germany and he includes a photo of a grave stone.
He also says that John the Baptizer was the priestly messiah and Jesus the kingly messiah until John was killed and the plan was changed. After Jesus died and the Kingdom did not manifest, there was some confusion, but everyone rallied behind James with the same basic political message and no resurrection talk. The argument is that Paul intruded with a different gospel that was more aimed at the Greek community. Eventually Paul’s version won out (mostly) and the real story has largely been lost.
Back to my Italian conspiracy friend. EVERYTHING is explained by the Templars being killed by the Pope on Friday the 13th October 1307. The truth about the Sun God oppressors (now manifest by George W. Bush) was almost lost.
But both tell me that reconstruction is possible! I’m still trying to learn it all, but not doing so well keeping the stories straight. What I do remember is that I once was enthralled with the 88 Reasons for the Rapture in 88 reconstruction of the real story of prophecy. Oops.
The easiest thing to do would be to mock the unfamiliar, but that isn’t a very good strategy when my story of reality is strikingly unfamiliar and odd to others. There was God, he made things good, choice led to evil, a promise was made, God became man, he lived, died, rose again, left and will return. How easily dismissed would that be to someone who is not already loyal to it?
My challenge, which I have chosen to accept for my own reasons, is partly to explore the issues of epistemology (how we know what we know). I would like to be consistent, because it matters to me. Familiarity with a view, even camaraderie, is not enough. I actually want to submit to what is right and to do so for the right reasons. I want to be reasonably consistent with my approach to others’ ideas relative to how I want them to consider my ideas. I want to guard against the cultic way of self-reinforcing delusion AND against the self-excusing way of convenient skepticism. I want the brave path of risking error by listening and speaking, being open minded and able to make decisions because of having opened and engaged my mind.
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all.” – The Princess Diaries