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Christ in Egypt: Apostasy, Heresy or Reform? 
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Post Christ in Egypt: Apostasy, Heresy or Reform?
Christ in Egypt: Apostasy, Heresy or Reform?

D.M. Murdock describes herself as a 'Christian apostate'. Apostasy is the formal disaffiliation from or abandonment or renunciation of a religion by a person. It is a rather old-fashioned concept as is heresy, and is used these days primarily in reference to Islam, with its efforts to kill those who leave the faith. So Murdock is saying she used to be a Christian but is not one now.

Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma, and that does not involve the irreverence associated with blasphemy. It is an outmoded political term, based on the Christendom doctrine that the church can prevent discussion that it does not agree with. It only serves as a criticism if you apologise for dogma, and you have to be pretty backward these days to do that.

Religious reform is mostly associated with the Protestant Reformation. It involves going back to the source documents to try to rebase the faith on authentic foundations. My view is that Murdock is helping to inaugurate a new Christian Reformation, bringing faith into line with science.

The problem I have with Murdock's self-description as an apostate is the depth of interest and knowledge she has of Christian origins, and the obvious reverence she shows for the allegorical meaning behind the scriptures. For example, if the early texts actually meant the Sun when they spoke of the Son, then Murdock's interest in this true meaning suggests an interest in putting Christian dogma into a more ancient and profound context than the superficial falsities of the church.

The Jesus-Horus connection is about showing how the religious archetypes of Christianity have a far more ancient mythic heritage than is generally understood. Far from rendering these archetypes shallow and meaningless, it actually shows how deeply engrained they are in cultural evolution as a universal ethical framework. Putting Christianity into such a scientific evolutionary perspective is certainly a way of critiquing church dogma, but it also points to a new vision of objective meaning within the old texts. The fact that the Gospels were a rehash (or a midrash) of older sources including Egyptian myth is only an attack on the inner meaning of the Gospels if it is also an attack on the inner meaning of its ancient sources.

What this means is that I read Murdock as more a Christian reformer than an apostate. She is not attacking Christian faith as intrinsically wrong, but rather suggesting it points to a deeper meaning, a broad evolutionary current in human culture on which Christianity floats at the center of the stream. Describing the whole river may show that passengers on the boat are misguided, but it does not show that the boat is not central to the river.

Throughout Christ in Egypt Murdock points out the deep cosmic references that give the true meaning to Christian symbols. Again, such analysis does not suggest that these symbols, such as the cross and resurrection and virgin birth, or the Temptation of Christ by Satan, are meaningless, but rather that they have an allegorical meaning and ancient cultural natural roots that provide a basis to reform Christianity to bring it into line with scientific knowledge.


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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Apostasy, Heresy or Reform?
Thank you, Robert. Although now and again I do call myself a Christian apostate, because I do not believe in the religion, I understand what you are saying here, since I also do not insist that we should "ban all religion," a comment I often read on blogs, social networks, forums, etc.

My Experiences as a Christian

For those who are unfamiliar with my background, I was born into a mild Protestant family in the Northeast of the U.S. My mother's paternal family arrived in America via the Winthrop Fleet in 1630 and evidently constituted missionaries from Great Britain sent to proselytize the natives. In this regard, I suppose one could certainly view me as a reformer, of the very work my ancestors set into motion in America!

Image

In any event, I was raised a Congregationalist, in a church somewhat like that in the TV series "Little House on the Prairie," fast-forwarded a century or so and placed into New England. Both my parents were college educated and mostly secular, although my mother had been raised a Baptist and attended church her entire life, serving also as the treasurer and choir director. We all went to church and/or Sunday school every week for several years, but my siblings and I rebelled when we each reached the age of 12 or so, at which point we stopped going except on Christmas and Easter. My father was not particularly fond of Christianity, which actually served to damage his psyche, as far as I am concerned, with its "born-in-sin" teachings. Our church, however, did not engage in such human-disparagement, and the ministers and people there were quite lovely and good citizens.

My rejection of Christianity, therefore, is not because I was abused by my church. I was abused by Christianity, but not through my church. I was abused by it because of its supposed mores, which had, of course, found their way into society at large. In this regard, the abuse came in the form of societal misogyny, which in turn was logically traceable to a significant extent to the Eve-Satan-Apple myth and the general misogyny of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. (For example, I recall thinking one day that, as a woman, "they taught me to hate my body.")

