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christianity the first religion?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by dudley thoth, Apr 9, 2004.

  1. dudley thoth

    dudley thoth Member

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    Known as the protevangelium 'the first gospel', Genesis 3:15 is regarded by Christians as the primeval prophecy relating to the death and resurrection of Jesus, and his complete victory over "that ancient serpent called the devil, or satan, who leads the whole world astray" (Revelation 12:9 N.I.V). there is also evidence within the Jewish religious tradition that this esoteric portion of scripture was believed to have messianic implications.
    in the 'Targum pseudo-Jonathan' we are told, "and i will put enmity between you and the woman, and between the seed of your offspring and the seed of her offspring. and it shall be that when the offspring of the woman observe the precepts of the torah, they will aim to strike you on the hea; but when they abandon the precepts of the torah, you will aim to bite them in the heel. However, for them there will be a remedy, but for you there will be no remedy. and they will make peace with the heel in the days of the messiah." the 'targum Onkelos' also expounds, "and i will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your son and her son. he will remember what you did to him in the beginning, and you shall be observing him in the end." According to Rabbinic tradition, the end of the age is known as 'ikveta D' meshicha', the heels of the messiah.
    the death and resurrection of the various 'mythological victims', attested to in various forms, throughout ancient religious literature, are, it would seem, remnants of the original prophecy given to mankind at the beginning of time. the way back to God was known (perhaps in its entirety) to our first ancestors, to be bound up in the future event of Jesus birth, death, and resurrection.
    Figures such Dionysus, Purusha, and Buddha (in a sense), are all part of the mythological continuum of a world saviour, that was to become a historic actuality only in the great work of Christ.
     
  2. blessed

    blessed Member

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    this is slightly off topic but the christian word easter actually comes from the pagan god etros (haven't spelt it right) one of the sisters at the school i went to told me that in religious studies, doesn't that put the pagan eater sabbath before (in the time line) the christian easter??! just asking do not intend to start a debate :wink:
     
  3. dudley thoth

    dudley thoth Member

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    in reply to Blessed.

    i can't find any references to Etros. sounds Celtic?

    the actual origin of the word 'Easter' is uncertain as far as i can tell. a number of souces however do seem to attribute it to a Goddess called Eostre "an Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring", The english derivation at least. If so, then i would guess that she is in the tradition of the goddess Ishtar, an Akkadian deity associated with the Sumarian Inanna. She may even be Esther of the O.T book of the same name, while her uncle Mordecai is quite possibly the God Marduk/Merodach.
    according to mesopotaimian texts dated to the 3rd millennium B.C, the King Shulgi (playing the part of Dumuzi/tammuz) took part in a sacred marriage ceremony with the Goddess Inanna played by a priestess. Innana possessed the Tablets of Destiny, or 'me' (compare maat, rta, dahma, dao) the 'moral' law that kept the universe in order. In the Babylonian account of creation, Marduk claims possession of them after slaying the primordial Goddess TiaMAT, from whose body he fashioned the universe. According to one Sumerian myth, the God Enki/Ea at one time possessed the divine Me, until Inanna Illicitly gained possession of them for herself. the myth is comparable to the 'mythological victim' motif. Enki, renowned for his appetite for sex and drink, holds a banquet for the Goddess, at which she tricks (wounds) Enki into relinquishing the Me voluntarily (self-wounding) in a state of drunkeness (compare Noah and Dionysus). in the sacred marriage of Innana and Dumuzi, the Goddess bestows a Good destiny upon her husband the King.
    Another myth tells us that Dumuzi the shepherd and Enkimdu the farmer compete for the love of Inanna (compare Cain and Abel, who compete, as it were for the love of the Lord God). Inanna eventually choses Dumuzi as her husband. yet elsewhere, in the 'epic of Gilgamesh', and dispite their love relationship, inanna/Ishtar is accussed of condemning her husband to the realm of death.

    "What bridegroom of yours did endure forever?...
    ...Dumuzi, the lover of your youth,
    year upon year, to lamenting you doomed him."
    (George, A 'trans', 1999, p.49)

    this is a clear reference to the substitution of Inanna who "at the door of the underworld acted evilly", for the innocent Dumuzi.
    In the myth concerning Adonis' (in the tradition of Dumuzi/Tammuz and Ishtar/astarte 'Cyprus' by way of Syria i think) ever-revolving decent and ascent, both his birth and death occur simultaineousl, caused, like Attis, by the lethal tusks (Olde-and-new moon symbol) of a boar. Aphrodite placed Adonis in a Chest and gave him to Persephone, Queen of the underworld. Every year he would alternate between the two goddesses, ever-passing in lunar style between the temporal realms of life and death. the festival of his death and rebirth, the Adonia, was celebrated annually. he was perceived as a God of vegatation and regrowth. Like a Deity of Spring i suppose.

