Sunday, January 31, 2016

What does it mean to be human? Finding answers in the unconditional [love] treatment of every person.

CONFLICTING IMAGES OF CREATOR SOURCE
This is a little outside of what I have been posting on the blog in recent months, but in line with past blog posts on religion.

This post is not for all my readers, perhaps only for those coming from a Christian context and perhaps still struggling with some of the discordant themes found in Christian teachings. Those not coming from the Christian context may well have their eyes glaze over with the references listed here, its not for everyone. But you may find some insight on why things are as they are.  As someone once said to me "Text, wihout context, is pretext..." and lots of pretext behind what has been billed as the "very word of God"... which is actually a type of idolatry if you consider that God/Source/Creator of All that is, could be limited to ink on paper that not even its proponents can agree as to the meaning.
We've seen these themes flash to the forefront in Europe with the false flag incidents in France and the Syrian and North African immigrant crisis (whether real or imagined) in Europe and North America.

We've seen how these themes has been manipulated in Christian, Jewish and Muslim circles in at attempt to start a new Holy War as a grand political and spiritual distraction, that benefits nobody but those who thrive on conflict and separation.

Those with a keen eye will see these themes of a vengeful God in various "resistance movements", new age esotoeric channelings from "Ascended Masters" (who really should know better), the Natural Law and Common Law tribunals that are popping up like porcini mushrooms. Its not accidental you see the same religious institutions who brought you the conditional love writings of the Apostle Paul, having their hands deep in tribunal accusation business. The first defense of a scoundrel is accusation. Let them clean up their own priesthood first. 
Wendell Krossa is an old friend of mine, helped me greatly in my journey out of Fundamentalist Christianity. While he once seemed like a radical to me, I am sure I appear much the same to him now, but I remain in deep gratitude the thousands of hours he spent researching a very difficult subject of the Jesus of History. But even as bookish as Wendell is, he came to see that it was ultimately the human heart that determines truth, not the dogma from ancient texts.

My comments/clarifications are as usual in [red italics] within square brackets. 
-American Kabuki
The Unconditional Human Spirit - Wendell Krossa
(see also  https://web.archive.org/web/20160131115637/http://www.wendellkrossa.com/?p=2747 if the above link is slow on the internet)

What does it mean to be human? Finding answers in the unconditional treatment of every person.
Posted on November 24, 2015 by Wendell Krossa

Site project: Combating all forms of alarmism, turning “falling skies” back to “acorns”, going after the foundational ideas that incite alarmism. No mythical idea has been more prominent for inciting alarmism over history than the perception of some great metaphysical Threat, whether the angry, punitive gods of religion, or the revenge of Gaia/angry planet in “secular” systems of thought.


(Note: The following comment is related to sound historical research, namely Q Sayings research which is a subsection of general Historical Jesus research)

A significant historical misunderstanding, distortion, and consequent scandal. That refers to the Jesus/Paul contradiction noted below, and its recognizable impact on public consciousness and general human existence. Varied historians have stated that Paul has been the single greatest influence on Western consciousness and society. Some of that influence has been good. Some has been harmful. Note the difference because it is important. This contradiction between Jesus and Paul encompasses significant validating ideas that have shaped human existence for better and for worse.

Qualifier: A note on the Jesus tradition and Historical Jesus research. Ultimately it does not matter what Jesus said, or did not say. Historical Jesus research shows that we will never know his actual original teaching with finality. It is more important to get the insight on unconditional reality that is found on the Jesus side of the tradition, and pull that out of the highly conditional Christian context where it has been severely distorted by Paul’s atonement theology (i.e. the demanded payment for sin- the fulfillment of an ultimate condition). Jesus’ unconditional insight is better understood in new contexts aside from conditional religion. As he said, put the new wine in new wineskins. The diamond of unconditional has too long been buried by the overwhelmingly dominant Christ myth of Christianity. That is Thomas Jefferson’s point that the diamonds of Jesus- “his sublimely moral teaching”- were buried among the other inferior teaching of the gospel writers. He used a stronger term to describe the inferior teaching in the New Testament, but I am trying to be nice.

Further, unconditional does not need validation by a religious authority figure like Jesus. It is self-validating as the ultimate definition of authentic humanity. Therefore, I am advocating that we get the unconditional insight clear, pull it out of the Jesus tradition, and then create a better context aside from the conditional features of a religion like Christianity. Jesus points us in the right direction on unconditional. Now we need to move on further.

One more: I am not claiming below that Paul set out to intentionally deceive people. I assume that he actually believed that his Christ myth explained what Jesus was all about. But the outcome is the same - whether just serious misunderstanding or intentional deception. Paul proclaimed something that was not true. His Christ mistake has harmed people more than is commonly recognized. (See comment below on Paul’s influence on Western consciousness and society, and the psychological impact of his ideas)

Distortion and Deception (propagating belief in things that are not true)

This is about the claim to represent someone, but then distorting and burying entirely that person’s central theme. The very name Christianity expresses the basic problem. It is not Jesus-ianity. It is Christ-ianity. Its all about the Christ myth of Paul, a myth that contradicts the original message of Jesus entirely.

