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Christ in Egypt: Horus at the Age of 12 and 30

#98: Aug. - Sept. 2011 (Non-Fiction)
D.M. Murdock
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Re: Christ in Egypt: Horus at the Age of 12 and 30

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Why Astrotheology?

Just to add to my two cents' worth here. What we're demonstrating in studying astrotheology is that myths convey important information and observations of the natural world in a way that is easily and artfully transmitted, especially when and where there is no writing or when teaching children. There are many reasons to pass along this scientific data in anthropomorphized stories, which serve as brilliant mnemonic devices when properly conveyed. As esteemed mythologist Joseph Campbell dedicated his life to show, myths are not all meaningless mystical mumbo-jumbo but often have profound meaning. That's all we're saying, not that we should actually believe in these anthropomorphized gods that serve as symbols of this important information.

What is the important information being conveyed in these myths? Much of it revolves around the movements and characteristics of planetary bodies and celestial events, including the sun, moon, stars, planets, constellations, meteors, comets, etc. Some of the most important information encapsulated in these astromythological or astrotheological stories revolves around the solstices and equinoxes, as can be discerned from numerous astronomical alignments of sacred sites worldwide. For example, sites above and below the equator tend to focus on the solstices, while those nearer the equator, such as the Mesoamerican sites, focus on the equinoxes, as well as Venus. In the southern hemisphere, we also find myths that incorporate the Southern Cross, although that constellation can also be seen closer to and somewhat north of the equator, as in Egypt some 2,000 or more years ago.

I demonstrate this fact of important scientific information being conveyed via astrotheological myths throughout my books, including in the one that is the very subject of this discussion. For example, the god Osiris possesses numerous attributes that teach about the natural world. He is not only significantly soli-lunar, representing the sun during its passage through the night sky, as well as the moon "torn to 14 pieces" when it is waning, but also represents water and the Nile, the "vital force" crucial to life in Egypt. During the Nilotic flooding time each year - a period absolutely vital to the continued occupation of the Nile region, without which drought and famine would occur - it is said that Osiris is born and overflows his banks, impregnating the earthly Isis, who gives birth to Horus, here evidently representing the renewal of foliage. Osiris is often depicted as green, evidently representing the photosynthesis of healthy foliage.

There is much more to this fascinating subject, which is why I keep writing books and articles on it! Suffice it to say that the Egyptian culture itself was largely based on this astromythological or astrotheological knowledge. Whether or not one opines there's "no reason" to convey this important information in this manner, there certainly have been many reasons since very ancient times to do so, and there are those of us who enjoy very much this fascinating and ancient human creation. That's why we may categorize ourselves as "mythicists" and "astrotheologians" or "astromythologists," etc. I personally LOVE myths, especially since I now understand many of the important concepts they have been devised to represent. In my opinion, it's all part of the wonder of human creation to be celebrated.

"I don't think the authority they are looking for in ancient times is there." I have provided the "authority" or evidence for our interest in what the ancients were trying to convey, in thousands of pages citing hundreds of texts and artifacts dating back many millennia. Every day, it seems, there is "authority" or evidence being discovered for this ancient perception, which manifested itself in magnificent edifices, sites and artifacts all over the world. I am not interested in tossing all that away - on the contrary, I celebrate it. I am only "enamored" with it in that I appreciate the great effort and passion that it took to create it. I'm a student/scholar of mythology and archaeology going back several decades - that's who I am and what I do. If the subjects do not interest others, that is their prerogative. I for one find them fascinating, which, again, is why I write so extensively and passionately about them. That's my raison d'etre and joie de vivre.

Here's another example, in which I provide images of fascinating sites and artifacts with explanatory text highlighting their astronomical alignments or astrotheological symbolism:

Image

As I explain in this new calendar, this pyramid at Chichen Itza in the Yucatan, called "El Castillo," is a temple to the Mayan solar-serpent god Kukulkan. Every year at the equinoxes, the sun's shadows play upon the nine levels, creating an undulating "serpent" that traverses the pyramid. There's no need to ascribe anything supernatural to the event or to worship the god(s) involved, but it is one of life's great joys to visit such a site and view a phenomenon like this one.

If you would like a great example of someone celebrating ancient astrotheology or, at least, the astronomically alignment of an ancient site, take a look at Dr. Brian Cox here - his excitement is infectious! (Watch him at the end of the linked video, exclaiming, "I want one!")