I also felt harmed by the whole notion of the all-good Godfather in the sky looking down and often frowning upon us lowly, sin-ridden wretches, but, again, this idea was not preached from the pulpit in my church. On the contrary, our ministers always emphasized the feel-good passages, even though these really were the remedy for the dis-ease created by Christian doctrine in the first place.

In any event, my rebellion from the church was out of sheer boredom - it's really that simple. I didn't relate to much of what was being said or done - who really cares about the butter dish of Balshazar and the tent peg of the house of Rashomon?

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Church didn't inspire me much at all. Nor was I convinced of Christianity's truth, especially the supernatural bits, of course. I had been weaned on Greek myths, and I found Christianity little more convincing as "history" than were those stories. I also had recognized at a young age that there were in fact other religions, and one's faith seemed to be a matter of choice or haphazard compulsion largely based on where you were born. Raised in a highly secular location and era, I was also aware that there were those who didn't engage in organized religion of any sort. My fondness for reading National Geographic magazines from a young age - studying the photos even before I could read - made me quite open to and interested in numerous cultures worldwide, a passion that also drove me to learn languages, which fortunately comes easily to me.

I continued my studies of other cultures, including traveling to Greece in high school, college and post-graduate school. In Greece, I gained further reason to find Christianity to be nauseating and false: The monasteries in many places were covered with gory images of hideous tortures and "martyrdoms." I could no longer attribute such deranged behavior to any "good" God, and I saw Christianity as a manmade/cultural artifact that had some serious flaws.

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After my graduate studies, I lived in New York City, where I encountered a "model for Christ" who was a cousin of Jimmy Swaggart. I went through some interesting times and adventures, eventually becoming a "born-again" Christian for a short period. After attempting to live within the confines of the New Testament, I realized that Robert Ingersoll was correct when he said:

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"If a man would follow, today, the teachings of the Old Testament, he would be a criminal. If he would follow strictly the teachings of the New, he would be insane."

I threw off the yoke, but I would continue to explore Christianity and other religions, including having mystical experiences such as "receiving Jesus into my heart" and meditations with Eastern gurus, etc.

Some years later, I stumbled upon the book Forgery in Christianity by Joseph Wheless. This book essentially set my mythicist wheels in motion, and here I am, two decades later still digging up fascinating material about the origins of religion and mythology on planet Earth. :)




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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Apostasy, Heresy or Reform?
Booktalk has a policy that banned members cannot return under different names.

Waterbear is obviously a sock puppet for biomystic, who has been banned from
http://www.religionforums.org
http://www.interfaithforums.com
forums.carm.org
freethoughtnation.com

and recently from booktalk.org.

This trolling record illustrates the difficulty of dealing with someone who derails discussion and cannot follow board rules.


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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Apostasy, Heresy or Reform?
I'll take care of it right now. Thanks, Robert. ;)


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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Apostasy, Heresy or Reform?
Thanks for sharing that interesting post Acharya / Murdock. I have a similar paternal history, however with my ancestors not arriving in North America until, I believe, the 1780's from England to the North Carolina region. And before England I understand that we crossed over from Germany. All in all I have a long Protestant background eventually leading my ancestors to join Millerism in the 1800's and Seventh Day Adventism thereafter. Membership in the faith continued until my generation, at which point people began to "wake up" as it were.

I'm apostate as well, as everyone should know by now. I'm considered quite the heretic in certain circles. But a reformer I have not been accused of. I understand Roberts points too. The only problem I have with Christian reformation including a move towards it's astrotheological origins and foundations is that it basically points to nature religion, which, is something that essentially free's us from the idea of institutional organized religion in the end. The final reformation, in my view, would consist of letting everyone go free and stopping the social control factor involved in religion. The gospels are allegory and metaphor which in no way point back to a literal God as described therein, which if non-existent does not care one way or another if people are in church or not, whether institutions exist or they don't. And the Gospels do not point forward in time to any mysterious day and hour in which a literal Jesus Christ will descend from the sky with a new city in tow and a host of supernatural angels to boot. It pretty much takes the wind out of the church going sails when the spectacular supernatural content is finally realized as simply natural.

But there are a variety of ways that people can come along, read CiE and the mythicist position, and come away with ideas aimed at trying to reform Christianity. It seems that the two most obvious responses have been to see Christianity as possibly being used to put society in accord with nature again because of the nature symbolism roots, as opposed to putting society in conflict with nature as orthodox authorities have promoted historically. And the other way seems to go the supernatural route through the medium of Gnosticism and Esotericism to conclude that astrotheology is good and meaningful as religious symbolism for inner spiritual realities which is then taken literally, as in literal spiritual realms and so on.

