Embracing A Better Understanding of Spiritual Belief-I

Speak the truth and I’ll make it love.” Is that you Sly(and the Family Stone)?

When you believe in things that you don’t understand, then you suffer. Superstition ain’t the way.” Stevie Wonder

Embracing a rational understanding of spiritual belief, and the belief that the basic nature of mankind is good, is the way I choose.

Baby Child as a man as a living grain of sand…..Sitting on the ever changing shore…..Greeting the sunrise…..Picked up upon the Gypsy woman. Hair Flaming Night as ravens even sleep…rainbow cloth……Tambourine complimenting her chant and choice of graces,

And Love Her God

I actually looked upon her on my right…coming forth. And Baby Child then secondly looked his left to eye……and 11 or 12 women, men and little ones approached: They clad in their masters wish; White robes swaying to be baptized. These two worlds crossed each other in front of me, when ……Afterwards, Baby Child sipped a heartful of ocean… Spat out the waste and walked upon the New Day. Jimi Hendrix. (from the album, Hendrix Band of Gypsys)

Some of the knowledge and wisdom written in the doctrines of old are golden, but there is a need for adjustment to make accommodation for a more profound understand for spiritual belief. An example of such is the adjustments that are being made to accept and accommodate members of the LBGTQ community into the churches. It is because of ignorance and institutionalized, dogmatic teachings and control based on ideas and beliefs rooted in and before the dark and middle ages, that there is now a break down in the societies of man. I also believe that the essence of man (and woman) is spiritual. Why? Isn’t is evident? You know from your own existence that vibrational magic affects your psyche. Your “soul.” Understanding that there are exceptions and abnormalities in species, I would think that the percentage of human beings affected by music is above 95%. I would gamble to say 99%, and maybe a little more. It is evident that a person affected by music is in possession of a soul, the well spring of spirit. Don’t you know.

Spirit. Native Americans knew and practiced, and interacted with the spirit world in the way they lived. The cathedral of Native Americans was and is mother nature itself. In today’s world, with all of the hypocrisy, lies, deception, mis-information, and other vices that goes against the grain of man’s better nature and higher potential of good, there is a real need for spiritual nourishment. The prophets and the poets have been speaking of this need through the ages. The advent of artificial intelligence and robots will not remove the need for spiritual nourishment for the soul of man.

Keeping it real, you and I know that there is an ugly, degenerate spirit in man that needs to be checked. The ugly, degenerate spirit operates more freely in the behavior of individuals who feed themselves on actions of evil.