2,500-year-old solar observatory in Peru reveals advanced culture
DWill wrote:I find puzzling the continual claim that astrotheolgical beliefs were logical, reasoned, and scientific. This is stated to be a fact, but it's never shown how this is so. Was this all religion or wasn't it, and would we expect, anyway, to find a scientific view within religion, polytheistic or otherwise? The bare fact that observation of the skies can be said to underlie the mythologies doesn't mean that the myths are somehow scientific. The changes of seasons had also been long observed, yet the myths that were created to account for or celebrate this aren't science.

Once the planets, the sun and stars, are grasped in a scientific way, all mythologizing ends. There isn't any reason to cloak in myth something understood scientifically. A scientific understanding of the skies would have to wait several centuries. My view is that some mythicists are enamored of a religious viewpoint based on movement of the celestial bodies in relation to earth. To them, this symbolizes humans' very existence and includes us in the body of nature. That's fine, but I don't think the authority they are looking for in ancient times is there. Especially to posit a spiritual yet scientific enlightenment that was destroyed by literal-minded theologians, seems a big historical mistake.
Last edited by D.M. Murdock on Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Christ in Egypt: Horus at the Age of 12 and 30

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Thank you Robert Tulip, FLT99, and D. M. Murdock (who puts in a lot more than two cents). I must be doing a poor job of getting my main point across. I'd never deny that astrotheology was unimportant and I defer to your expertise on that subject. I don't mean to denigrate your interest in it or wealth of knowledge about it. I'm struggling to gain a perspective that seems reasonable overall, and what I'm thinking is that a mythicist position can be a somewhat ideological answer to questions that are in dispute. This is in contrast to mythicism, the study of the relation of myths to observations about the natural world.

I believe, for one thing, that functioning myths do often attribute occult significance to the things they signify. This is where I'd say we're beyond science, for all that we might say about some empirical basis of the myth. It's not meant to be a value judgment but just a distinction.

I think, for another thing, mythicism overreaches when it tries to say that the prevalence of interest in astrotheology must mean that texts should be decoded as allegories for the various movements and events of the skies. Why? Is it not possible for these texts to have other or additional purposes? This seems to bring in astrotheology at times when it clearly isn't appropriate or of explanatory value. Referencing Price's remark quoted by FTL99, he says that "many" of the heroines and heroes of the OT are personified stars, planets, or constellations. He doesn't say which ones are the best candidates or how we would separate the mundane from the celestial-in-origin. Presumably, the figures mentioned that seem to be historical, such as some of the kings, didn't come from the sky and the others without historical pedigrees did. But why would these heroes, such as Abraham, Noah, Isaac, etc. behave so much like Jewish men if they were plucked from the stars? What would be the point? This is not intended as proof that these figures were taken from some sort of "Who's Who" of Hebrew life. Very likely they didn't exist at all in a biographical sense. But come on, look at the many resources that come under the heading of folkways or folklore. Models taken from life, with suitable embellishments accumulating over time, are all you really need.

I suppose it seems to me a bit old-fashioned to try to throw a net of mythicism or any other-ism around the roiling mass of history. You only catch part of the truth.
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Re: Christ in Egypt: Horus at the Age of 12 and 30

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The answer here is basically to refer to the four functions mythology.

1) Mystical / Religious

2) Cosmological (astromythology/astrotheology)

3) Sociological

4) Pedagogical

Campbell's four functions of a traditional mythology pretty much sets the standard for analyzing. Of course the astrotheology of the ancients is but one of four major functions. And you could go down the line through the Jewish mythology and discover which functions any given myth is targeting. And certainly no one of the four major functions somehow wipes out the other three as the only one relevant. The sociological function is very present in Jewish myth in terms of something like Abraham. And then the cosmological function shows itself too. Abraham and Moses are addressed to the age of Aries. There's cosmological and sociological intermixed. And then there's the God, coming in to serve the first function of the mystery of existence with no beginning or end within the context of the age of Aries, and society during that age, in which a person is living a life from birth to death - 1,2,3,4 wah bam!!!

And in all of this, regardless of the sociological function, there remains a constant underlying presence of the second function and first function at all times. Even when the myth is not immediately concerned with allegorizing the movements of the sky, that's still going on within the context of the story. Abraham is doing this or that, traveling here or there, saying this or that, during the age of Aries the Ram. Moses is organizing 12 tribes during the age of Aries the ram. The priest is wearing 12 jewels represented the 12 signs of the zodiac and 12 seasons during the age of Aries the ram. And when the people want to cling to times gone by, such as worshiping according to Taurus the Bull, the priesthood gets agitated with the people. The society below and the sky above is something that flows right on through the entire bible from cover to cover. And these little sociological issues along the way are held within this greater context and often refer back to it as certain points in the myth.
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Re: Christ in Egypt: Horus at the Age of 12 and 30

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DWill wrote:a mythicist position can be a somewhat ideological answer to questions that are in dispute. This is in contrast to mythicism, the study of the relation of myths to observations about the natural world.
The role of ideology in this material is an interesting question. Generally, ideology means having an agenda about what is good and important, and what is bad and unimportant. So ideology begins with claims about objective facts, and puts them into an evaluative framework according to a political motive.

