What is spirituality ?
What is spirituality ? Our answer : That which inspires us to be our best.
That's a very modern definition of spirituality. But it's one that we can embrace once we've shed the religiosity and superstitions which have often smothered and usurped true spirituality.
Inspire, inspiration and spirituality all share the same root word, which derives from our most fundamental act : breathing in life giving oxygen.
Spirituality is a Latin word, which literally means : to breath.
Another way of saying " breath in " is : inspire.
Spirituality is the act of bringing within us, that which nourishes our mind and body. This nourishment enables us to be our very best.
When we bring into ourselves ( through our incoming thoughts & deeds ) beneficial nourishment, we become our best selves, and know happiness.
Meditation is an example of " beneficial nourishment ". It's no surprise, that meditation is THEE foundational spiritual act. At the core of true meditation, is a focus on symbolically " breathing in right thoughts " as we simultaneously honour our breath ( the most life sustaining and sacred thing we do all day ). Almost every spiritual tradition involves . . . meditation.
Beneficial nourishment is what spirituality aims to deliver. Over thousands of years, wisdom traditions have all shared their unique ways of ' doing ' spirituality. Chants in Hinduism, recitation in Islam, prayers in Christianity or silence in Zen Buddhism ; these are all spiritual actions.
Modern spirituality is about inspiring us to be our best. Sacred Spirit offers spiritual wisdom and practices that provide beneficial nourishment and enable us to become our best selves, but without the religiosity and superstitions which impede our practices.
Once nourished through meditation, our minds can be directed to our daily goal : which is to help those around us to be all they can be.
Every day WE can help others to become their best selves.
In doing so, we take the focus, and importantly, the pressure off ourselves. Our focus instead, is on others.
When we help bring healing to others, WE TOO BECOME HEALED.
Much of today’s metal health epidemic is caused by the pressure we put on ourselves by constantly focusing on ourselves. WE are causing our own crisis. This self-pressure is exacerbated by today’s technology - especially social media - where the emphasis is on us - uploading to the world our momentary best image ( the illusion ) whilst inwardly, the constant spotlight on ourselves, is making us increasingly . . . uneasy.
Our feelings of insecurity and anxiety are fed by our constant focus on our selves. We want to be great - but greatness eludes most of us when we desire it. Instead, turn your attention towards those around you. Help them to feel great - to feel loved - and YOU TOO WILL FEEL GREAT. Your insecurity and anxiety will melt away.
If every person on earth committed to helping those around them each day ( and acted upon that commitment ), the world will be transformed. No matter what you do, or who you are, if you begin the day with a commitment to helping those around you to be their best, you will feel better than any drug can make you feel.
At the start of each day, ask not : “ how can I be great today ? ”, but instead, ask : “ who can I help today ? ”. Happiness will come to you as you help others around you. Guaranteed !
What is the spirit in Sacred Spirit ?
The human spirit is also known as the soul, psyche, consciousness, essence ; or simply, that which animates us. Many have believed our spirit is supernatural and outlives our physical bodies. This has certainly been the teaching of the Occults.
The Elite believe that their spirits are destined for eternal life in an all-exclusive realm called heaven.
Many, as a result of a core belief in a supernatural human spirit, also believe in ghosts, demons, astrology and numerology. Today, science is helping us to better understand what is the human spirit.
The good news is, that we all have a spirit and it's nothing to do with the supernatural. Science today, can even explain its existence.
Electromagnetic signals, which in our bodies, are created between nerve synapses and neurones, form electrical and magnetic fields. These electro-magnetic fields are responsible for consciousness. Electro-magnetic fields, produced by our brain's neurones, may be the ultimate explanation of what mystics have for thousands of years, called our spirit.
Electro-magnetic fields enable matter to become animated, enabling the mind to become self aware, and think for itself. Aquarian Spirituality has long been an advocate of the Electric Universe model, which describes electro-magnetism as a key ' creative force ' in our universe ( as opposed to earlier Gravity-centric Universe models, which focused on gravity as the fundamental driver of the universe ). Now, that same energy ( electro-magnetism ) may well explain, not just the function of the entire universe, but the existence of our spirit ; our conscious self.