But neither you or I seem to fit into either of these two categories of religious reformation (one natural the other supernatural), if I'm not mistaken. Not in any meaningful way. And in some cases it would seem that our lack of interest in such matters brings a lot of hatred and resentment to the table from the supernatural spiritual side. But nonetheless, I remain much like Gerald Massey in these matters in that I have no interest in joining forces with Esoteric communities who share a similar interest in astrotheological symbolism and study. My interests remain study oriented, as a hobby, just for the sake of following an interesting subject for truth seeking and knowledge purposes. And of course my own personal views are far too eccentric to gain any following outside of myself and I rather prefer it that way - leaving me out of the religious reformation loop altogether.

So mythicism is something I've taken right to. I don't care about the majority, I never really have. I tend to think that the majority, in most cases, has a bad track record historically in terms of having an accurate handle on reality. Some very good points are raised by mythicism and indeed the burden of proof for a concrete Jesus Christ of history has never been met with any real certainty. I'm glad that you have been been able to voice that point to the world and let the truth be know in that way. Like it or not, that's a fact that everyone ought to at least know about and hopefully CiE will inspire some to launch their own searching through all of the sources and info that has been provided.


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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Apostasy, Heresy or Reform?
D.M. Murdock wrote:
Thank you, Robert. Although now and again I do call myself a Christian apostate, because I do not believe in the religion, I understand what you are saying here, since I also do not insist that we should "ban all religion," a comment I often read on blogs, social networks, forums, etc.
What I find really interesting in Christ in Egypt is the deep and broad understanding it displays of Christian theology, from a purely scientific perspective. As I said, it is a way of situating Christianity in its evolutionary context. The similarity between Christ and Horus does not diminish Christ but in fact enhances the story by indicating its deep antiquity and intercultural links. We are used to understanding Christianity in a deeply racist framework, in which only Jewish and Greek ideas are conceived as real. Egypt, the culture that built the pyramids and the biggest temples of the earth over thousands of years of peace, is generally disregarded as inferior. Paradoxically, showing that the myth of Jesus kept the Egyptian myths alive in the new Age of Pisces does not detract from Jesus but brings him back to life, by placing the stories in a believable scientific framework.

Showing that Lazarus, Mary and Martha are actually Osiris and the two 'Merta' only enhances and deepens the Lazarus story. This is an incontrovertible interpretation, in view of the range and depth of similarity. The Christian stories have a long and broad lineage, and the shallow denial of this fact by the church should not be allowed to control the myth of Christ.
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societal misogyny, which in turn was logically traceable to a significant extent to the Eve-Satan-Apple myth and the general misogyny of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. (For example, I recall thinking one day that, as a woman, "they taught me to hate my body.")
Equating the rise of patriarchy to the fall from grace is a way to understand Jesus as a feminist working for human liberation. Of course the fallen patriarchal controllers acted to control the subversive message of freedom as part of their deluded vision of oppression, but they should not be allowed to deny a scientific reading that restores the true redemptive message of equality in the Gospels. Allowing patriarchal delusion to control the boundaries of legitimate interpretation leaves Satan as victorious.
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I also felt harmed by the whole notion of the all-good Godfather in the sky looking down and often frowning upon us lowly, sin-ridden wretches, but, again, this idea was not preached from the pulpit in my church. On the contrary, our ministers always emphasized the feel-good passages, even though these really were the remedy for the dis-ease created by Christian doctrine in the first place.
If God is allegory for the galaxy, and Jesus for the sun, there is an eternal cosmic truth in the sense of purity of God as presenting a critique of the destructive behavior of humanity, even if part of the impact of this destruction is to damage the psyche so much that people cannot understand what sin is, and so cannot confess or repent in order to be forgiven. If sin is alienation from nature, then the biggest sin is to construct a doctrine which separates God from nature.
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I saw Christianity as a manmade/cultural artifact that had some serious flaws.
And yet, Christ in Egypt is a major transformative work for those seeking to understand how this artificial falsity came into existence. All the big memes have a natural origin that has been denied and corrupted, but that does not make the archememes themselves corrupt.