If we look at explanations of Christian origins, it is clear that orthodoxy is ideological, with its idea that salvation requires belief in the literal events of the passion of Christ. To say that the mythicist position is equally ideological is far from settled. Mythicism recognises that the conventional views are scientifically impossible, and looks for explanations of how doctrines arose in ways that make sense against the available evidence. Mythicism finds that understanding myth as originating in natural observation, which then becomes personified, is vastly more plausible than conventional theories.

So at this foundation level, mythicism is all about finding a scientific explanation for the available evidence. It is about describing facts in a contestable way, not asserting a set of normative values.

However, ideology rapidly enters the picture when we ask why these facts are important. If we have an agenda regarding religion, then these findings can be used to promote that agenda. My own view is that the archetype of Christ is central to human identity, and that rebasing our vision of Christ on the scientific knowledge provided by mythicism offers a way to reform popular faith. Others see the evils of religion as so great that the only ethical lesson from this material is that religion is so corrupt that it has to be replaced by modern secular reason, in which myth remains condemned as false consciousness.

These ideological perspectives depend on the values we bring to the factual material. But Christ in Egypt is primarily about uncovering the facts, attempting to put Christian origins on a scientific footing. This project encounters a rather rabid ideological belief that Jesus existed, a belief that true believers hold regardless of evidence. So the threshold ideological question here is whether we value facts as the basis of opinions.
I believe, for one thing, that functioning myths do often attribute occult significance to the things they signify. This is where I'd say we're beyond science, for all that we might say about some empirical basis of the myth. It's not meant to be a value judgment but just a distinction.
Yes, but that is not what Christ in Egypt is about. In this book, the question is about uncovering the continuity between Christian beliefs and pre-existing myth, and any 'occult' supernatural meaning that people may have seen in these myths is really irrelevant to the historical questions of how Christianity evolved from previous myth. Sticking to the science, if the Egyptians used Horus as a name for the rising sun, we have a simple daily observation, with the regularity of time built into the ideation. Any magical stories based on this observation go beyond what astrotheology can properly contain as a positive scholarly research program.
I think, for another thing, mythicism overreaches when it tries to say that the prevalence of interest in astrotheology must mean that texts should be decoded as allegories for the various movements and events of the skies. Why? Is it not possible for these texts to have other or additional purposes? This seems to bring in astrotheology at times when it clearly isn't appropriate or of explanatory value.
I'm not sure what your evidence is for this claim of overreach. Religious texts operate at multiple levels. Stellar correlations appear to be a foundational level, keying in to very ancient human rituals regarding reverence for the sun and moon and stars as structuring the ordered logic of life. So astrotheology provides the skeletal template, and the detailed stories are embroidered on this framework. There is so much in the Bible that corresponds to the cosmic vision of precession and other cosmic allegories in the structure of time that there is really no need to speculate about correspondences that are weaker.

Obviously the New Testament operated to unite the Christian movement in the second century. The mythicist reading observes that this unification process involved the suppression of ideas in the text that did not sit comfortably with the political vision of the Christian leaders. This is the nub of the orthodox debate with Gnosticism, that the Gnostics had a complex cosmic vision that was unsuited to inspiring an illiterate mass movement, and that debate created internal divisions that were politically unhelpful. However, Gnostic ideas remain of high interest as being at the intellectual foundation of orthodoxy, before it was dumbed down by politics.
Referencing Price's remark quoted by FTL99, he says that "many" of the heroines and heroes of the OT are personified stars, planets, or constellations. He doesn't say which ones are the best candidates or how we would separate the mundane from the celestial-in-origin. Presumably, the figures mentioned that seem to be historical, such as some of the kings, didn't come from the sky and the others without historical pedigrees did. But why would these heroes, such as Abraham, Noah, Isaac, etc. behave so much like Jewish men if they were plucked from the stars? What would be the point? This is not intended as proof that these figures were taken from some sort of "Who's Who" of Hebrew life. Very likely they didn't exist at all in a biographical sense. But come on, look at the many resources that come under the heading of folkways or folklore. Models taken from life, with suitable embellishments accumulating over time, are all you really need.
If the original myth of Adam was somehow that he founded the Age of Taurus, much like Jesus founded the Age of Pisces, then it seems comprehensible to me that personifying this cosmic function would naturally draw the character on the basis of heroic models. The model does not have to be taken from life, it can start with the cosmic archetype and then personify it.