Electricity and magnetism together, may well be the source of our human spirit. Just as planetary bodies generate electrical and magnetic fields, so do we ( as proven today by brain-scanning devices, such as EEG devices ).
Our brain's self-generated, information-rich electro-magnetic field, may well be the very seat of consciousness and the source of our free will and being. This intricate design and function of our brain, leads many to consider whether evolution could produce such complexity, or was a greater intelligence responsible ?
Is there belief in God in Modern Spirituality ?
Religion and religiosity should be differentiated. Religion is simply the organisation and management of a spiritual method. Religiosity however, is an escalation of hardened hearts within a religion, which leads to fundamentalism, discrimination, hurt and fear. Superstitions are a device for manipulating followers under the guise of offering some supernatural advantage. Superstition is a deception and has nothing to do with true spirituality. Superstitions range from astrology and spells, right through to the mass mind-control rituals of the Occult.
Spirituality is NOT superstition and superstitions are not spirituality.
Aquarian Spirituality is a necessary response to increasing religiosity and superstitions, which have usurped our ' indigenous ' spiritual traditions. Aquarian Spiritual is a restorative movement ; a spring clean that is needed to again, enable us to gain pure nourishment and be our best.
The existence of a creator god is ultimately a sacred mystery. It may surprise some, that the existence of a divine creator is not the central concern of Sacred Spirituality.
Modern Spirituality is about people building loving relationships with other people, honouring the freedom of all beings, and creating a beautiful world. Spirituality is about the quality of our relationships : the sacred spirit between us.
If there is a god, living a love-filled life, protecting liberties and creating beautiful places, would honour that god more truthfully than any form of ceremonial worship !
Most practitioners of Sacred Spirit take an agnostic position on the existence of a god. We neither deny nor affirm the existence of a supernatural deity.
There is simply no evidence . . . either way at present. And neither is there any direct communication from any supernatural being(s).
There are no instructions from any god that we must worship a supernatural being ( at least not from ' above ' - there's plenty of instructions from men - but none directly from " heaven " ). No deity has ever come down from the sky and demanded to be worshiped.
There are also many, many problematic questions which theologians ( i.e. those who promote a Judeo-Christian God ) have failed to satisfactorily address ; such as the existence of suffering ( e.g. innocent children suffering cancer ) and evil ( i.e. whether by deliberate behaviour or by a disordered mind ) in the presence of a supposedly all-loving, all-knowing and all-powerful God, who could create a real paradise on Earth - free from childhood cancers - but instead, chooses not to.
We also reject the doctrine of Original Sin. It is a tragically flawed teaching.
Childhood cancers should never be explained as a punishment by a jealous God who took his revenge upon Adam and all subsequent generations. What kind of a monster is that ? Certainly one not worthy of our worship. Fear cannot be the foundation of any spirituality or religious system. And yet, that's exactly what's been dished up to the masses over the last 6,000 years by religious tyrants who exploit fear as a powerful instrument for controlling the common folk.
The Catholic Church, and indeed most Christian churches ( except for evangelical and Bible fundamentalist denominations ), quietly put aside the god of the Hebrews ( Yahweh / Jehovah / YHWH ) in preference for Greek Philosopher Plato's concept of god : a god who is the source of all creation, who is always good ( kind, loving etc ), and who creates a good world where beautiful life can evolve and thrive.
YHWH was deemed by Christ, Paul, and other early Church ' fathers ' such as Augustine, as being tribal, jealous and imperfect. YHWH was not THEE creator, but a second tier demigod ( called a Demiurge by Plato ) : a local deity of the Israelites. This Demiurge ( e.g. YHWH ) is territorial and vengeful, demanding virgins, cattle and gold - an odd request for a supposedly supernatural being !