    Adonis however is a myth, whereas Jesus who truely died for our sins and in whose resurrection we have new life is a historical fact. " Here i am!" Jesus exclaims, "I stand at the door (of your heart) and knock. if anyone opens the door, i will come in and eat with him, and he with me" (revelation 3:20 N.I.V).

    thank you blessed for giving me the opportunity to write. Jesus Rules!!
    !
     
  4. blessed

    blessed Member

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    no problem :D
     
  5. Runt

    Runt Well-Known Member

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    Aye, and in Celtic myth the hero Cu Chulainn is severely injured while singlehandedly holding off an entire army (not as remarkable as it sounds... they were allowing him to have single combat--one per day--to try to hold them off, the idea being that when they killed him they could proceed into Ulter "honorably". Except Cu Chulainn was stalling until his own army arrived). The injury seems like it may kill him, especially since he is in the midst of a battle, but his father, the God Lugh, promises to watch over him (IN THE MIDDLE OF BATTLE) and heal him (by casting him into a deep sleep and applying healing herbs). He wakes up 3 days later competely recovered and continues fighting.

    I just posted a topic entitled "The Wiccan God and Goddess" in the Paganism forum. It should provide a pretty good overview of the Wiccan God.
     
  6. Isis

    Isis Member

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    To the best of my knowledge zoroastrianism is the first founded religion...Though christianity has stood a decent test of time, I believe the 'fan fare' will die down eventually.
    (I do not intend to belittle your religions here, I just believe all religion is a function of spirituality which is a function of a 'life force'-whetever you decide to name this life force is personal preferance; God, Gia etc.- and religious wars and conflict are compleatly meaningless, all gods stem from the same source so why fight over who's is best?)
     
  7. dudley thoth

    dudley thoth Member

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    In response to Runt.

    In the Irish 'Book of Invasions', King Nuadu of the Tuatha De Dannan (tribe of the Goddess Danu) lost his hand battling against the Fir Bolg, which was replaced by the divine physician Dian Cecht with an arm of silver. This appears to be a reference to the waning and waxing moon, which 'dies' (arm chopped off), and after a three day period ( the lunar womb of the Goddess) is 'reborn', hence the substituted arm of silver, metal of the moon. King Nuadu, therefore, is the 'lunar' God, or at least in aspect.
    The 'lunar' aspect of the God, however, is only part of the celestial mystery. the God also has a 'solar' aspect, a role here enacted by Lugh Lamfhada, 'the shining one of the long arm', as the eternal and undying King. It is in this guise that Lugh defeats the giant formorian champion Balor (also Lugh's Grandfather), whose single cyclopian eye was infused with druidic magic as a child, and once opened, had the power to incapacitate an entire army. When Lugh met his grandfather at ' the second battle of Mag Tuired', Balor ordered four of his men to raise his heavy eyelid, and as his eye opened, Lugh aimed his slingshot and blasted balor's eye out through the back of his head.
    The oldest comparable version of this myth forms the latter half of the Mesopotamian 'Epic of Gilgamesh' (written around 2000 B.C), which is also a variation of the biblical 'fall' myth of Genesis, although the Hebrew account appears to be closer to the original tale of mankind's separation from God and the way of return.
    After the untimely death of Enkidu, the hero's companion and counterpart, Gilgamesh embarks on a journey to find Uta-Napishti, the Sumerian Noah, and his wife, the only human beings to be granted immortality after the Universal Flood. Dressed in lion skins (the garb of the 'solar' hero), Gilgamesh successfully passes the Scorpion Men (the lunar guardians of the solar gateway), and the crone Shiduri (threshold guardian), and eventually reaches the Ocean of Death, that no one apart from the sun god Shamesh/Utu(sumerian), can cross. beyond the ocean lies the island of immortality, the source of all rivers (compare Genesis 2:10), and home to the immortal couple. Gilgamesh manages to cross over with the aid of Uta-Napishti's ferryman, only to discover that the boon of immortality is no longer attainable. Instead, Gilgamesh learns of the existence of the mysterious Plant of Life that grew deep down upon the the ocean floor. Uta-Napishti told Gilgamesh that the plant had the ability to restore youth, although the plant would wound the one who picked it. Gilgamesh (called elsewhere 'he who saw the deep') swam to the bottom of the Ocean of Death and recovered the plant, naming it 'Old Man Grown Young' (Old-and-New moon), but while Gilgamesh bathed, a snake stole it, shedding it's skin as it slithered away.
    Like the Hebrew myth of Eden (Delight), the primary theme is separation from God and the way of return using celestial symbology. This is achieved through the 'mythological victim', here Gilgamesh, who, as the 'solar lion', victoriously gains entry into paradise by way of the lunar double-door, while according to his lunar aspect he is wounded by the plant of immortality (alternatively he is lamed, emasculated, beheaded, or cut to pieces), then is reborn like the new moon in serpent form, to share the gift of immortality with us all. the characters in the myth also function as the 'solar' (variously= unmanifest, transcendent, eternal, and majestic) and 'lunar' (manifest, imminanent, temporal, sacrifical) aspects of God. Here the deified serpent, also in the capacity of 'thief', has nether-the-less become the 'lunar' aspect of God reborn, Lord of Time, and possessor of the Plant of Life.
    this celestial myth predates even the Gilgamesh Epic. A steatite stamp seal from north Mesopotamia, dating to 3300 B.C, depicts and eight-pointed 'star' symbol between an old-and-new moon Scorpion-style double door. the eight-pointed star is actually the original pictographic cuniform word for divinity, in particular the Sky-God Anu. the symbol can also be compared in various ways with the 'eternal principle' especially the solar gateway to paradise, that only the solar hero can penetrate.
     