I suppose it seems to me a bit old-fashioned to try to throw a net of mythicism or any other-ism around the roiling mass of history. You only catch part of the truth.
It is only old-fashioned in the sense that philosophy in the nineteenth century aimed to provide comprehensive systematic logical explanation of everything, while the twentieth century recoiled from this high ambition. My view is that the spin wobble of the earth provides a unifying explanation for theology just as plate tectonics does for geology. To falsify this claim you would need to show what part of theology falls outside the comprehensive structure of time provided by the cosmology of precession caused by orbital factors.
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Re: Christ in Egypt: Horus at the Age of 12 and 30

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I have in mind a slightly different view of an ideological response, whereby we're so certain that an operating principle applies across a broad range of cases, that we don't really look at individual factors in those cases. We might say that Marxism or libertarianism applies to anything political, or that mythicism or literalism applies to anything religious. This is where the overreach also comes in. I know that the remark by Price may be a low-hanging fruit, and that he is not actually a mythicist, but it might serve to highlight the difference in views. Do you find anything exaggerated in his estimation of the stellar origin of many OT heroes and heroines? I would go as far as ridiculous, frankly.

I'm not under the impression that Murdock is promoting belief in the myths themselves. She has said as much here and I believe her. My statements were prompted by your strongly revisionist view of the character of the pre-Christian religions that are the subject of Murdock's work. That they can be seen in historical perspective as scientific or empirical implies that they also were non-superstitious. To establish that generalization requires a good deal of proof. Having thought, apparently, that you provided that, you then turned grievance-filled invective against the folks who destroyed the Egyptian enlightenment--the founders of Christianity. All this just raises my skeptic's antennae. Such blatant partisanship doesn't sort with scholarship or history.
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Re: Christ in Egypt: Horus at the Age of 12 and 30

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So astrotheology provides the skeletal template, and the detailed stories are embroidered on this framework.
A skeleton works, but the connective tissue is every bit as important, and holds it all together for the long journey across millennia. The connective tissue being the story that is grafted onto observations.

I think the reason for the amount of astrotheology in the bible is due simply to the evolutionary algorithm applying to them as memes. When competing with other memes in the pool that is the source material for religious stories, astrotheological concepts have an ace up their sleeve. The phenomena up in the sky on which the stories are based continue without pause. Certain people making certain observations over the centuries would present opportunities for the astrotheological concepts to be reinforced. In much the same way they're thought up in the first place, people observing the stars would keep the memes strong across the centuries. Or strengthen them via modification. Or recombination with other memes. Passion invoking memes, like the story of Jesus.

I have a question Robert. Do you think there is some influence the stars have upon Earth objectively? If so, is your hypothesis the result of the evidence building up then pointing in that direction? Or did you make the hypothesis through emotion, then hope to support it through reason? That's a backdoor for bias with a front of reason.
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Re: Christ in Egypt: Horus at the Age of 12 and 30

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Interbane wrote:I have a question Robert. Do you think there is some influence the stars have upon Earth objectively? If so, is your hypothesis the result of the evidence building up then pointing in that direction? Or did you make the hypothesis through emotion, then hope to support it through reason? That's a backdoor for bias with a front of reason.
Thanks Interbane. This is a question that I have pondered for many years. Just to start objectively, no I do not think the stars have influence on the earth. They are too far away. But perhaps you meant stars in the astrological sense of planets. Working out what influence the sun and moon and planets have on the earth is a far more complex question. Apart from the generally known influences such as the sun as the source of light and life, and the moon as the cause of the tides, the question of deep weak regular influence is something that has barely been studied in a systematic scientific way.

One example of such influence is that Jupiter and Saturn drive the 400,000 year cycle of earth's orbital eccentricity, which is a main driver of ice ages. This is a very subtle and weak but regular product of the shape of the solar system. The constancy of this weak effect nonetheless has massive effects on the earth over geological time frames.

The influence of the zodiac is more complex again. The popular idea of astrology as driven by stellar emanations from constellations is bunk. But, the earth does have a stable regular annual cycle driven by the solstices and equinoxes, the four turning points of the tropical zodiac. So any zodiacal cycles are purely a function of the orbit of the earth around the sun, of which the constellations are only markers.