Christ, differentiating his god from the god of the Hebrews, said to the Pharisees :
" You are of your father, the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies ".
Does this suggest, that Christ and the Nazarenes understood, that since the time of Solomon, some Hebrew priests ( the Zadoks ) worshiped the devil ? Were the Pharisees the inheritors of the Solomon / Zadok occult, and thus, in Christ's eyes, were peddling a ' fake religion ' : including the worship of ' murderous demons ' such as YWHW ?
Clearly Christ saw his ' Father ' as a better god than YHWH. To this day, the Catholic church does not encourage the use of the name YHWH, knowing all along, that YHWH is not god but a local Hebrew deity !
Even if we choose Plato's god over the Hebrew’s god, we are still left with many unanswered questions, such as : why a good god, creating a good world, would allow good children to suffer with terminal cancer ?
Perhaps, if aliens were our creators ( rather than a deity ), this could better explain the imperfections that exist in our genes to this day, as aliens would have been interested in creating workers, and not perfection.
In Aquarian Spirituality, all speculative ideas about God ( or any deity ) are called the sacred mysteries. They don't require belief, just ongoing contemplation. Let’s be content to dwell in the mysteries !
Perhaps over the next two thousand years, new knowledge will emerge that will again challenge us to reconsider our position on these ' sacred mysteries '.
In the meantime, our spirituality is not dependent on any supernatural being. WE take responsibility for our life-path.
The Aquarian Age is a time of realisation, that WE are ultimately responsible for spreading love, freedom and beauty in this world, in order to save this world.
Some practitioners of Aquarian Spirituality refer to a " creator god " as a modern day symbol of love, freedom and beauty :
that " God " is an expression of hope : that a benevolent creator of the universe is loving ( i.e. God created us as an act of divine love ), and blesses us with freedom ( i.e. our freedom is an act of divine love ) and that the beauty of the world is given to us all to enjoy ( i.e. God understands that life should be filled with pleasures* so that life is worth living - after all, that's the message of the Garden of Eden ; a Garden of Pleasures, where life is enjoyed - symbolised by the many pleasing fruits ).
However, understanding God as a SYMBOL of love, freedom and beauty, is not completely satisfactory ;
Divine freedom, applied consistently and equally across all creation, is somewhat problematic.
If God is consistent ( i.e. God can be known because God is predictable ), then all aspects of creation would have to be equally free from divine intervention once created, including our biological nature, which too, ' must freely take its course '. Thus, random gene mutations which cause cancers will occur without a divine response to ' correct ' these errors ( called miracles in religious speak ).
* Modern neuroscience confirms that humans are chemically hardwired to seek pleasure.
If this is true, God's freedom blessing transcends God's care for children with cancer : a morally difficult situation.
We observe that biological ' beings ' are best suited to constant environmental changes that occur on Earth. Biological species ( being genetically ' flexible ' ) can adapt and survive ( e.g. our skin colour can change according to where we live on the planet ).
Homo Sapiens are the perfect example of biological adaptability ( which we can also call . . . " biological freedom " - an aspect of God’s supposed freedom blessing ).
If we were eternal ( physical ) beings living on this Earth, we would ultimately fail, as we would have an inadequate mechanism for adapting to the constant environmental changes around us. If we were like a solid rod, we could not bend to accommodate change, and ultimately, we would ' snap '. But as each generation lives only for a short time, and our genes can pass on adaptive mutations that benefit the next generation’s survival, Homo Sapiens can effectively bend with the forces of change.
So unlike the solid pole analogy, humanity is more like a flexible chain of links ; each new generation ( each new link on the chain ) able to adapt to the . . . winds of change.
Over the course of millions of years, we have survived BECAUSE our genes can adapt.
But genetic flexibility, which ultimately can save a species, also enables mutations to occur which can cause defects, such as cancer. This appears to be the ( high ) price we pay for our gene's highly adaptive capabilities.