  8. dudley thoth

    dudley thoth Member

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    Zoroastrianism the first religion?

    Zoroaster might be the first historical figure (that we know of) to 'found' a religion, but this is debatable. even Zoroster's historicity is a matter open to scholarly debate, yet exist he probably did.
    There is also the problem of dating. He lived sometime between 1500 and 500 B.C, according to one source (campbell 'occidental' sorry it's not the best source) which is obviously problematic.
    but is it right to say Zoroaster founded the religious system later to be called Zoroastrianism? he certainly proclaimed the existence of a supreme God, but this was no innovation. the God Haoma (indian Soma) who was absorbed into Zoroastrianism, was also considered to be a supreme God, or so the Vedic hymns would appear to indicate. He also taught morality, which again was nothing new. there is also textual evidence suggesting that zoroaster's religious beliefs were not what we would call dualistic. Even the developed eschatology (beginning and end of temporal reality which passes forever into eternity) can be found (in a symbolic and difficult to recognize form i admit) within the mythological continuum.
    I appologise for any possible errors, Zoroastrianism is not my strong point.

    I too believe that all religions and conceptions of 'God' have a single source. Except i believe the source happens to be Jesus, the eternal one born miraculously from within the temporal realm ( the mythological record would tell us he lives and dies IN THE MIDDLE between world ages, to join the beginning and the end of time together as one), and from there, transcend into eternity.
    I wouldn't kill for my belief, but it's most certainly worth dying for.

    thanks for reading to the end. God bless.
     
  9. Runt

    Runt Well-Known Member

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    I think rather that the myths about the death and resurrection of various "mythological victims" simply resulted in the myths about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. My opinion on him was that he was a very smart man, who had great teachings that unfortunatly earned him the enmity of the religious and political authorities of his time, and led to his execution. I think the early Roman Catholic Church, in an attempt to control people, deified him by supplementing the true tales of his wise teachings with false tales based on the myths of other resurrected Gods common to his locale. Therefore, rather than these tales being a prophesy about a messiah that would one day come, they were simply myths that were adopted by the early Christians in an attempt to deify their prophet.

    The following was posted on another forum (by Roe): "Many, perhaps most, Pagan religions in the Mediterranean area had a major seasonal day of religious celebration at or following the Spring Equinox. Cybele, the Phrygian fertility goddess, had a fictional consort who was believed to have been born via a virgin birth. He was Attis, who was believed to have died and been resurrected each year during the period MAR-22 to MAR-25. "About 200 B.C. mystery cults began to appear in Rome just as they had earlier in Greece. Most notable was the Cybele cult centered on Vatican hill ...The festival began as a day of blood on Black Friday and culminated after three days in a day of rejoicing over the resurrection."

    Wherever Christian worship of Jesus and Pagan worship of Attis were active in the same geographical area in ancient times, Christians "used to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus on the same date; and pagans and Christians used to quarrel bitterly about which of their gods was the true prototype and which the imitation."

    Many religious historians believe that the death and resurrection legends were first associated with Attis, many centuries before the birth of Jesus. They were simply grafted onto stories of Jesus' life in order to make Christian theology more acceptable to Pagans."

