Tag Archive | Indoctrination

Spiritual Discernment in the Age of Social Media

The good news is there is lots of information available, the bad new is there is lots of information available. If you are serious about finding a good spiritual path that works for you, how do you discern the good from the bad, the good from  the evil,  the charlatans from the authentic?

Yeshua said follow me, you are my friends, you decide. I think that is a good place to start. You decide, you research, you explore, but then in the end you decide. Free will.

If you don’t follow me you will __________(fill in the blank). Threats, coercion or fear tactics are a signal that this is likely not a good path.

You have to do, say, recite, believe everything I tell you even if you don’t think its right or true – all in the name of obedience. Not allowed to think, understand or internalize and does not recognize free will –  not the right path.

I will protect you from _________ and without me you are at risk. Fear again, not cool.

Give me your money to show your commitment, Jesus wants you to plant a seed so you can prosper, what you give you will get back 10 fold, planting a seed spreads the true word of God. Definitely the wrong path.

Pay for miracles, absolution, special oils, amulets, water and  this will free you from your problems. Nope, this is not a good path.

Touch the TV screen and you will be saved! Yikes!

Ask yourself this…saved FROM WHAT?

Did God send his only son – who by the way is God – to save you from the wrath imposed by himself for not agreeing to follow him and be saved from….himself? Sigh, we need to think and not just continue in our old habitual ways.

Yeshua did say follow me, I will give you peace. He wants us to understand his teachings so we can free ourselves from negativity, from unhealthy attachments, from things tying us down and upsetting us and keeping us from living. It’s all in what we chose to think about – which should be love, health, peace and avoiding conflict. It starts and ends with us. It’s not the Bible which is a corrupted document or the age old dogmatic indoctrination. He sent us the Holy Spirit to lead us from inside ourselves – when he left. That is the true teacher.

green pond with geese

 

Early Christianity

The current canonical Gospels were approved during the Council of Nicea in 325AD by Emperor Constantine. Prior to that ancient council there were many Gospels in use, the most widely utilized being the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of the Hebrews. Unlike other Jewish-Christian gospels, the Gospel of the Hebrews was not dependent on the Gospel of Matthew as it’s source document. These early followers may have claimed James as their founder and leader and is more similar to the canonical Gospels. The Gospel of Thomas had a more Gnostic flavor and was more similar in nature to the Gospel of John. There was a lively following of early Christians that recited and remembered the stories of Jesus and his miracles. Since society at this time was largely illiterate, their primary form of transmission of teachings would have been through story telling.

What did they believe though and how did it differ from what we believe now? Rome was in decline during the 4th Century and Constantine saw an opportunity to capitalize on the up and coming Jesus movement to sanctify his role and position. He used the Church to strengthen and expand his kingdom “in the name of God” and with the Church’s blessings. What impact did that have on early believers? Sadly, a significant and tragic impact. Many of the early sects ended up being declared heretical and the Romans were more than willing to partner with the Church to eliminate those not in agreement with them.

The outcome is perhaps even more  tragic, the victors memorialize history and tell the tale that they want to be told. One only needs to look to American history for a recent and applicable example. Up until recently, history was written according to the recollections of Christopher Columbus and crew and he was hailed a “hero” for discovering America and slaying the savage “Indians”. Well, we now know that perhaps it was the Europeans who were the savages, the aggressors and that the natives were actually the victims.

The same can be applied to early Christians. Take one group for example, the Cathars – from  the Greek for “pure ones,” who were a Gnostic sect and followers of John. They were well entrenched in southern France and their followers numbered as high as 20,000 in around the 12th-14th Centuries . By the early thirteenth century Catharism was likely the dominant religion in the area and many Catholic texts refer to the concern that Catharism would actually replace Catholisism completely. They were known to the people in Southern France as the Bons Hommes or “Good People” and they followed a simple communal life where men and women were considered equal and could hold leadership positions, but their beliefs were quite different than those of the Roman church.