As biological beings, we cannot live for eternity on this earth, and from the moment we are conceived, as a biological species, we face the uncertain threat of death. We may well ask, if the Creator is eternal, why are we not eternal ? Surely a just God would enable us to live forever !
Is there an eternal soul for the afterlife ( i.e. a non-biological and trans-dimensional aspect of our being that is eternal ) ? Again, this is for Sacred Spirit, a Sacred Mystery - worthy of our contemplation, and the hope that some day, we may gain further insights.
Perhaps in the end, the successful transmission of our genes is our unique form of " eternal life " !
In another way, we are already . . . eternal beings.
At a micro level, humans are made up of cells, which are a complex soup of molecules, which in turn, are made up of atoms* ( we each have around seven octillion atoms ! ). Whilst our cells replenish ( about a rate of 330,000,000,000 every day ), atoms however, don't regenerate. In fact, stable atoms last forever ( although they may be subject to decay over billions of years ). Your atoms will survive you for a very long time ! Therefore, in many ways, you ARE already immortal.
On a chemical level, 99%+ of our body consists of Hydrogen, Oxygen, carbon and nitrogen. These four elements have all existed since the creation of stars. Thus, as well as being immortal, we are also part of the living history of the universe.
We also contain within our bodies, a tiny amount of the element helium. Helium is the second most abundant element in the universe ( after hydrogen ). The gas is produced when uranium and other radioactive elements break down. Upon our deaths, helium is released as our bodies decompose. Earth's gravity is not sufficient to prevent Helium's gradual escape into space. Therefore, the helium in YOUR body will in time, leave Earth and journey into deep space ( or as we used to say the heavens ! ).
In other words, a small part of you, will go forth into . . . eternity.
In the Christian Gospels, the author John ( 1 John 4 : 8 ) refers to God as a loving being, when he writes “ God is love ". John is the most ' spiritual ' of the Gospel writers. We believe John understood God through the experience and teachings of Christ, whose principal message was centered on love.
An atom is a piece of matter. ( Matter is anything that can be touched physically ). Atoms consist of a nucleus, which is made of protons and neutrons. A ' cloud ' of electrons circle the nucleus. A proton is a sub atomic particle that is positively charged. A neutron is a sub atomic particle with a negative charge. As an example, a hydrogen atom contains one proton, one electron, and no neutrons.
Many Ju'es feared their God, who they saw, as a harsh judge, or ' tribal enforcer ' of the laws of heaven. John's statement on God's essence is in fact, a declaration of freedom ; helping his fellow Ju'es to overcome their fear-based understanding of who God is ( which developed during the Age of Aries, thanks largely to the corruption of Melchizedek's teachings on freedom by tyrants and occult worshipers, such as King Solomon, who used religion to control their subjects ).
John was reminding his fellow Ju'es that, at the heart of effective living is . . . love ( love guides us to create a Garden of Eden - not rules or fear ie not religiosity or superstitions ). Thus, if God is at the heart of all life ( as the creator of all life ), John reasoned, God must be love ( and loving ).
We acknowledge the theistic positions once held by the arch angels Melchizedek ( who taught Abraham about a freedom loving God ) and the Nazarene Messiah ( who taught his disciples about a loving ' fatherly ' God ).
However, in the coming Age, a new understanding of what's holy is emerging. A new spirituality is rising up ; free of superstitions and religiosity. In the coming spiritual Age, responsibility for our actions, and our future, are not delegated to the heavens, but are placed upon each of us here on this Earth.
Humanity's great spiritual journey is akin to a person's journey towards adult-hood ; as we mature, we must accept more and more responsibility for our behaviours. In the 21st century, we can no longer outsource salvation to the gods.
Symbolically, the three Great Ages of Spirituality : the Age of the Father ( Arian Age ), the Age of the Son ( Piscine Age ) and the Age of the Holy Spirit ( Aquarian Age ) can be seen as a gradual maturing of our awareness of what's holy.