    You don't think Buddha and his teachings were a historic actuality? Buddhism may not be as large a world religion as Christianity, but you can't deny that Buddhists and Buddhist teachings are prominant in the world today, and have been since the time of Buddha. People actually have proof Buddha existed... there is no actual proof that Jesus did, (though I personally believe he did)...
     
  10. dudley thoth

    dudley thoth Member

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    Hi Runt.

    You said, "You don't think Buddha and his teachings were a historical actuality?"

    Forgive me, but that's not what i said!

    I said that the various traditions of a ' world saviour', or such a figure who brings salvation to the world, (through physical self-sacrifice) are non-historical, yet are based on the promise (revelation) of God that such a 'world saviour' would indeed come, opening the way back to eternity.

    Only a Buddhist, perhaps, could except the non-existence of the Buddha's teaching. It would be absurd, however, for me to do so, so here goes...

    ...Beneath the Bodhi tree the future-buddha entered four subsequent states of meditation, and from these, he remembered his previous lives and gained understanding of the processes of samsara that all forms of life are subject to. He saw that the cause of rebirth was ignorance which would only cease when the need for sense-pleasures were quenched. As his ignorance of the truth was dispelled he was set free, and seeing things as they truly are, he became an enlightened being. A Buddha.
    After the Buddha had singlehandedly found the path that leads to freedom, he returned to his former ascetic companions and shared with them the truth (Dharma/Damma) of his discovery, at the deer park in Benares. This was the setting for his first sermon known as the Dhamma-cakka-pavattana sutta, which means 'discourse on the setting in motion the wheel of truth'. The Buddha revealed the Four Noble Truths concerning Dukkha/Duhkha, a word, originally sanskrit, that can be translated as meaning 'suffering' or alternatively as 'anguish', 'unsatisfactoriness' or 'ill'.
    The first noble truth is that the nature of existence, as experienced by all living things is suffering. this truth was the cause of the Buddha's initial agitation when he first encountered old age, disease, and death. Everything that is born is subject to decay and death and is therefore recognized as 'Anicca', that is, impermanent. within samsara all are fated to suffer this process repeatedly, not only in this world, but also in the other various levels of existence that can be both heavenly and hellish, the destination determined by an individuals particular karma. Greed, Hatred, and Delusion, being specific to the nature of samsara, are also states of suffering.
    Both dukkha and anicca are categorized as two of the 'three marks of conditioned existence', the third being 'Anatta' or 'no-self'. According to Buddhism the individual self is not really a 'self' at all but an illusionary construct of five aggregates known as Skhandhas/skandas. these are; 1)Rupa (form); 2) Vedana (feeling); 3) Sanna (perception); 4) Sankaras (skilled or unskilled actions or tendencies); and 5) Vinnana (consciousness). It is these skandas, in interaction with one another, that are to be understood as being subject to samsara rather than the individual, who does not really exist.
    In a Buddhist text known as 'Milinda's Questions' the body is likened to a chariot. Here, the monk Nagasena demonstates for the benefit of the inquiring King Milinda that as the individual parts of the 'self' do not contain the 'self' within themselves, then "How can there be a self?", when the individual parts are viewed collectively? Likewise, the seperate parts of a chariot have no 'chariot' within them, so how is it that a chariot exists when the parts are connected? The answer is "there is no chariot" and similarly neither is there a self. the 'self' is merely a convenient label of no real substance (Horner, I.B 'trans', in Beckerlegge, 2001, p.349-51). And so, the individual is seen as anatta.
    The second noble truth concerns the cause, or 'Uprising', of suffering. Dukkha is born from ignorance and perpetuated through our desire for sense-pleasures. Existence is perceived as a series of conditions that function within a wheel of cause and effect known as Paticcasamuppada, which means 'Dependent Origination' or 'Conditional Arising'. It is all wrong desires that keep the wheel turning. As all wrong desires have adverse causes, they also have adverse effects, which in turn become causes of more forms of suffering. The Buddha regarded individuals to be 'on fire' through their attachment to objects of desire (Horner, I.B 'trans', in Beckerlegge, 2001, p.344). In feeding the flames of the senses, we perpetuate the false belief that we are real, and as we persist in 'Ever-Becoming' samsara retains its awful hold:

    If this is, that comes to be;
    From the arising of this, that arise;

    However;

    If this is not, that does not come to be;
    From the stopping of this, that is stopped
    'Majjhima-Nikaya 2.32' (Horner, B.I 'trans', in Zaehner, R.C, 'ed', 2001, p.277)

