Religious Obedience and the Development of Early Religions

Fear is a good motivator. With fear and violence you gain followers because you force them into submission. The more power you get the more you crave and the more demanding you become.

Early Christianity was hijacked by the Romans, by the Emperor Constantine, to bolster his failing empire. It worked. He organized the Church like the Roman Empire with Archbishops, Bishops, Metropolitans all the way down to serfdoms (dioceses) and Serfs (Priests). He created a new set of rulers, but this time he had God on his side. Historically, Pharaohs and Emperors were considered “gods,” but the time of governmentally enforced obedience was waning and he needed a new strategy. Enter Christianity. Join forces with the new Christians and empower them, the religious men and political men wanting control and power. Share, grow more powerful, control the empire. The crusades became an effective tool of enforcement – obey or die. Root out “unbelievers” or those who would not comply and kill them in the name of God. Tell them how to pray, what words to use (after all people were mostly illiterate then), make them confess their wrongdoings to a priest so they know what is happening and you have ultimate control. Define acceptable relationships, define marriage, education (or not) how to treat other members of society, pay “Caesar what is due Caesar” i.e. taxes, be obedient to rulers that “God has put over you”. Reward them for obedience, tell them you are protecting them and you have the beginning of centuries of indoctrination.

Islam demands the same obedience, strict adherence, but with a nuance – that you kill the infidels – the non-believers. It dictates how, when, where and what to pray. It monitors compliance and depending on where you live, my kill you cruelly for not following the rules. Same society definitions, organization and punishment for breaking these man-made rules. Enforced obedience, bought into by a society with little choice. Might does sometimes wins over what is right.

What did Yeshua say?

You are my friends, follow me and I will give you peace, I will free you from what it tying you down.

Love your neighbors and your enemies. Don’t be victims, help when you can and where you can, but remember, no matter what someone is doing, their core being is spirit and lovable.

Control your thoughts, don’t think or dwell on negativity – it attracts more negativity. It is just self-discipline. Be more careful of what you feed your mind than what you feed your body. Don’t worry. Dwelling in fear can manifest the feared outcome.

Let love be your test of truth. Is what I am thinking, doing, saying, loving? Does what I am thinking or doing cause peace or division? Am I forcing or manipulating someone into thinking of believing what I believe because what I believe is right or more important? Or am I inviting someone to listen, to hear and think for themselves freely.

The approach is key, is a leader inviting people to follow them or trying to force by intimidation of fear? If the latter, it is not true, it is not the way.

 

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Religious Corruption – what do we do, where do we go?

It would seem we are ready for this conversation at this time. As  the world wakes up and what previously happened behind closed doors, behind closed boardroom doors, negotiated by the corporate boys club, is coming out for the world to see – and change. This is FANTASTIC!

But, it is just the beginning. Religious corruption needs to be revealed and the light of truth needs to shine on it and shine brightly! Christianity has been corrupted from the time is was written down that is why Christ never wrote anything down and why he said:

26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. John 14:26-27

He wasn’t leaving us a book to be re-written and corrupted.

Prof. Eberhard Nestle a noted Biblical scholar warned us in his Einfhrung in die Textkritik des griechischen Testaments: Learned men, so called Correctores were, following the church meeting at Nicea 325 AD (Council of Nicea) , selected by the church authorities to scrutinize the sacred texts and rewrite them in order to correct their meaning in accordance with the views which the church had just sanctioned.”

in his book, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, Prof. Bart D. Ehrman, tells us: “…theological disputes, specifically disputes over Christology, prompted Christian scribes to alter the words of scripture in order to make them more serviceable for the polemical task. Scribes modified their manuscripts to make them more patently ‘orthodox’ and less susceptible to ‘abuse’ by the opponents of orthodoxy.”

Lastly, the surviving Greek texts of the book of Acts are so radically different from each other, that it has been suggested that there were multiple versions written. In his book The Text of the New Testament, Dr. Vincent Taylor writes that “The manuscripts of the New Testament preserve traces of two kinds of dogmatic alterations: those which involve the elimination or alteration of what was regarded as doctrinally unacceptable or inconvenient, and those which introduce into the Scriptures proof for a favorite theological tenet or practice”.

We need to do as Yeshua instructed and go inward for spiritual teachings and re-develop our intuitive sense and our inner listening. We have the skills, they have merely laid dormant as we forced the Holy Spirit to step aside while we listened to flesh and blood “authorities” who told us – forced us – to follow them. While we re-engage the Holy Spirit and “we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.”

What I can tell you, Paul was a coward and an egotist, his goal was to be the next Messiah. Mary Magdalene and the others apostles urged him to stop misleading people and he broke company with them because they didn’t accept him as their leader. Mary Magdalene went to France and kept communion with the Holy Spirit, she made many friends there whom she helped lead in following the ways of Yeshua. She taught them how to listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit and not be misguided by the world then as now. She taught them simple discernment:

Is my thought loving?

Does it bring peace?

Does it do no harm?

Then it is true.

If my thought or action causes derision, passion, anger, harm in any way it is not true and it is not THE WAY. She says as Yeshua did, “Follow me, be my friend, and find The Way.”