In the Arian Age, holiness was seen in heaven, in the form of an inspiring divine ( holy ) being, who blessed us with freedom. In the Age of the Son, divinity ( holiness ) came down from heaven, and became a Christ-man who blessed us with the message of love.
That man was crucified by those who rejected love. But the message of love survived the crucifixion and continues to this day, to transform lives wherever and whenever love is shared.
In the New Age ( the Aquarian Age ), a beautiful wholistic spirituality is emerging ; free once more from superstitions and religiosity. In the new Age of Aquarius, spirituality is not about superstitions from above, but about cultivating love, freedom and beauty.
In the Aquarian Age, the Holy Spirit ( which we now call the Sacred Spirit ) is not a mythical ' third person ' of some divine trinity, but the very symbol of a special connection that exists between us : a ' third force ' ( invisible but ' real ' ) that's created when people strive to appreciate each other's inner beauty, act with love towards each other, and respect each other’s freedoms.
We are nourished by nature's beauty ( which is all around us - not just in heaven ). Nature is an important source for our healing and well being.
ALL LIFE IS HOLY. We are all part of a greater ' whole '.
Hence the spirituality of the Aquarian Age, is a wholistic spirituality ; all embracing and all inclusive.
That's the Holy Spirit of our Age. That's what's holy now.
Many modern Christian movements today agree, that we cannot say anything about God with any degree of certainty. Theology remains a speculative venture. In many ways, the modern Christian movement is closer to the spirituality of the first Nazarene apostles, who were prepared to put aside centuries of traditions and beliefs, and build a new spirituality ( based on the teachings of their Messiah ) that was free of superstitions and religiosity.
That brief window was quickly closed with the coming of Paul of Tarsus, who reintroduced myths into his interpretation of the Christ story, and again, true spirituality was usurped by superstition.
Today, the work of one of the 20th century's great theologians - Paul Tillich ( born in modern day Poland ) - is testament to modern Christianity's attempts to move beyond the Dark Ages, and unhinge God from the the confines of traditional theism by declaring that ; God is not just another being, but the very ground of being.
John Shelby - Episcopalian Bishop of Newark New York - has challenged his Anglican community to move with the times and embrace a more Tillich-like approach to theism.
Modern Christianity represents a late Piscine Age spiritual maturity that is also ironically, a return to the very roots of Christianity ; pre New Testament, pre Paul, and certainly, pre the Roman Church's Dark Age era.
Sacred Spirit's principal teaching is, that we should appreciate each person's inner beauty. A person's inner beauty is their purity, love and innate goodness. When we strive to see another person's inner beauty, we are striving to understand them first as . . . a beautiful person.
Artists might symbolically depict our ' vision ' of another person's inner beauty, by depicting that person's inner light or inner glow.
WHEN we ' see ' another person’s inner beauty, we can begin to act lovingly towards them - and thus build a truly loving connection with them . . . one that will bring happiness to both of you.
To truly appreciate another person's inner beauty, we can adopt one simple practice :
When you meet another person, gaze gently into their EYES & smile.
Say to yourself : " I can see your inner beauty by your eyes . . . and you can see mine "
This is how we can begin to ' see ' another person's ' inner beauty '.
Eyes are a window into our inner being.
Eyes are a gateway to connecting with every person you meet.
Eyes are the bridge to creating loving connections.
Eyes are beautiful - just as another person's inner being is also beautiful.
A genuine smile sends a message : it hints at what you are thinking. Your genuine smile says . . ." I like you “
The eye is the organ of connection. Our eyeball ( being round ) is exposed to both the outside world on one side AND on the other side, it is connected via a network of sensory ( optic ) nerves, to our inner world ( our mind ). The eye is thus a gateway between two worlds. Our eye's pupils literally light up when you create attraction with another person. Oxytocin and dopamine — the so called love hormones — have an effect on pupil size. Your brain gets a boost of these chemicals when you feel attracted to someone. This surge in hormones dilates your pupils ! Your heart rate increases too. The heart is the organ of emotion - our heart rate reflects our emotional state.