    With the third noble truth the Dharma of Buddhism makes the transition from darkness to light as it reveals, optimistically, that there is an end to suffering. By dispelling ignorance and quenching the flames of sense-desire, the realm of conditional existence, along with all impermanence and suffering that distinquishes it, can be transcended:

    There is an island which you cannot go beyond. It is a place of nothingness, a place of non-possession and of non-attachment. It is the total end of death and decay, and this is why i call it Nibbana (the extinquished, the cool).
    'Kappas Question in the Sutta-Nipata'
    (Saddhatissa. H, in Beckerlegge, 2001, p.349)

    The root meaning of Nirvana, or Nibbana, is to 'blow out' such as the blowing out of a fire. The word 'skanda' means 'heap' or 'bundle' and can refer to a bundle of wood. As already mentioned, the burning of individuals by their desire for sense-objects has them caught up in samsara and a state of ever-becoming. the skandas which constitute the self, or rather, the no-self, can be compared to a burning bundle of wood that needs to be extinquished (units 11-13, 2001, p.29). And when the desires for sense-objects are 'blown out' Nirvana is attained.
    The fourth noble truth is the path that is to be followed if there is to be an end of suffering. It is the practice of Buddhism Itself, known as the Eight-Fold Way, which is often divided into three categories. these are:
    A) wisdom. which includes, 1) perfect understanding and 2) perfect resolve, which are both related to a correct knowledge and application of the Buddha's teachings in the life of an individual.
    B) morality, which includes, 3) perfect speech, that is, talking in a kind and truthful manner, and 4) Perfect action by dealing honestly with others and avoiding sense-pleasure. Also 5) perfect livelihood, that is, earning an honest living that doesn't exploit other human beings or cater for sense-pleasures.
    C) mental discipline, which includes 6) Perfect effort, which is the development and maintenance of skilled mental states and ridding oneself of unskilled mental states; 7) perfect mindfulness of the body, feelings, mind and mental states, and finally 8) perfect concentration, which is to be acheived through the disipline of 'Jhana', that is, meditaion...

    ...The forth noble truth is also known as the Middle Way. Buddhist meditation should conform with the middle way, as reflected in the legend of the Buddha when he positioned himself beneath the tree of awakening. the mind needs to be balanced if the realm of extremes is to be transcended. the middle way lies "between the two extremes of self-indulgence..." as reflected in the person of Siddhartha the prince, "...and self-torture" as reflected in the person of Siddhartha the emaciated ascetic (Horner, I.B, in Zaehner R.C 'ed', 2001,p.271). The Hindu practice of extreme self-denial, that was, and continues to be performed by ascetics in the pursuit of Moksha/Mukti was rejected by the Buddha. Such overt zelousness is concidered to be without true value, as is indifference towards spiritual attainment. However, individuals must apply themselves to the way of the Buddha, and are encouraged to investigate spiritual matters for themselves, and not blindly accept what a prestigious teacher may claim, out of respect. It is when you know the truth yourself, that it is to be accepted (Woodward, F.L 'trans', 'Kalama Sutta' in Beckerlegge, 2001, p.348). Also, the monastic lifestyle can be viewed as embodying the principle of the middle way. For two and a half millennia it has remained the prefered enviroment conducive to the attainment of Nirvana. Harvey observes that it lies between the extremes of a reclusive existence and the life of a brahmanic householder (Unit 11-13,2001,p.14-15).
    Concerning the four noble truths, cousins tells us that " the first truth is to be 'fully comprehended'; the second is to be 'abandoned'; the third is to be 'made visible'; the fourth is to be 'brought into being' (Units 11-13, 2001, p.30). It is for the transformation from a negative to a positive state that the path of Buddhism is the be followed. It requires the rejection of what is unskilful and the cultivation of what is skillful, such as generosity, compassion for all beings, and wisdom (the opposites of greed, hatred, and delusion mentioned above). It is a path that leads to calm, balance and detatchment from desire, and the indescribable Nirvana that awaits beyond.
    (from an assignment entitled 'In what sense is Buddhism a path or way? Why is it called the middle way?' by D.T June 2002)

    The Mythological Continuum passes through both the 'biography' and teachings of the Buddha. But i would object that the Buddha is the fortold 'world saviour' (a prophecy that exists both inside as well as outside the O.T) largely on the basis that he didn't suffer a physical death, which appears to be an integral part of the original message. In Buddhism the 'Protevangelium' was reinterpreted in a purely psychological sense.
    The Buddha was said to of gained enlightenment FIXED beneath the Bodhi TREE, SELFLESSLY attaining the secret wisdom concerning the truth about SUFFERING. an 'iconic' image which pre-dates the Buddha, and part (without question) of the mythological lore of the 'world saviour'. Similarly, Jesus FIXED upon a cross (elsewhere called a TREE) SELFLESSLY SUFFERED for us all ( and in our place), and thereby obtained the boon of eternal life and all the riches of heaven, which he is ever-willing to share with us!