From analogy with fluid dynamics, it seems to me plausible that these four turning points in the year produce a natural cycle of twelve months, although this remains unproven. Scientifically, the months are viewed as artifacts produced by rough equation between lunar and solar cycles. If there are natural months driven by the tropical zodiac, they are sub-statistical, as we have not yet devised any tests of sufficient sensitivity to show consistent ordering of terrestrial cycles into months or sun signs. My view is that such tests would require large scale epidemiological population studies, as the signal to noise ratio here is rather like trying to listen to a local radio transmitter on the other side of the planet.

Looking at the precession of the equinox, the slow movement of the stars against the seasons, there are two big scientific questions for astrotheology. The first is how the ancient seers used this observation, and the second is whether it has any dynamic physical reality.

There is a range of evidence of ancient knowledge of precession across the Mediterranean world. My hypothesis is that precession was actually an organising principle for secret mystery groups who were ultimately responsible for the stellar myths that found their way into the Bible. At the time of Christ, this implies that the movement of the spring equinox into Pisces was seen as a marker of a new age. The logical assumption that the microcosm reflects the macrocosm, just as drops of water move according to the shape provided by the banks of a river, meant that the ancients looked for terrestrial reflection of this observed change in the sky. The Biblical story of Jesus was the eventual result of this effort to see our planet as at one with the cosmos. The story of the zodiacal ages forms a 'logos in the stars', an enframing narrative for human cosmology, with Jesus celebrated as the marker of the moment of celestial harmony when the seasons matched the stars.

As to whether precession has dynamic effects, again this is a scientific question. As with the influence of the gas giants, precession is a main driver of ice ages over a 21,000 year period. The warm point was about 11,000 years ago at the dawn of the Holocene, and the cold point was in 1296 AD, when the December solstice crossed the orbital perihelion. In evolutionary terms, it can be asked if this regular cycle of the planetary spin wobble structures long term genetic cycles, given that there have been some 200,000 cycles of precession since the dawn of life. We simply do not know if it is possible that some organisms have evolved to flourish at the warm part of the precession cycle and others at the cold part.

Moving beyond this purely scientific material, I admit my first interest in this broad topic arose when I formed the intuitive hypothesis that the current physical shift of the equinox from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius matches to the astrological symbolism of these signs, ie that the planetary zeitgeist is gradually shifting on a millennial time scale from a culture reflecting the symbolism of Pisces (compassionate mystical belief) to a culture reflecting the symbolism of Aquarius (innovative humanitarian knowledge). It is somewhat ironic that I look to these folk traditions to describe a change which celebrates the rise of scientific reason and the centrality of knowledge.

My interest in these large scale cyclic patterns leads to a critique of one main deep feature of the scientific world view, namely its assumption of the secularisation thesis, Weber and Durkheim's prediction of the withering away of religion and spirituality. My view is that the foundations of religion have to be shifted from belief to knowledge. This change matches to the march of time seen in the stars, and opens the way to abundant lines of scientific research. I see this fundamental paradigm shift required at the level of mythic identity as the basis for addressing practical global problems of climate, energy, stability and poverty.
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Re: Christ in Egypt: Horus at the Age of 12 and 30

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Robert Tulip wrote:There is a range of evidence of ancient knowledge of precession across the Mediterranean world. My hypothesis is that precession was actually an organising principle for secret mystery groups who were ultimately responsible for the stellar myths that found their way into the Bible.
I don't know what context you have in mind when you keep objecting to the church fathers quoted as saying that Christianity is nothing new or strange, or that it was around since antiquity. To really understand what they were getting at you need only understand your own paragraph above. It's the ancient astrotheological religion that has been around since antiquity. It changes and adapts over time as it has evolved into newer religions resulting in Christianity, which, is nothing new or strange with that in mind.

Now of course it is new with respect to it's older versions being oriented to ages long past. None of the earlier renditions were oriented to the particular age of Pisces. And of course none of the earlier renditions were created to celebrated the end and beginning of the new Great Year cycle. This rendition is new of the old astrotheological religion was more meaningful than any previous religion simply because it ushered in the beginning of the new great cycle. Talking about Therapeutan brotherhood networks who basically emulate the old Egyptian astrotheological priesthood brings this whole thing into perspective. This was the time of the Kali Yuga or Iron age according to Greek thought, as we know. It was similar to the annual winter solstice were the days stop getting shorter and turn around into ascension again. The Great Year conception clearly places the age of Pisces as the turning point in time where a long period of descent turns over into a long period ascent ahead. Another annual anology being the life cycle going into the spring equinox. Organic life's descending ends and the ascent into growth begins. At least that is how a learned member of any astrotheological brotherhood who was privy to either the Vedic Yuga's or the Greek Golden through Iron age conception would have viewed the coming of the age of Pisces according to the Great Year.