Cathars were dualists believing in the idea of two Gods or principles, one being good and the other evil.  The good God was the God who was the creator of the spiritual realm, contrasted with the evil God who was the creator of the physical world – much like the Jehovah and Satan of mainstream Christianity today.  The only way to escape the physical world was through rounds of reincarnation, which according to another early Church Father, Origen, was also taught by Jesus.

The Cathars believed that one would continue to reincarnate until they could deny their attachment to the material world. They believed a man could be reincarnated as a woman and vice versa creating an atmosphere where gender was completely meaningless.[46] The spirit was the most important to the Cathars which they also considered not from the  material world and sexless. Because of this, the Cathars believed women and men were equal  and just as capable of being spiritual leaders, which stood in direct conflict with the belief of an all-male priesthood held by the Roman Catholic Church.

The Cathars, like the Gnostics who preceded them, felt Mary Magdalene held a more significant role in the spread of Christianity than even Peter. Her vital role as a teacher was the model for the Cathar belief that women could serve as spiritual leaders. Women were counted among the Cathari Perfecti or leaders, in significant numbers.

Fearing for loss of control of the people and the Church, under orders of Pope Innocent III and with the full support of the King of France, Dominic led a campaign against the Cathars and after 40 years and the extermination of the Cathars, the Roman Church had proof that a sustained campaign of genocide could work. The year 1234 AD saw the start of the inquisition with the goal to root out any remaining Cathars. Sadly, their march against those in opposition continued until all detractors were eliminated.

We must begin to piece through what was original to these early Christians and what was added to serve competing agendas of successive church and civil leaders. Now with the finding of the Nag Hammadi documents, the unadulterated Gospels found in Egypt in 1947, we can begin to see into an earlier and perhaps truer form of Christianity.

We owe it to ourselves to understand the truth or at least to make sure what we believe is not the result of years of indoctrination founded on violence and more on what the genuine teachings of Jesus actually were.

rose

 

Eve and The Oppression of Women

The oppression of women started with Eve. She became the icon of all that was wrong in the world, the ultimate progenitor of original sin and humanity’s fall from God’s grace.

IT IS A MYTH.

We are emanations of God separated like rainbows through a prism.Female separated from male as the energies fractured and were split. The Adam and Eve myth helped early people understand through storytelling where man originated. Because of the state humanity was in and still is in, there needed to be someone to “blame”. Women have been oppressed, marginalized, maligned, abused and forced to “own” their guilt which doesn’t exist. This ancient indoctrination has been so strong it has perpetuated through out history and pervaded every aspect of society. The “Fathers” of the church were all too happy to assign their rage to the temptress associated with all women. Mary Magdalene became the new whipping post – once again falsely accused – but the error indoctrinated by the power brokers of the church whose only goal was protecting their power base.

Christianity was corrupted the instant it was recorded. Men used it through all ages to support their political and power driven agenda by assigning “the will of God” to their proclamations.

As early as Constantine in 325 AD, the “will of God” was seen as a political tool, when religion and the state were so intertwined that the emperors were convening ecumenical councils that were not even attended by the seated Pope. That was the case for choosing the books of the Bible as well – The Council of Nicea, 325 AD, the Emperor Constantine saw the Roman Empire losing influence and political strength. He watched as Christianity gained zealous followers and knew there was an opportunity to shore up his flailing empire and give it new life.

He chose the books of the Bible that supported obedience, not spiritual growth, that called upon people to peacefully co-exist and be obedient to civil authorities because it was the “will of God”. He and the church then systematically eliminated any opposition and conquered all of Europe with the new religion. The religion of obedience to the Roman Empire that was now officially ordained by God and officially oppressed women all descendants of Eve.

Eve didn’t fall, Adam didn’t fall. We didn’t fall from God’s grace. Our material bodies block the light of  God, the power brokers of religion support that falsehood because they too are indoctrinated and then fall prey to supporting their power base. As long as we see error as truth we are in bondage. As long as we see negativity and incompleteness we will think ourselves not worthy. What we see is what we are reflecting from inside ourselves.

We can not live in a world that is not our own, in a world that is interpreted for us by others. An interpreted world is not a home. Part of the terror is to take back our own listening, to use our own voice, to see our own light.

~ Hildegard of Bingen

Sycmore