    Who, though he was in the form of God,
    Did not regard equality with God
    As something to be exploited,
    But emptied himself,
    Taking the form of a slave,
    Being born in human likeness
    And being found in human form,
    He humbled himself
    And became obedient to the point of death-
    Even death on a Cross.

    Therefore God also highly exalted him
    And gave him the name
    That is above every name (compare Isaiah 42:eight)
    So that at the name of Jesus
    Every knee should bend, (compare Isaiah 45:23)
    In heaven and on earth and under the earth,
    And every tongue confess (Isaiah 45:23)
    That Jesus Christ is Lord,
    To the glory of God the Father.
    (Philippians 2:6-11, N.R.S.V Bold mine

    Jesus fits the 'iconic' image, because he is its fulfillment. And he fits it better than the Buddha, wouldn't you agree?
    Buddha taught that when ALL desire ceases so shall suffering. The Biblical record (from Genesis onwards) teaches that self-centred, that is, non-God centred desires cause suffering, and create an impenetrable barrier of sin which we cannot by ourselves break down.

    ...after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death (James 1:15, N.I.V)

    Only Jesus can remove the barrier of sin. Only Jesus can re-align, if you like, our desires, so that they can once again be united with God's desires. Godly desire is beautiful. it created the universe. I think the Buddha goes to far. Buddha does, however, acknowledge the original problem that was responsible for our separation from God in the garden of Bliss (nirvana to the Buddha), yet gives no credible expaination as to why or even how, such a division occured, this is because, i think, it is a panthiestic-based Belief system. Why should/would/could a state of perfection deliberately currupt itself?

    The Buddha appears to be in the 'solar/lunar' tradition of Gilgamesh, by way of Proto-'Shiva' whose meditative iconic posture (the sleeping God?), was also known to Celtic europe. King Buddha was a descendent of the sun, and his emblem, a six or eight spoked wheel, was originally a solar wheel. His city was Kapilavastu, home to the sage Kapila, whose solar eye had the power (wrath-bliss) to reduce men to ashes. In the Mahayana tradition the Buddha's 'lunar' nature comes in the form of the ever-compassionate Bodhisattva chained (fixed) by choice, to the ever-turning wheel of rebirth. As to his 'solar' nature he has forever attained Nirvana, never to return.

    You also said "people actually have proof Buddha existed... there is no actual proof that Jesus did, (though I personally believe he did)..."

    I cannot except this. Allthough i'm not entirely sure what it is that you mean by 'proof' regarding the Buddha. Stupafied relics? Surely you don't mean that?

    you also mention concerning Jesus, "the true tales of his wise teachings". Maybe someone should start a topic concerning Jesus teachings, to see if a greater message can be found than what is enshrined in the Bible. I doubt a greater teaching could, or ever will, exist, but its definitely worthy of discussion and sounds like it could be fun.

    Jesus was believed to be God by 1st Century Christians, and was in no way deified, by way of 'pagan' myth, by the early Roman Catholic Church of the 4th Century onwards. Outside of the watchtower society, i don't know of anyone who accepts that.

    "many religious historians believe that the death and resurrection legends were first associated with Attis, many centuries before Christ"

    I doubt any direct link can be made between any specific 'pagan' God and Jesus. I'm not aware of any religious historians that would assert this, but it would be interesting to hear what they have to say on the matter.
    That Christianity absorbed pagan festivals (well after the N.T was written) in various parts of the then known world is a fact I wouldn't want to deny.

    "myths about the death of Jesus"

    I'm sure you don't mean that Jesus death (by crucifixion) was a myth. Overall, it is accepted, on the basis of all the availible evidence from numerous sources, that Jesus was put to death. it is also likely that this was because he claimed to be the Anointed One, and was therefore condemned for being a messianic pretender (Hutchinson living faiths, p.42). The resurrection however, being in nature a miraculous event requires, undestandingly, evidence that is above generaly excepted standards. there is one way of proving that the resurrection power of Jesus is real...