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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Apostasy, Heresy or Reform?
Robert Tulip wrote:
For example, if the early texts actually meant the Sun when they spoke of the Son, then Murdock's interest in this true meaning suggests an interest in putting Christian dogma into a more ancient and profound context than the superficial falsities of the church.

Just skimming the posts, I noticed this. It's unlikely that Son and Sun would have been homophones in the languages of the early texts.



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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Apostasy, Heresy or Reform?
DWill wrote:
It's unlikely that Son and Sun would have been homophones in the languages of the early texts.


Thanks DWill, this question of whether Jesus Christ is the Sun is a major topic for Christ in Egypt, and for Murdock's earlier book Suns of God. The identity of Son and Sun is far deeper than homophony.

We discussed the link to the Sun quite extensively regarding Horus at the thread Christ in Egypt: Horus, Sun of God. As D.M. Murdock says in that thread, there seems to be so much confusion about this issue.

Logically, if Jesus is a copy of Horus, and Horus is a Sun God, then Jesus is a Sun God. This is actually the only reading that makes any scientific sense.

Allegories for Jesus as the Sun are found across the Bible, from Old Testament prophecy (the Sun of Righteousness is risen with healing in his wings) to the resurrection scene in the Gospel of Mark (early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun), to the symbolism of Messiah and Twelve Disciples for the Sun and the twelve months of the year.


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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Apostasy, Heresy or Reform?
tat tvam asi wrote:
Christian reformation including a move towards it's astrotheological origins and foundations ... points to nature religion, which, is something that essentially frees us from the idea of institutional organized religion in the end. The final reformation, in my view, would consist of letting everyone go free.
That is fine as an idealized vision of perfect society, but it lacks any transition path to achieve it. The transition path, in my view, requires institutional reform of the church. TS Kuhn pointed out that paradigm shift starts with new ideas being ignored, then gradually moves through more intensive debate until the new ideas are accepted. Astrotheology is now moving from the 'ignore' phase into the 'debate' phase. What we see with previous religious paradigm shifts, as in the Roman shift from Sun Worship to Christ worship, is that the new faith took over the institutions of the old, such as the building of the Vatican on a central site for the worship of Mithras. As we move into a rebasing of faith in science rather than superstition, the churches are becoming bereft of purpose, and all the investment and social capital they have accumulated is looking lost. By affirming the inner meaning of these traditions, seen for example in the magnificent stained glass windows and mosaics throughout Europe of Christ and the Disciples as the cosmic order of the twelve signs of the zodiac, Christianity can be redeemed and saved, turned into a force for atonement of humanity for our crimes against nature.

So, getting back to your somewhat anarchic vision of letting everyone go free Tat, we should recognize that freedom is based on order. Disorder only produces chaos and destruction. If we want to take a constructive evolutionary approach to human spirituality, it is important to build on the precedent of existing institutions. In Biblical terms, this means that if people repent of their sin they can be forgiven. So if Christians can repent for being suckered in by charlatan priests for 2000 years, and turn instead to see God in nature, they can be forgiven and redeemed, turning salvation into a purely natural scientific concept of dealing with the real practical challenges faced by our planet, as it groans in travail under the weight of seven billion humans.

Quote:
The gospels are allegory and metaphor which in no way point back to a literal God as described therein, which if non-existent does not care one way or another if people are in church or not, and do not point forward in time to any mysterious day and hour in which a literal Jesus Christ will descend from the sky with a new city in tow and a host of supernatural angels. It pretty much takes the wind out of the church going sails when the content is finally realized.
The observation that God is not literally real as described in myth does not justify the word "non-existent". Egyptians saw their language about the Sun as metaphor, but as a powerful way to describe actual natural cycles of the day and the year. Ritual and ceremony are the glue of society. If they are not based in reality they will continue to be based in fantasy. So the reform task is to recognize the institutional necessity of ritual and ceremony, embodied in myth, and to formulate a popular theology that rebases these emotionally resonant heritage methods in a rational natural understanding.

An example of how myth continues is the modern attitude to sport. It is a complete myth that it makes any difference whether one team or another wins. But people love to suspend disbelief and go along with the fantasy, swept up in the communal loyalty and belonging, treating the game as important because they do not have any deeper loyalty and faith. If we can put our faith in the relation between humanity and nature, and understand the myth of Jesus Christ as the mediator between humanity and nature, restoring and healing the breach we have created through 6000 years of the fall, we can give new life to the dead symbols of Christianity.