Reservoir

Tonight’s Full Moon

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Time to step forward in full color. The full moon of March 12, 2017 (7:64 am PT) ignites a fire that will melt away the stagnate ice of the past.

Followed closely by the Spring Equinox (March 20), this full moon marks the end of long winter nights in the northern hemisphere. In India this full moon is celebrated as the festival of colors – Holi, in which participants douse each other with brightly colored powder and paint.

According to Vedic astrology the full moon falls in the area of the sky (nakshatara), known as Uttara Phalguni. Symbolized by the marriage bed, it is celebrated as the nuptial star of Shiva and Shakti.  It has a fertile, sensual energy that sparks creativity and can inspire us to want to deepen our connection to others.

On the eve of Holi, bonfires are lit in the streets and burn throughout the night until morning. The purifying fires of Holi symbolize the collective burning of ill-will and resentments that have accumulated in relationships, families, and communities over the year.

On this full moon, we might do well by lighting our own Holi fires and throwing any past grievances into the flames. This is a prime time to take stock of our personal, family and work relationships, and consider whether we’ve been holding on to past resentments.

Venus’s current retrograde cycle (March 4 – April 15) sharpens the focus on love and creativity and could break through the ice of long-estranged relationships.  Conversely, Venus may also expose cracks in marriages, legal contracts, or any sort of binding agreements around this time.  This is a good time to ask ourselves if we are giving too much of our time and energy to people and things that fail to meet our expectations. Read more about Venus’s retrograde cycle here.

This full moon, celebrated in India as the wild and spirited holiday of Holi, is packed with fertile and creative energy. Furthermore, Mars has stepped into the invigorating sign of Aries, pushing us to advance forward and supporting the rejuvenating growth of spring.

The colors of Holi represent the flowering blossoms of spring and the vitality of life’s renewal. Seize the moment to connect with your passion and allow yourself to play with the colors of creativity, while exploring what truly makes you happy.

Jesus the Feminist

I am not opposed in any way to Jesus, as a matter of fact, I consider myself one of his most ardent followers. I am questioning the documentation of his first Apostles, not because I doubt their sincerity, but let’s face it, they did not write the Gospels. The Gospels were written 50-60 years after Jesus’ death and there were many Gospels that were followed during that time that did not make it to the canonical Bible.

What were the differences? Some were Gnostic and the only remaining Gnostic Gospels we have were from the Nag Hammadi collection. There is dispute about the relevance of these Gospels compared to the canonical, but isn’t it possible that they give an unadulterated glimpse into beliefs of the time? I believe they do and we have to at least consider that victors record history in the manner they want events remembered.

Which brings us to my point, sadly if we look at cultural norms during the time of Christ we see women severely marginalized. They were considered chattel with very few rights in a Jewish society and first Century Rome was also firmly committed to patriarchy and the subordination of women. This is the lens we must use to view the writings of the early church authors. Whether Jew or Roman, their cultural inclinations were strongly reflected in their writings.

Jesus treated women with respect and elevated the role of women – when he was alive. He was the first feminist, he spoke to the woman at the well, he spoke to Mary and Martha and educated them, he valued Mary Magdalene’s opinion more than the other apostles. He led by example, but once he died the men of the society could not or would not continue those teachings. They couldn’t give up their power.

2017 years later, they still can not. the Catholic Church, Orthodox Judaism, Islam remain as relics holding firm to the false teachings about women because they won’t relinquish perceived power.

If the world is going to change, the role of women must be recognized and valued. There is no balance without a balance of the male and female energies in the world. We must build a calmer, peace driven world by stepping up as women of the world.

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Lenten Spring

At first I was thinking that the season of Lent seems more congruous with Autumn than Spring, the ashes, the introspection, the time of darkness and waiting. Then I realized, Spring is that time, when buried bulbs and flowers are starting to awaken, they are starting to feel the warm of the light penetrating deep into the ground and gently rousing them from their long winters sleep. I am reminded that is how our souls react to the light of God gently and slowly waking us up to the realization we are not alone. We hibernate sometimes deeply in the shell of our bodies using it as a barrier against the world. But even as we hide, the Holy Spirit draws us out almost vibrating us awake, inviting us to be part of the whole. We are tender shoots, peeking out timidly from behind ourselves, letting God see us for who he already know we are. “Don’t be afraid,” s/he might say, “come into the light where the waters of baptism have washed your tears and my light can blot out any stains on your soul.”

Red Foliage fall

The Rawness of God

Molma Indigo • Spiritual Activist

I finished reading Teilhard’s “Hymn of the Universe” (thank you William Ockham) about 2:30 AM this morning. I was so taken by the outpouring of emotion that I felt as I was reading it – I felt as if I were reading my thoughts on the page. It was as if Teilhard had somehow gotten into my head and what I was feeling he was so eloquently and passionately writing down and then he took those feelings to another height. I felt like I had been taken back into the womb of creation itself and I couldn’t put it down because it haunted me to continue. From the writing page 17:

“All of us, Lord, from the moment we are born feel within us this disturbing mixture of remoteness and nearness; and in our heritage of sorrow and hope passed down to us through the ages, there is no yearning…

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