Whether they were correct or not is another issue. As you were saying, there's nothing concrete in science yet to corroborate the Vedic Yuga's as a valid rendering of society's descent and ascent. It would be interesting to run experients and see what happens though. I agree with Robert Buvual in that there appears to be an ancient Egyptian brotherhood that manipulated men and events according to the celestial time table they devised. And that brotherhood existed right on down to the beginning of the common era in the form of these Therapeuts, Essenes, and other designations. The old Osirian cult eventually becomes the cult of Serapis which evolves into the cult Christainity, with very little difference recognized bewteen Serapis and Christ early on. Egypto-Greek hybridization becoming Egypto-Greco-Jewish hybridization in time.

And with respect to Dwill's constant opposition to the MP, even if we were to consider an historical Jesus as some Gnostic type or what-have-you, it's still going to somehow trace back into this Therapeutan brotherhood network with a pre-existing church hierarchy structure. What if there was a Jew who went off to Egypt and returned as the story goes? Did he go to the Jewish communities in Alexandria? That's where are the Jews were. Perhaps even relatives to stay with. Did he return with knowledge gained from the Egyptian Jewish community? Did he gather a following based around what he learned from there? Would that explain why the Christian church structure models that of the Therapeuts? Would he have been subject to the ancient astrotheological religion while there? Would that explain Paul's journey's to all of these places which were part of the pre-existing brotherhood spread about the Empire with his cosmic Christ preaching? Perhaps trying to swing people over to his rendition of what had been Therapeutan Hellenizing? As I see it, Murdocks scholarship in CiE applies to the evemerist and mythicist alike. We're all guessing here. No one has anything concrete or absolute to say that such a historical figure did or did not certainly exist in the early first century. She's provided a means to show that it's entirely possible for the myth to have been based on a fiction from the beginning. But that shouldn't stop evemerists from diving into this research she's provided because it's also completely relevant to the evemerist search to locate the "real Jesus" of possible history.

The Alexandrian hypothesis should in no way be brushed aside by those who have concluded against mythicism in my opinion. There's no reason to cast aside investigating the astrotheological content of Christianity either, just because someone may differ with the mythicist critique of Christianity. The evemerist should be investigating astrotheology to try and hammer down who in the hell this proposed historical figure was and just what in the hell he was teaching. Why is the astrotheological allegory of the loaves and fishes given in each of the four gospels? If it boils down to a real man then obviously this had something to do with that proposed real mans ministry. It reveals the astrotheological content of that proposed ministry. I just find it odd that just because certain evemerist care differ with mythicism that they would prefer to toss aside all of this revelant material which is essentially critical when trying to locate the or a Jesus of history...
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Re: Christ in Egypt: Horus at the Age of 12 and 30

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tat tvam asi wrote:
Robert Tulip wrote:There is a range of evidence of ancient knowledge of precession across the Mediterranean world. My hypothesis is that precession was actually an organising principle for secret mystery groups who were ultimately responsible for the stellar myths that found their way into the Bible.
I don't know what context you have in mind when you keep objecting to the church fathers quoted as saying that Christianity is nothing new or strange, or that it was around since antiquity. To really understand what they were getting at you need only understand your own paragraph above. It's the ancient astrotheological religion that has been around since antiquity. It changes and adapts over time as it has evolved into newer religions resulting in Christianity, which, is nothing new or strange with that in mind.
Tat, I don’t believe I have ever objected to this quote from the church fathers, indeed I have drawn attention to Murdock’s mention of it. However, what I do question is the inference drawn from this quote that there was indeed nothing new in Christianity. We see this inference in Murdock’s repeated statement in Christ in Egypt that Christianity is “nothing but a rehash” of older mythology. This brings to mind frying up last night’s cold cooked potatoes and carrots to recombine existing ingredients with nothing new added, except maybe some salt and pepper and oil. A ‘rehash’ is quite different from an evolutionary adaptation. If Christianity is nothing but a rehash, we have nothing but a purely negative and cynical reading of Christianity.

This claim that there is nothing new in Christianity had a specific context in Augustine, in his recognition that earlier thinkers such as Plato were Christians before Christ, recognizing the eternal logos as the rational organizing principle of reality. I don’t believe that Augustine would have therefore held that just because Plato apprehended the Logos that the incarnation of Christ brought nothing new into the world, considering his view that Christ made the logos manifest, the word made flesh.