As I mentioned earlier, the Tree of Life bookends the Bible, appearing as the original mystery of Paradise in Genesis and as the goal of reconciliation in Revelation. We are starting to see glimmers of this recognition, for example in the movie Avatar, but we are still very far from a scientific understanding of this mysterious idea. An important clue, as I have also suggested, is the obvious cosmic allegory in Revelation which describes the Tree of Life as the zodiac. The depth of irrational emotional hostility to this interpretation, which is actually very simple and obvious if considered logically, shows how deep human alienation from nature runs in our dominant philosophies.
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But there are a variety of ways that people can come along, read CiE and the mythicist position, and come away with ideas aimed at trying to reform Christianity. It seems that the two most obvious responses have been to see Christianity as possibly being used to put society in accord with nature again, as opposed to in conflict with nature as orthodox authorities have promoted historically. And the other way seems to go the supernatural route through the medium of Gnosticism and Esotericism to conclude that astrotheology is good and meaningful as religious symbolism for inner spiritual realities.
The question of Gnosticism and Esotericism is actually very complicated. Esoteric just means hidden, so Murdock and Massey's argument that the Gospels hide their reliance on Egypt is esoteric. Now we know that much Theosophy is crazy, so it is understandable why Massey distanced himself from Blavatsky. But this whole area is heavily subject to ad hominem fallacy, with people saying that because an argument is raised by Theosophists, who also believe crazy things, therefore the argument is false. This logic is invalid, but it does illustrate the great difficulty in picking apart truth and fiction in these topics.
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But neither you or I seem to fit into either of these two categories of religious reformation (one natural the other supernatural), if I'm not mistaken. Not in any meaningful way. And in some cases it would seem that our lack of interest in such matters brings a lot of hatred and resentment to the table from the supernatural side. But nonetheless, I remain much like Gerald Massey in these matters in that I have no interest in joining forces with Esoteric communities who share a similar interest in astrotheological symbolism and study. My interests remain study oriented, as a hobby, just for the sake of following an interesting subject for truth seeking and knowledge purposes. And of course my own personal views are far too eccentric to gain any following outside of myself and I rather prefer it that way - leaving me out of the religious reformation loop.
I see natural reformation of Christian faith as a core objective. I have bigger interests than just curiosity, because this material from Christ in Egypt is in my view at the core of a new paradigm, grounded in the physics of the wobble of the axis of the earth, as a way to explain mythology, and formulate a new mythology for a new age, grounded rigorously in scientific knowledge. So the present shift of the equinox from Pisces to Aquarius symbolizes a corresponding shift in the zeitgeist of human culture, just as the shift from Aries to Pisces did at the time of Christ. We similarly today see all sorts of speculative responses to this inexorable movement of time. Analyzing these social movements against the framework of the previous shift of ages opens up bigger historical questions of reformation of religion.

Osiris and Horus and Isis remained alive within Christianity, with just a light enough concealment to hide their identity from the ignorant. In similar fashion, Jesus Christ will remain alive in the mythology of a new age, transformed in a way to become suitable for current understanding.
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So mythicism is something I've taken right to. I don't care about the majority, I never really have. I tend to think that majority, in most cases, has a bad track record historically in terms of having an accurate handle on reality. Some very good points are raised by mythicism and indeed the burden of proof for a concrete Jesus Christ of history has never been met with any real certainty. I'm glad that you have been been able to voice that point to the world and let the truth be known in that way. Like it or not, that's a fact that everyone ought to at least know about...

As the paradigm shifts, the argument for a historical Jesus becomes completely ridiculous. Earl Doherty is a Galileo and Darwin for our day, as the demolition job he achieves in Jesus Neither God Nor Man regarding literal historical faith is complete and incontrovertible. Anyone who says Jesus Christ really lived is just ignorant of modern scholarship. The bizarre thing is that Earl, like Acharya, is completely excluded by rigorous censorship from having his voice heard by the masses through mainstream media. Did Earl Doherty or Acharya S ever get interviewed by Oprah Winfrey? The inability of the dying culture to reach out to visionaries is a symptom of its desperate attempts to hold on to a lost coherence. The exclusion of new scholarship from public view is like the stability of the San Andreas fault immediately before a big earthquake.