Yes, some people do bad things. Many people have harmed others, most often, as a result of first being harmed as a child or teen. Yet every person, was born with goodness ( inner beauty ) deep inside of them. Our ' inner good nature ' enables us to connect with others. Good behaviour is a natural survival tool. Its part of our human nature. As children, we learn about goodness from good parents, mentors, siblings and friends. Later in life, we use these good experiences, to help create good relationships with others.
Unless we were terribly abused, and are unable to feel anything good ( a form of psychological protection against trusting anyone ever again ), most people are simply a mix of good and not-so-good elements, and so, we are able to create a good connection with another person . . . in the right circumstances ! When received warmly and genuinely, most people respond well - reciprocating that love, and building a good connection.
Symbolically, when two persons come together in this way, they create a special connection or ' sacred spark ' which we call : a ‘ Holy Spirit ‘ or ‘ Sacred Spirit ‘.
The Sacred Spirit is like an invisible spark that is ( symbolically ) ignited when we appreciate another person's inner beauty. From this simple spark love is born.
In the new modern Age, the Sacred Spirit is not seen as some divine or supernatural being. The Sacred Spirit is the spirit of love, freedom and beauty. It exists whenever people interact lovingly, and honour each other’s freedoms. Of course, this all begins, by coming to appreciate each other’s inner beauty ( their inner God Spirit or Good Spirit ).
Honouring another person’s freedom is the truest test of your love. If your love towards another person is real, you will “ set them free ” : i.e. you will encourage them to be all they can be, and not try to manipulate, control or ‘ own ’ them to fulfil your selfish desires.
In ancient times, the Sacred Spirit ' was called the ' divine light ' or the ' Holy Spirit '. It was considered a supernatural force, or " the power of god " ( and often personified as a mysterious or mystical divine presence ). Today, we suggest the Sacred Spirit is ' created symbolically ’ whenever and wherever people honour each other’s sacredness.
The Nazarene Messiah taught that the Kin-dom of Heaven exists when we love one another. The Kin-dom of Heaven is another metaphor ( or symbol ) for love just as the Holy Spirit or Sacred Spirit is a symbol of love.
The 13th Apostle Paul, who created his own version of the Messiah's spiritual path, also wrote about divine love residing within us ( which he called God's spirit ):
" you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst "
( Letter to the Church in Corinth - 1 Corinthians 2 : 16 N.T. ).
Thus, Pauline Christianity was not concerned with rebuilding the lost temple of the Ju’es ( which was destroyed by Rome in 70 AD ), as they understood that every person was a temple of the divine spirit of God.
When we lovingly honour another person, we rise above our primitive ego - our overly self-centered instincts.
Love overcomes our primal instinct to act selfishly. Self-centeredness comes from a deep fear of losing something precious ( or not having enough ). Yet loving others . . . brings us more than fearing others.
Fear is a function of our egos.
Our egos are our protective shields. But untrained, our uncontrolled egos ( our selfish mind ) can dominate our thoughts. We fear loss. We distrust others. We allow jealousy and hatreds to fester. Hatred leads to violence. From self-centeredness comes self destruction. But love can break this vicious cycle. Love challenges fear. Love overcomes fear. Love is salvational. When we choose love, we also stand against occult beliefs - which celebrate the ego as thee central thing.
The first century world was filled with superstition and religiosity, and so Christ's message was not yet understood by many, except his closest disciples. But now, as the Age of Pisces closes, many more people are accepting a world without superstition and religiosity.
The Age of Reason ( the last 300 years or so ) was a necessary reactionary period in our spiritual development. But reason alone ( rationality ) cannot inspire us to be loving. We need a spirituality to instill within us, a deeper ' attitude ' - one that inspires us to always be loving, honour freedom and create beauty.
Plato and the good god
Australian Catholic University researcher Dr. M. David Litwa, states that the early Christian Church also struggled with the Hebrew god YHWH being the ' Creator ' God - i.e. the ' Father God ' - as referred to by Christ.