The newness of Christianity, as a universal faith appropriate to a new age, represents an evolutionary mutation of older isolated religions, reviving them in altered form for a common era. Greeks would not accept Egyptian gods with animal heads, or the Jewish idea that the Jews alone were God’s chosen race, and the cult of Serapis lacked the Jewish sense of eschatology. The syncretic combination of these disparate faiths in Christianity updated the old beliefs by bringing them together in a universal believable claim. The fact that this vision got taken over by crass political schemers is not grounds to dismiss it as a rehash.

I find Murdock brilliant in her exposition, but it really is worth analyzing why she gets ignored. My view is that she has got so used to presenting a contrarian position that she finds few people able and willing to engage in constructive dialogue. This leads to a tone in her writing that people can easily read as rather bombastic, as in this ‘rehash’ claim. It is important to give Christianity credit for its positive achievements, while also developing a robust critique, in order to be able to engage with the theological community who naturally react defensively to a perceived assertion that Christianity contains nothing of value. So it is better in my view to stress the evolutionary continuity between Christianity and myth than to assert that Christianity brought nothing new.
Now of course it is new with respect to it's older versions being oriented to ages long past. None of the earlier renditions were oriented to the particular age of Pisces. And of course none of the earlier renditions were created to celebrated the end and beginning of the new Great Year cycle. This rendition is new of the old astrotheological religion was more meaningful than any previous religion simply because it ushered in the beginning of the new great cycle.
Yes, this is part of the newness, but as I have just said, there is also the use of myth from various sources, combining older separate doctrines into a unique synthesis. I think your cosmological point here is essential, but it is not the whole story, which also has to look at the social and political levels in their own terms.
Talking about Therapeutan brotherhood networks who basically emulate the old Egyptian astrotheological priesthood brings this whole thing into perspective. This was the time of the Kali Yuga or Iron age according to Greek thought, as we know. It was similar to the annual winter solstice were the days stop getting shorter and turn around into ascension again. The Great Year conception clearly places the age of Pisces as the turning point in time where a long period of descent turns over into a long period ascent ahead. Another annual anology being the life cycle going into the spring equinox. Organic life's descending ends and the ascent into growth begins. At least that is how a learned member of any astrotheological brotherhood who was privy to either the Vedic Yuga's or the Greek Golden through Iron age conception would have viewed the coming of the age of Pisces according to the Great Year.
And this Yuga motif is also found in Daniel, with his statue of gold, silver, bronze, iron and clay. We can also see it in the astral motifs of revelation, especially the foundations of the holy city as the twelve ages of the Great Year. As I just mentioned in reply to DWill on another thread, this cosmology of precession provides an organizing principle for the Christian doctrine of fall and redemption. In the chapter of Christ in Egypt discussed in this thread, we see the motif of Christ and Horus at age twelve as pointing to both the year and the great year, as temporal cycles with twelve natural divisions.

Whether they were correct or not is another issue. As you were saying, there's nothing concrete in science yet to corroborate the Vedic Yugas as a valid rendering of society's descent and ascent. It would be interesting to run experiments and see what happens though.
I have previously noted that the natural cycle of ice ages is caused by precession and maps quite precisely to the mythic cosmology. I discussed this at some length in the booktalk thread on Milankovitch Cycle in Myth. The physical and temporal scale of this claim means that it would be rather difficult to devise experiments for it; what is needed is rather a logical deductive analysis to illustrate that this hypothesis is the most plausible explanation of the available facts.
I agree with Robert Bauval in that there appears to be an ancient Egyptian brotherhood that manipulated men and events according to the celestial time table they devised. And that brotherhood existed right on down to the beginning of the common era in the form of these Therapeuts, Essenes, and other designations. The old Osirian cult eventually becomes the cult of Serapis which evolves into the cult of Christianity, with very little difference recognized between Serapis and Christ early on. Egypto-Greek hybridization becoming Egypto-Greco-Jewish hybridization in time.
Each o fthese evolutionary steps is a response to a material change in habitat, congruent with the generally observed evolution of myth as reflecting political realities. We are seeing a similar evolution occurring today, with the formerly isolated western doctrine of Christianity adapting to new global realities.
And with respect to Dwill's constant opposition to the MP, even if we were to consider an historical Jesus as some Gnostic type or what-have-you, it's still going to somehow trace back into this Therapeutan brotherhood network with a pre-existing church hierarchy structure. What if there was a Jew who went off to Egypt and returned as the story goes? Did he go to the Jewish communities in Alexandria? That's where are the Jews were. Perhaps even relatives to stay with. Did he return with knowledge gained from the Egyptian Jewish community? Did he gather a following based around what he learned from there? Would that explain why the Christian church structure models that of the Therapeuts? Would he have been subject to the ancient astrotheological religion while there? Would that explain Paul's journey's to all of these places which were part of the pre-existing brotherhood spread about the Empire with his cosmic Christ preaching? Perhaps trying to swing people over to his rendition of what had been Therapeutan Hellenizing? As I see it, Murdock’s scholarship in CiE applies to the evemerist and mythicist alike. We're all guessing here. No one has anything concrete or absolute to say that such a historical figure did or did not certainly exist in the early first century. She's provided a means to show that it's entirely possible for the myth to have been based on a fiction from the beginning. But that shouldn't stop evemerists from diving into this research she's provided because it's also completely relevant to the evemerist search to locate the "real Jesus" of possible history.
I don’t think DWill has opposed the mythicist position, it is rather that he has questioned astrotheology as an explanation. It is one thing to say that conventional biblical narratives are false and mythical, it is quite another to explain this problem by reference to an overarching astral hypothesis. Of course my view is that astrotheology provides a compelling scientific explanation, but the burden of proof here remains with astrotheology to provide a convincing hypothesis.