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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Apostasy, Heresy or Reform?
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That is fine as an idealized vision of perfect society, but it lacks any transition path to achieve it. The transition path, in my view, requires institutional reform of the church. TS Kuhn pointed out that paradigm shift starts with new ideas being ignored, then gradually moves through more intensive debate until the new ideas are accepted. Astrotheology is now moving from the 'ignore' phase into the 'debate' phase. What we see with previous religious paradigm shifts, as in the Roman shift from Sun Worship to Christ worship, is that the new faith took over the institutions of the old, such as the building of the Vatican on a central site for the worship of Mithras.

I'll grant you Robert, if I take my head out of the idealistic clouds for a moment you have a good point to consider. I do believe that transition is currently in process and change will only take place in steps.
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As we move into a rebasing of faith in science rather than superstition, the churches are becoming bereft of purpose, and all the investment and social capital they have accumulated is looking lost. By affirming the inner meaning of these traditions, seen for example in the magnificent stained glass windows and mosaics throughout Europe of Christ and the Disciples as the cosmic order of the twelve signs of the zodiac, Christianity can be redeemed and saved, turned into a force for atonement of humanity for our crimes against nature.

The above paragraph is extremely eccentric. I question how many steps and stages it would require to get church going people from where they are right now to the vision you're expressing.
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So, getting back to your somewhat anarchic vision of letting everyone go free Tat, we should recognize that freedom is based on order.

I should point out that I mean that in a religious sense, not a political one. As in let the people go free religiously and spiritually, in a 'to each his/her own' type of way.
Quote:
The question of Gnosticism and Esotericism is actually very complicated. Esoteric just means hidden, so Murdock and Massey's argument that the Gospels hide their reliance on Egypt is esoteric. Now we know that much Theosophy is crazy, so it is understandable why Massey distanced himself from Blavatsky. But this whole area is heavily subject to ad hominem fallacy, with people saying that because an argument is raised by Theosophists, who also believe crazy things, therefore the argument is false. This logic is invalid, but it does illustrate the great difficulty in picking apart truth and fiction in these topics.

I meant Esotericism in the New Age and secret society sense, as in the case of Theosophy that you've mentioned which is what Massey firmly rejected in his correspondences with Blavatsky. Things like precession have suffered due to Theosophists and other esoterics combining a natural observation with supernatural speculation. Cruttenden has also added to the confusion as I'll admit. But it was Cruttenden's speculation that got my attention and drew me into this research. There is a lot of crazy stuff going on with Theosophists and even the binary research institute and CPAK, but the study of precession myths as a science should not suffer because of this and it's unfortunate that is has suffered.
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I see natural reformation of Christian faith as a core objective. I have bigger interests than just curiosity, because this material from Christ in Egypt is in my view at the core of a new paradigm, grounded in the physics of the wobble of the axis of the earth, as a way to explain mythology, and formulate a new mythology for a new age, grounded rigorously in scientific knowledge.

It is a great way to explain mythology. And one can use the content to formulate a new mythology if they'd like, that perspective is there for the taking.

When you first appeared out of the blue @ the FTN forums, I went straight away into quoting from CiE. You had your guard up at first and your first instinct was to conflict with a lot of it. But as it turns out CiE was just the very thing that you needed to help compile the religious reformation intentions you had been working on before you ever saw ZG part 1 or wandered over to Murdocks forums. Every little twist and turn, chance meeting, and information exchange has been absolutely critical for you to have gotten from where you were to where you are now. At the minimum, you have every claim to divine inspiration that the supernaturalist troll bag has offered thus far in favor of his authority. Actually a lot more credibility because your natural interpretation of Gnosticism trumps his supernatural "myth-understanding" as I see it. But I'd still be hard pressed to join either new institution because I'm long since free from that sort of thing. For what it's worth though, if someone put a gun to my head and said choose one or the other, then I'd have to go with the institution of naturalism over supernaturalism for sure. :mrgreen:


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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Apostasy, Heresy or Reform?
tat tvam asi wrote:
Quote:
As we move into a rebasing of faith in science rather than superstition, the churches are becoming bereft of purpose, and all the investment and social capital they have accumulated is looking lost. By affirming the inner meaning of these traditions, seen for example in the magnificent stained glass windows and mosaics throughout Europe of Christ and the Disciples as the cosmic order of the twelve signs of the zodiac, Christianity can be redeemed and saved, turned into a force for atonement of humanity for our crimes against nature.

The above paragraph is extremely eccentric. I question how many steps and stages it would require to get church going people from where they are right now to the vision you're expressing.