Dr. Litwa draws our attention to Marcion of Sinope (in modern day Türkiye) - a second century Christian theologian ( who some scholars have called a Gnostic dualist for reasons that will become apparent here ).
Marcion distinguished between the ' Father ' of Christ ( who he called good : i.e. always loving, merciful / forgiving, benevolent etc ), verses YHWH ( the Old Testament deity of Moses and then the nation of Israel ), who Marcion described as a jealous tribal deity of the Ju'ish people, and who imposed harsh laws and punishments, including the death penalty for those who failed to obey him.
In his now lost / destroyed book - Antitheses - Marcion named the Hebrew god, a ' Dēmiurgós ' ( Greek : δημιουργός ) ( Latin : demiurgus ) and suggested this deity, and all the other nation's Dēmiurgós ( deities ) were beneath a High God. As these lesser gods were created with free will ( as humans were ), they were capable of being good . . . and evil. In the case of YHWH, he was more than capable of being evil.
Marcion had strong support during his time, and his churches survived well beyond his death ( for at least one or two centuries ). But ultimately, they were shut down by Constantine's Imperial Roman Catholic church, which quashed all opposition to the ' orthodox ' position.
Marcion, like many Greek speaking Christians and Ju'es, was believed to have been heavily influenced by Plato.
Plato ( whose real name was Aristocles, son of Ariston ), wrote a key book on the creation of the world called Timaeus. In this book, Plato differentiates between the High God and God's manager - the Creator - who would do the work of the High God in bringing life to the universe.
Plato declares, that this High God cannot be evil - i.e. jealous or territorial.
But then there are the Dēmiurgós : the middle managers, who are extremely territorial. In Plato's worldview, these are the national gods, of which YHWH is the god of the Hebrews / Israel.
In the Hebrew's Book of Deuteronomy, there were 71 nations in their mythology, and therefore, there were 71 ' Angels ' or Dēmiurgós - one for each nation. Later in Hebrew mythology, in the Book of Daniel, the Angel Michael becomes the angel of Israel ! Was YHWH demoted and replaced for being too evil ? In Daniel, the Prince of Israel ( Michael ) engages in a battle with the Prince of Persia.
From our perspective, a jealous god is a perfect projection of our own human traits - including jealousy - onto these middle level Dēmiurgós.
This worldview ( the Platonic worldview ) was promoted by Marcion. He preferred Plato's view of creation and understanding of a good High God and flawed demi-gods, to the Hebrew narrative about the one god YHWH.
Marcion also preferred the 13th Apostle Paul's writings to the four gospel authors ( which he did not regard as scripture ). In Marcion's ' Bible ', Plato's writings, as well as Paul's, would form the essential elements of the ' true ' Christian faith. Some scholars call Marcion's Bible a ' Gnostic gospel '.
The Roman Church did not reject the Old Testament ( and the stories of the god YHWH ) for this key reason : the Hebrew Bible predicted the coming of their Jesus in 32 AD [ see the Book of Daniel ]. These prophecies help underpin claims that Yeshua WAS the Messiah.
So whilst the behaviours of the Hebrew's god was problematic, the prophecies were seen as beneficial for Christianity's claims of Yeshua's divinity, and thus Christianity’s Ju’ish roots could not be denied.
Plato's understanding of God as being fundamentally good, had a deep influence on the early Church, and helped steer the Church away from the religion of Judaism and its practices, whilst not rejecting the foundational Hebrew texts, which ‘ foretold ’ the Messiah.
It is a balancing act that to this day, presents an internal struggle for the Catholic Church. Should the Church declare, as Christ did ( see John 8 : 43 ), that the father of the Ju'es is evil - and thus clearly differentiate between YHWH god and the Father God of Christ and the Catholic Church ?
Given the Holocaust of the 20th century, and its origins in anti-semitism, the Church today prefers not to speak out on this subject.