Part of the problem is that the astronomy is not easy for people to grasp. We see even the so-called Conference on Precession and Ancient Knowledge dominated by the ludicrous fantasy of Walter Cruttenden of a binary star. To have any credibility, it is essential to ground argument in established knowledge. If people want to advance an astrotheological argument as scientific, they have to do the research into how astrotheology is grounded in and compatible with established physical knowledge.

The question of how a hypothetical Jesus figure may have contributed to the rise of the Jesus myth is just speculation. Carl Jung, in his Answer to Job, points out that whatever the historical reality, the myth of Christ as the eternal logos is the primary focus of faith. This is a theme that can be expanded to show that the Christ of faith is astrotheological, because astrotheology keys into the inherent rationality of astronomy, regardless of any speculation about a literal founder figure. It is more than coincidence that Jesus just happened to supposedly live at the precise moment of the observed turning point of the cosmic ages.

My view is that the turmoil following the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome in 70 AD produced an overwhelming requirement for a common new belief, and the Jesus story emerged to fill the hole. The diverse messianic narratives swirling around had to be united into a common story. If there was one man at the origin of the story, he was more a secret theoretical cosmologist than a public religious and political leader. A public leader would have been noticed and mentioned by Josephus and Philo.

The Alexandrian hypothesis should in no way be brushed aside by those who have concluded against mythicism in my opinion. There's no reason to cast aside investigating the astrotheological content of Christianity either, just because someone may differ with the mythicist critique of Christianity. The evemerist should be investigating astrotheology to try and hammer down who in the hell this proposed historical figure was and just what in the hell he was teaching. Why is the astrotheological allegory of the loaves and fishes given in each of the four gospels? If it boils down to a real man then obviously this had something to do with that proposed real mans ministry. It reveals the astrotheological content of that proposed ministry. I just find it odd that just because certain evemerist care differ with mythicism that they would prefer to toss aside all of this revelant material which is essentially critical when trying to locate the or a Jesus of history...
These are really critical and central observations Tat, and well posed. The overall problem is to examine the rival hypotheses to assess how well they explain the facts, on the balance of probabilities. Once the astrotheological explanation is understood, which is a big hurdle for most, we can see there really is no other sensible explanation for the loaves and fishes miracle. Again, this miracle points to a cosmic visionary at its origin, not a political leader. It is someone for whom the idea in Peter that ‘a thousand years is as a day to the Lord’ formed the entire framework for time.

The issue with evemerism is that people put their faith in Jesus, and hang on to any straw that can sustain this faith. The Jesus of the Gospels has been comprehensively demolished by science, with the virgin birth, the physical resurrection and all the other miracles now objects of mockery as literal belief. People desperately cling to the idea that even if Jesus did not rise from the dead, at least he inspired the gospels. So the question emerges, are the stories from a man made God (evemerism) or from a God made man (mythicism)?

The internal difficulties of the man made God hypothesis have been laid bare by Murdock in various books, and also by writers such as Earl Doherty. It is absurd why the literal historical Christ does not emerge clearly for more than a century after he lived. This is simply too long a period to be credible. It leaves the ‘God made man’ hypothesis as the primary contender. And we see that this idea of a primary rational eternal logos has a perfect fit with the big story of precession, providing a persuasive empirical explanation of how the Christ myth emerged.
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