In current social terms, any interest in the relation between Christianity and earlier myth is eccentric, so by that standard I am just like anyone with an interest in astrotheology, which is not even recognized as a word by the spell checker. But calling something eccentric is not a measure of accuracy. Often new ideas can be true.

One example that comes to mind, and I hope you forgive the pun, is that Milankovitch discovered that Jupiter and Saturn cause the eccentricity of earth's orbit, which drives ice age cycles. This is such an obscure and technical and invisible claim that people's initial response was to assume that Milankovitch was mad. But we now see that his ideas are celebrated as a central and indisputable explanatory theory for climate science, even if they have not yet filtered down into popular understanding.

Christianity is a house of cards, just about to fall down, due to the scale of fraud and denial required to perpetuate its false vision. These sort of changes in popular perception can happen quickly, as occurred for Europe with the discovery of America, the heliocentric cosmology and evolution. Suddenly a seemingly-reliable ancient vision was shown to be baseless, and a new popular consensus quickly emerged around new findings, even though the new knowledge took time to percolate down to all social strata, and still has not in the case of evolution.

The question then is whether the seismic collapse of Christianity will salvage some inner meaning. Dawkins and Hitchens would say no, because the faith instinct itself is primitive and unethical. Their siren call is to reject religion in favor of science. I reject this analysis, because I see Christian faith as a distorted mirror of a true vision of the cosmos that is entirely compatible with science. Mythicism, astrotheology and Great Year analysis combine to articulate this vision, all of it in a contestable scientific method.

The ethical power of Christianity rests in its archetypal vision of the clash between good and evil. We just have struggled to understand what is really good and what is really evil. A mythicist cosmology helps to ask this big question.

Calling ideas odd can be akin to saying that because people have not thought about a topic it must not exist. I accept that my ideas seem far-fetched from the current consensus, but the constructive way to assess that is through detailed analysis. I am certainly not claiming any sort of revelation, I am just trying to follow rigorously where the empirical and logical evidence leads.


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Last edited by Robert Tulip on Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Apostasy, Heresy or Reform?
I know that you're too rational to claim any type of revelation Robert, but I only mean to point out that what theists would use to claim divine inspiration you can actually match with your own life's journey and twists and turns that revealed to you the origins of religious worship in connection to natural observation - as something meant to be, something the world is meant to know. Just like any theist who feels led along a path of discovery and revelation, you too have had a similar experience but without attributing it to mythic supernatural powers and mysterious forces at work from afar. That could potentially be put to use in your favor in terms of appealing to religious folk and swinging them towards naturalism, maybe.
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The ethical power of Christianity rests in its archetypal vision of the clash between good and evil. We just have struggled to understand what is really good and what is really evil. A mythicist cosmology helps to ask this big question.

We have the old view of the conflict between good and evil that made the Egyptian religion so popular, and Zoroastrianism spilling into Judaism, and the combination of the above appearing in the emergence of the Christian mythology. But how does that now apply to society in our generation? And how does a mythicist cosmology help in asking this big question?
Quote:
But calling something eccentric is not a measure of accuracy. Often new ideas can be true.

What does being eccentric have to do with not being true? An eccentric was Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking and just about any genius that comes to mind. Smart in certain era's but very strange socially in most cases. Astrotheology has come across strange and new, and therefore very eccentric. But it's catching on due to all of the exposure on the internet. Even more strange, is to take this new info and try to use it to reform Christianity. It's appeared as a sword that pretty much takes out Christainity as valid because of it's false claims. So to try and reverse that and convince people that Christianity is really good if you get past the "distorted mirror" is quite the task. Because you have on one side all of the people who see Christianity as true just as it stands despite claims made against it, and on the other hand you have people that see it as false. The mythicist's can see in between the lines and separate truth from fiction but the truth is hardly enough to inspire religious devotion when you really think about it. So the religious reform path by far the most eccentric path one could possibly take. Remember when I said that my personal views are far too eccentric to try and base any type of religious belief or reform on? You may find in time that your views are too.

This all boils down to one thing, Afterlife. All of these religions leading into the creation of Christianity appealed to it. People only follow along with religions because of it. The Egyptian religion of resurrection became the Christian religion of resurrection. The sun made for a good symbol of a symbolic death and resurrection, and organic life rising and falling through the year. Man had been fearful of death leading into the creation of these ancient religious beliefs. So all of these nature references were merely mankind looking at the cycles evident in nature and wanting to conclude that the human beings consciousness will continue in some way beyond the grave. And that is the hook. Without that you have nothing to rally large numbers with. I belong to the World Pantheist Movement, which denounces afterlife belief. We are small, we are eccentric people, we will likely never reach majority status because of this one small issue. Unless people are willing to toughen up, face reality for the mystery that it actually is, and let go of the need for thinking that all of this afterlife speculation is based on hard fact, instead of the wild speculation that it actually is based on, afterlife would seem to be the first requirement for any religious reform beliefs.