(I also recognize that the ideas that Paul used to shape his Christology were also common in Judaism and other traditions- i.e. Messiah myths. See, for instance, Daniel Boyarin’s The Jewish Gospels)

It ranks high as probably the greatest deception and scandal in the history of mythology and religion- that Christianity rejected and then buried the earliest gospel of Jesus. This is much more consequential than the discovery of the ossuary of Jesus. Or the pedophile priest scandals. Or any other scandal/deception. The distortion and burial of Jesus’ teaching within Christianity has resulted in the “spiritual abuse” of countless people over the past two millennia (see psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo’s comment at bottom of this article).

Christianity as spiritual abuse? That’s an extravagant and unsettling claim to make. But take into account the widespread influence of Christianity and the nature of its foundational ideas. To get this abuse issue fully, note, for instance, Lotufo’s comments on the harmful impacts from atonement theology (i.e. the belief in divine anger that demands suffering and death as payment for imperfection). He wrote an entire book outlining the damage to human personality from these ideas (see Cruel God, Kind God).

There are two sides to this claim of abuse. There is the Christian denial of something that could powerfully liberate and heal human consciousness and life- i.e. the proper knowledge of the highest expression of authentic humanity ever presented. I refer to the Jesus breakthrough on the unconditional [love -AK] treatment of all people. Christianity’s contrary retaliation themes have denied people the full understanding of this supremely humane ethic. And just as important, Christianity has denied people the healing impact of Jesus’ theological breakthrough - the discovery of a God that treats everyone with absolutely no conditions love. The new Jesus theology points us toward “the single most profound shift in human consciousness ever - from viewing some grand retribution or payback behind reality, to understanding that there is only an absolutely no conditions Love behind all”. See the implications of denying this wonder below.

The other side of this abuse claim is that, aside from denying people the proper presentation of history’s most liberating insight, Christianity has promoted contrary ideas that have proven harmful in all other contexts. It is no longer responsible to protect these bad ideas in religious contexts like Christianity, no matter how sacred we feel them to be.

The proper presentation and full understanding of the stunning unconditional insight of Jesus could have produced the greatest liberation movement ever - freeing human consciousness from all kinds of unnecessary threat, guilt/shame, fear, anxiety, depression and despair that arise from atonement theology. The clear presentation of the unconditional insight could have also removed a central historical validation for violence - i.e. the ideal of violent, punitive deity that has long been used to validate similar violent treatment of others (see, for example, Terror in Mumbai below). We have been denied so much, to our detriment, over the past two millennia.

This Christian denial is about an original teaching and a religion that claims to represent the original teacher but has contradicted entirely his core theme. Yes, much of the content of Jesus’ original teaching has been included in the New Testament but it has been tampered with by gospel writers like Matthew. Most of the rest of the New Testament then ignores Jesus’ teaching outright and instead promotes the Christ mythology of Paul (i.e. Paul’s Christology- his personal visions of Christ). The Christ of Paul embodies an atonement myth - a supreme condition- that contradicts entirely the Jesus breakthrough on unconditional.

The basic outline of the scandal:

The closest that we can get to the original teaching of Jesus is a collection of wisdom sayings, called the Q Sayings Gospel (see, for instance, the research of James Robinson, among others). That teaching encompasses basically Matthew chapters 5 to 7, the Sermon on the Mount, and a few other passages/stories. Luke 6 covers similar material. Q research ( [Q is] short for Quelle, the German word for Source) is part of the larger multi-century search to discover the Historical Jesus - what he actually said and did. Historical Jesus research recognizes that the later gospel and epistle writers put a lot of additional things in the mouth of Jesus, things that contradict his original teaching. Hence, the understanding that there are notable “dissimilarities” or contradictions in the New Testament. The latest phase of this search involves the Jesus Seminar, which began around 1985. These scholars have done excellent work trying to decipher what the original Jesus actually said and did. Unfortunately, they have never made fully clear the shocking nature of the Christian denial of Jesus’ core theme, and what this means for Christianity and many others.

Again, Matthew 5-7 comprises Jesus’ core teaching or message, his gospel. But within this core teaching there is a core theme that is stated in Matthew 5:38-48, which Robinson calls the “core of the core”. There, Jesus introduced something entirely new- a stunning theology of a non-retaliatory God. He said that there should be no more ‘eye for eye’ vengeance but instead we should love our enemies and we would then be the children of God, we would be like God. Because God gives the good things of life- sun and rain- to all, both good and bad. God does not exclude or discriminate but treats all the same, with unconditional generosity and love. God does not exercise payback justice - i.e. reward the good and punish the bad. God treats all the same. This was something uniquely new and unprecedented in history. A God that did not retaliate, punish, or destroy but instead exhibited absolutely no conditions [unconditional pure] love toward everyone.

This blog is supported by ads and donations. If you enjoy this blog please consider supporting it with a contribution via PayPal.