    I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritence in the saints, and his uncomparably great power for us who believe. that power is like the working of his mighty strengh, which he exertrd in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all... not only in this age but also in the one to come. And God placed everything under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fulness of him who fills everything in every way.
    (pauls letter to the Ephesians 1:18-23 N.I.V)

    "The kingdom of Heaven is within you". Jesus said that.

    He's waiting in all our hearts. He wants to prove himself to us all. We've just gotta give him the chance!

    Goodnight and God Bless.

    P.S The Phrygian myth concerning the Goddess Cybele and Attis (was he considered to be a god? most likely.) begins with the God Zeus who manages to impregnate the earth (Cybele is identified with the Earth Goddess Rhea), while he slept (the sleeping motif again. what does it mean?), resulting in the birth of the hermaphrodite (the androgynous god. divine union?) Cybele, called Agdistis. The gods castrate Cybele (compare titans who devoured Zagreus. also compare the gods who sacrificed Purusha), and an almond tree grows from her severed male genitals (compare Herodotus 1.108). Nana (human manifestation of Cybele i suppose), the daughter of a river god, becomes pregnant with the boy Attis after she picks an almond from the tree and it enters her womb. Eventually Attis reaches manhood and the ALL-Female Cybele falls in love with him. Unfortunately Attis is betrothed to a daughter of King Pessinus, and so the jealous Cybele sends Attis into an insane frenzy whereby he castrates himself and dies. full of remorse, Cybele decrees that Attis' body shall never decay, or according to another tradition, Attis is transformed into the evergreen pine tree. According to another tradition (which i haven't as yet been able to verify, although it comes from a pretty good source) Cybele "brought him back to life".
     
  11. painted wolf

    painted wolf Grey Muzzle

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    about first religions....
    well... mines at least 'stone age' in origen.
    well before 10,000 years ago...
    I think we beat Zoroastrianism... :wink:


    wa:-do
     
  12. blessed

    blessed Member

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    i think that each religion is a first religion in it's own right and because we all have different religions we are going to favor our religion - biased :D every religion is you search hard enough goes a fair way back.
     
  13. dudley thoth

    dudley thoth Member

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    What's your religion?
     
  14. Stained_Class

    Stained_Class Member

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    Religion = the link between the creator and the created. Or a vehicle to explain that link.

    Christianity is a philosophy, not a religion. The teachings of Christ dealt more with the unifying of Jewish sects around the time of his death, which would have dealt a blow to the Roman tactics of "divide & conquer". Had he not been wise enough to recognize the Roman state for what it was, there may not have been a crucifixion.

    Zoroastrianism is one of the oldest monotheistic religions. As shortly after, montheism played a very minor role in Egypt just prior to the exodus.
     
  15. painted wolf

    painted wolf Grey Muzzle

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    Dudley thoth-
    Native American.... :D

    Stained_Class-
    Akhenaten was the first and only pharoah to declaire monotheism in egypt. He ruled from 1349-1332 BCE (during the 18th dynasty). Well before the reign of Ramesses in the bible.
    This was no minor role, this became LAW in egypt. Akhenaten, began a purge of other gods as Aten, would alow no impure names to be linked to him. The movement did die relitively quickly due to the efforts of the priest class...
    Akhenaten ruled for only 17 years before his 'tragic death'. Without a stong pharaoh backing it, Aten was quickly and quietly absorbed into the pantheon.

    If Ramesses the great (Ramesses II) was the Ramesses of the bible then the exodus happined a full dinasty later (the 19th) and seven pharaohs after Akhenaten. He ruled from 1279 - 1213 BCE

    wa:-do
     
  16. dudley thoth

    dudley thoth Member

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    If so-called 'Traditional Religions' are anything to go by perhaps the oldest supreme God is the 'Sky-God'. Knowledge of this deity is pretty widespread, and has been around since pre-historic times. He is still acknowledged today as creator of all things.

    To Painted Wolf. I'm interested in Mother Earth and Father Sky myths. Can you point me in the right direction.

    P.S Do you know anything about the tradition of the Zero Chiefs?
     
  17. painted wolf

    painted wolf Grey Muzzle

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    dudley thoth-
    From what I've learned creator to my people was not a sky-god, he had no physical representation. He was a part of everything, omnipresant although eaven that word doesn't quite fit. Earth is mother to us all as she sustains our lives as a mother sustains her children. Mother, Father, Grandmother, Grandfather, Uncle, Brother... et cet. are often used as Honorifics by Natives, not always actual indications of liniage.

    Any good books eh, well... "American Indian myths and legends" by Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz is a good place to start. It is a collection of 166 stories, on a wide variety of subjects.