It seems that if you want to reform Christianity back to it's astrotheological roots then you have to go all the way with it. The people responsible for these allegories did believe in afterlife, that's why they appealed to the Egyptian religion of resurrection. They did believe that solar symbolism was a good way of describing supernatural realms behind the scenes unseen by man. They were looking to use the visible universe to express through symbol a speculative unseen realm beneath and beyond what is visible. They revered the sun because of it's life giving and sustaining power. That power they thought came from a transcendent energy source. To put Christianity back in place you have to appeal to what these ancients were originally trying to appeal. If not, then you're talking about something completely different, something other than Egyptian, Greek, Zoroastrian, Hindu, Buddhist, and eventually Christian beliefs. And if other, then what? What sense is there in calling your belief "Christian" if devoid of afterlife belief?


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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Apostasy, Heresy or Reform?
Robert Tulip wrote:
Thanks DWill, this question of whether Jesus Christ is the Sun is a major topic for Christ in Egypt, and for Murdock's earlier book Suns of God. The identity of Son and Sun is far deeper than homophony.

I don't claim any deep criticism here. The point is simply that there wouldn't have been the possibility of double or disguised meaning when either word was used, since the words for sun and son wouldn't have been homophones. The identification of the two would have to rest on the other evidence you cite.



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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Apostasy, Heresy or Reform?
This issue of sun/son has been addressed at Acharya's FAQ's:

The Son of God is the Sun of God

English: sun son
Old English: sunne sunnu
Afrikaans: son seun
Dutch: zon zoon
German: Sonne Sohn
Slovenian: sonce sin



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Post Re: Christ in Egypt: Apostasy, Heresy or Reform?
I think that a belief statement would make things more understandable Robert. As an example I'll post the WPM belief statement and I'd like to see where your astrotheological Christian reformation ideas differ, if they differ at all:

Quote:
http://www.pantheism.net/manifest.htm

The belief statement of the WPM

1. We revere and celebrate the Universe as the totality of being, past, present and future. It is self-organizing, ever-evolving and inexhaustibly diverse. Its overwhelming power, beauty and fundamental mystery compel the deepest human reverence and wonder.
2. All matter, energy, and life are an interconnected unity of which we are an inseparable part. We rejoice in our existence and seek to participate ever more deeply in this unity through knowledge, celebration, meditation, empathy, love, ethical action and art.
3. We are an integral part of Nature, which we should cherish, revere and preserve in all its magnificent beauty and diversity. We should strive to live in harmony with Nature locally and globally. We acknowledge the inherent value of all life, human and non-human, and strive to treat all living beings with compassion and respect.
4. All humans are equal centers of awareness of the Universe and nature, and all deserve a life of equal dignity and mutual respect. To this end we support and work towards freedom, democracy, justice, and non-discrimination, and a world community based on peace, sustainable ways of life, full respect for human rights and an end to poverty.
5. There is a single kind of substance, energy/matter, which is vibrant and infinitely creative in all its forms. Body and mind are indivisibly united.
6. We see death as the return to nature of our elements, and the end of our existence as individuals. The forms of "afterlife" available to humans are natural ones, in the natural world. Our actions, our ideas and memories of us live on, according to what we do in our lives. Our genes live on in our families, and our elements are endlessly recycled in nature.
7. We honor reality, and keep our minds open to the evidence of the senses and of science's unending quest for deeper understanding. These are our best means of coming to know the Universe, and on them we base our aesthetic and religious feelings about reality.
8. Every individual has direct access through perception, emotion and meditation to ultimate reality, which is the Universe and Nature. There is no need for mediation by priests, gurus or revealed scriptures.
9. We uphold the separation of religion and state, and the universal human right of freedom of religion. We recognize the freedom of all pantheists to express and celebrate their beliefs, as individuals or in groups, in any non-harmful ritual, symbol or vocabulary that is meaningful to them.


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Last edited by tat tvam asi on Sat Sep 24, 2011 4:01 pm, edited 3 times in total.



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