Both Pope Benedict and John Paul 2 identified as neo-Platonists.
Clearly, there is a preference for Plato's High God in the Vatican, but this preference is not widely discussed in the pews. Yet, more and more scholars working in Catholic institutions, are discussing this issue, including Dr. Litwa at the Catholic University of Australia.
Below : Painter Raphael’s depiction of Plato holding his book on creation Timaeus, is displayed at the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace. Along with his teacher Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato is a central figure in the history of philosophy and Western religion.
Was the Hebrew Bible inspired by Plato ?
Old Testament scholar - Russell Gmirkin - proposes that the Old Testament drew heavily on Plato's writings. Logos Bible Software names Gmirkin as the author of one of the 10 most important recent books on the Pentateuch. In his book - Plato and the Creation of the Hebrew Bible ( Routledge Press ) - Gmirkin suggests the Books of Moses were compiled around 270 B.C. - over 1000 years after the events of the Exodus.
Plato proposed that if a ruling class ( i.e. priests and educators - not kings and tyrants ) could form a cohesive government, and persuade the people that their laws and literature were divinely inspired, that nation could become an effective state - achieving national unity, and thus enjoying sustained prosperity.
Plato believed that laws for a new state should be written in a way that encouraged a genuine willingness to obey them. Infusing laws with the " the blessings of heaven " was useful in achieving this goal.
Plato also suggested that it was beneficial for a nation to have an inspiring foundational story that forged a sense of national identity.
Gmirkin shows that Mosaic laws often closely resemble those found in Athens and in Plato's book Laws. He further suggests, that the epic of the Exodus was embellished to provide Israel with an inspiring foundation.
We agree with Gmirkin, that many of the laws and ideas for a good society that were found in the Hebrew Bible, came from Plato, and these were incorporated into a final version of the Bible, called the Septuagint.
However, Israel was far from being a priestly Platonic paradise.
The founding of Israel was drenched in blood ( many local tribes in the Levant region were attacked by the Israelites ), and Israel continued to be a violent warrior state long after its establishment. The nation would replace its priestly rulers in favour of a military kingship ( David ) and adopt many occult superstitions ( Solomon ), as it sought to become a local powerhouse state.
The Alexandrian translators of the Hebrew Bible could not deny their nation’s bloody history, as Israel’s story was already well documented prior to 270 BC in pre-Septuagint books of the Bible.
The result is therefore, a Bible that is contradictory - on one hand attempting to incorporate some of Plato’s ideas, but on the other, being forced to admit the uncomfortable truths about the nature of god YHWH.
The difference between Plato's ideal society and the reality of a brutal warrior state ( led by the alien YHWH who demands wars against his enemies and sacrifices of meat, virgins and gold ), is laid bare in many of the stories found in the Hebrew Bible. It is understandable, that so many early Christian fathers, chose Plato’s ‘ good god ’, over Moses’ YHWH.
The period around 270 BC in Judea, is known as the Hellenistic period. It was also the period of the Second Temple, which was built in 516 BC ( after many Ju'es returned from exile in Babylon ) and was later destroyed in 70 AD by Rome. For 100 years prior to 270 BC, the region of Judea was ruled by one of Alexander the Great's Macedonian generals, who established the Ptolemaic Kingdom in Egypt and the Levant.
The Ptolemaic kings ruled from Alexandria, where they took the title of ' Pharaoh ' and created the unifying deity called ' Serapis ' to help unite Greece and Egypt. Greek became the standard language for residents of Alexandria, including for the Ju'es of that city.
The great Library of Alexandria was funded by these kings, and Gmirkin proposes, that this is where Hebrew scholars gained access to the works of Plato.
According to Jewish legend, the Septuagint ( meaning " the book of Seventy Authors " ) - the Greek translation of the Ju'ish scriptures, - was written by seventy-two Ju'ish translators for King Ptolemy II. Ancient historian Josephus states the translators worked together and finished the work in 72 days.
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