    As for 'zero' chiefs, I havent heard of them. Perhaps we have another name for them? Can you tell me a liitle about them? I'll see if it sounds familiar.

    wa:-do
     
  18. Runt

    Runt Well-Known Member

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    Dudley Thoth: try looking at Egyptian mythology. There is a case in which it is completely reversed.

    Nut: Goddess (sky/heavens)... sister-wife to Geb
    Geb: God (earth)... brother-husband to Nut
     
  19. dudley thoth

    dudley thoth Member

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    Wakan Tanka 'Great Holy-Mystery' is the supreme being of the Lakota indians, and is divided into sixteen aspects known as Tob-Tob 'four-four'.
    These are, 1) the superior gods; Rock 'Inyan', Earth 'Maka', Sky 'Skan', and Sun 'Wi'. 2) the associate gods; Moon, Wind, Falling star, and Thunderbird. 3) the kindred gods; Buffalo, Two-legged, Four-Winds, and Whirlwind. And finally 4) The god-like; Spirit, Spirit-like, Breath, and Wakan Power. (I think thats right anyway).
    According to a myth (i've yet to verify), Inyan 'Rock' created the Earth and Sky from his blood, and yet he acknowledged Wakan Tanka as the Source of All Things. It is through these sixteen aspects that Wakan Tanka manifests himself in creation. However, Wakan Tanka is greater than his divided parts (transcendent) and is regarded therefore as ultimately unknowable. There's obviously more to this divinity than meets the sky.
    The same perception of Divinity is again related in a Winnebago story about a young boy, who, after an arduous vision quest was unable to encounter Ma-o-na, the Creator. He tried again and this time he thought he saw Ma-o-na. Ma-o-na, however, told him that he had already seen him in the multiplicity of creation and that he shouldn't try to meet with him face to face. The desire for such a direct encounter is to miss the point entirely. Then the young man no longer saw Ma-o-na, but rather, a chicken-hawk, a bird that belonged to the evil spirits. Foolishly, the young man tried again to see Min-o-na. This time he was warned by the spirits directly, who told him, "cease dreaming for YOU HAVE SEEN ALL THINGS!." and with that, the young man seemed to finally understand ( Adapted from 'The Indian's Book' by Natalie Curtis, 1907/1968 , p.262-263).
    I too once saw wisdom in such a belief.
    C.S Lewis has this to say;

    Pantheism is a creed not so much false as hopelessly behind the times.
    Once, before creation, it would have been true to say that everything was God. But God created: He caused things to be other than Himself that, being distinct, they might learn to love Him, and achieve union instead of mere sameness... Even within the creation we might say that inanimate (non-sentient) matter, which has no will, is one with God in a sense that men are not. But it is not God's purpose that we should go back into that old identity...but that we should go on to the maximum distinctness there to be reunited with him in a higher fashion ('the problem of pain', 1940, p.120).

    I see a similarity between Wakan Tanka and the Vedic God Purusha, the Nordic Ymir, and the Chinese Pangu, who, like Adam before his operation, were all androgynous.

    The Zero Chiefs. Ah, yes...

    to be brief, i heard about the Zero Chiefs from a book entitled 'Lightningbolt' by Hyemeyohsts Storm. It's more of a novel than anything else, but the author, himself the 'hero' of the story (on a journey of self discovery), would have us believe that it is autobiographical. I'll give you what is says on the back of the book: " As a young Cheyenne-Sioux-German mixed blood -a metis- distrusted by white and 'full blood' alike, Lightningbolt is a 'reservation kid' bitterly obsessed with poverty and warfare. He seems destined for a tragic end until he meets Estcheemah, one of the most powerful Medicine Chiefs (a zero chief) who has ever lived. Moved by her power as healer and Self-Teacher, lightningbolt begins his initiation, learning about.." and this is where i have some difficulty "...the old temple-schools, the discovery of the eternal zero, and the myriad interlocking medicine wheels..." i have no problem with medicine wheels "...which mirror sacred life and the universe; the balence of male and female..." again, this is also part of authentic N. American tradition "...and the Circle of the law,..." and the following is where i have a real problem "...the first human democracy created by humans." also elsewhere; "...that reaches back tens of thousands of years to the mayans and beyond."
    I enjoyed reading 'lightningbolt', but my initial reaction was to reject it as nonsense. However (aware of my own ignorance concerning many things Native American), I'm putting my initial reaction aside for the moment.

    anywaythasaboutit

    God Bless and Happy Hunting!
     
  20. dudley thoth

    dudley thoth Member

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    Yes. This myth reverses the gender roles in order to fit into a different cosmology.
     
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