Mithras and Jesus1. On the nature and origins of modern “pagan parallels” literature2. Mithras had a “virgin birth”3. Mithras “visited by Magi”4. Mithras “died on the cross”5. The “twelve disciples of Mithras”See also Mithras and Christianity.In certain sorts of literature, the claim is made that Jesus is merely a copy of Mithras. A series of statements are made about Mithras – born of a virgin, had a last supper, died, resurrected, etc – which do make him seem identical. This portrait of Mithras is entirely misleading. Some of the statements about Mithras being like Jesus have some basis, and the evidence for them is given under Mithras and Christianity. Other claims do not, and are wholly spurious, and mislead the unwary reader. In view of the wide circulation of these mistakes on the internet, it seemed useful to discuss a number of them here, and to reference them to some sample sources. Works referenced here are NOT scholarly unless otherwise noted.1. On the nature and origins of modern “pagan parallels” literatureCollections of “sayings of the philosophers” were made in antiquity and into the medieval period. These are sometimes known as “wisdom literature” or gnomologia. One category of these consists of sayings which predict the coming and life of Christ, attributed to pagan philosophers or other notable figures. Collections of this kind formed part of the apologetic of the medieval church, which thus had a two-fold proof of Christianity; one from Jewish prophecies of Christ, one from pagan prophecies.1 Similarly early Christian writers, such as Justin Martyr, or Clement of Alexandria, were willing to point pagans to similarities in pagan cult myths, not to show that Christianity was the same as paganism, and still less derived from it, but rather to demonstrate that Christian teaching was not entirely novel or threatening and should therefore be legal.2From the 17th century onwards, Protestant writers routinely accused the “Romanists” – the Roman Catholic Church – of basing its worship on pagan ritual.3With the rise of anti-Christian movements such as socinianism in the 18th century, this developed in some writers into the claim that the Christ story was not different to that of older pagan legends and so was, by inference, equally untrue.The French revolutionary writer Dupuis continued this line of thought in 1794.4 He seems to be the originator of the claims that Mithras was very similar to Christ. I have not been able to find the French original, but the key passage of the 1872 American abbreviated translation runs as follows:5It is chiefly in the religion of Mithras or the God Sun, worshipped under that name by the Magi, that we find mostly those features of analogy with the death and resurrection of Christ and with the mysteries of the Christians. Mithras, who was also born on the 25th December like Christ, died as he did; and he had his sepulchre, over which his disciples came to shed tears. During the night the priests carried his image to a tomb, expressly prepared for him; he was laid out on a litter, like the Phoenician Adonis. These funeral ceremonies, like those on good Friday, were accompanied with funeral dirges and the groans of his priests; after having spent some time with these expressions of feigned grief; after having lighted the sacred flambeau or their Paschal candle and anointed the image with Chrism or perfumes, one of them came forward and pronounced with the gravest mien these words: “Be of good cheer, sacred band of Initiates (“initiés,”) your God has risen from the dead; his pains and his sufferings shall be your salvation.”[…]And it would really seem, in this instance, as if Firmicus, in his onset on the ancient religions, had set his heart on it, to collect all the traits of analogy, which their mysteries had with those of the Christians. He clings chiefly to the Mithraic Initiation, of which he draws a pretty uniform parallel with that of Christ, and to which it has so much resemblance, merely because it is one and the same sect. It is true, he explains all this conformity, which exists between these two religions, by asserting, as Tertullian and St. Justin did, that a long time before there were Christians in existence, the Devil had taken pleasure to have their future mysteries and ceremonies copied by his worshippers. This may be an excellent reason for certain Christians, such as there are plenty in our days, but an extremely paltry one for men of common sense. As far as we are concerned, we, who do not believe in the Devil, and who are not, like them, in his secrets, we shall simply observe, that the religion of Christ, founded like all the others on the worship of the Sun, has preserved the same dogmas, the same practices, the same mysteries or very nearly so; that everything has been in common; because the God was the same; that there were only the accessories, which could differ, but that the basis was absolutely the same.The oldest apologists of the Christian religion agree, that the Mithraic religion had its sacraments, its baptism, its penitence, its Eucharist and its consecration by mystical words; that the catechumens of that religion had preparatory trials, more rigorous than those of the Christians; that the Initiates or the faithful marked their foreheads with a sacred sign; that they admitted also the dogma of the resurrection; that they were presented with the crown, which ornamented the forehead of the martyrs; that their sovereign Pontiff was not allowed to marry several times; that they had their virgins and their laws of continence; finally, that they had everything, which has since been practiced by the Christians.Of course, Tertullian calls again the Devil to his assistance, in order to explain away so complete a resemblance. But as there is not the slightest difficulty, without the intervention of the Devil, to perceive, that whenever two religions resemble each other so completely, the oldest must be the mother and the youngest the daughter, we shall conclude, that since the worship of Mithras is infinitely older than that of Christ, and its ceremonies a great deal anterior to those of the Christians, that therefore the Christians are incontestably either sectarians or plagiarists of the religion of the Magi.Dupuis’ claims are repeated in England by Joseph Priestley6, although he is otherwise rather sceptical of Dupuis, well before any scholarly investigation had taken place or was possible. Further examples may be found in the early 19th century onwards,7 and are repeated afterwards, usually in rationalist or deistic writings.8Today such claims tend to be found in low-grade literature with an anti-Christian purpose, often making crudely false claims about what is or is not known about Mithras.92. Mithras had a “virgin birth”S. Stephano Rotondo. The birth of Mithras from the rock.Some non-scholarly writers say that the birth of Mithras was a virgin birth, like that of Jesus.No ancient source gives such a birth myth for Mithras. Rather Mithras is always described as born from solid rock.10 Scholar David Ulansey, who has suggested that Mithras might be the “outside name” of a cult of Perseus, has speculated that the idea of a rock-birth derives from the myth in which Perseus was born because Zeus visited Danae in an underground cavern.113. Mithras “visited by Magi”In 1882 American writer T.W. Doane claimed that Mithras, the “mediator between God and man”, was visited by Magi at the time of his birth and given gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.12In support of his claim, Doane offered two sources. The first is “King: The Gnostics and their Remains, pp. 134 and 149”, a respectable source in 1864 when it was published.13 But King’s statements are purely speculative and no evidence is offered.Doane’s second source is given as “Inman: Ancient Faiths, vol. ii. p. 353”, which dates from 1868.14 Inman appears to have been a crank. But his statement is equally a piece of speculation, and does not even mention gold or frankincense.Despite this, Doane’s statement may be found, with or without reference, online in various places.15No ancient source depicts the Magi attending the rock-birth of Mithras. He is, however, sometimes depicted attended by Cautes and Cautopates.164. Mithras “died on the cross”The following claim may be found online:17“3) According to Mithraism, before Mithra died on a cross, he celebrated a “Last Supper” with his twelve disciples, who represented the twelve signs of the zodiac.”4) After the death of Mithra, his body was laid to rest in a rock tomb.”No ancient source records that Mithras died, still less that he did so on a cross.This claim may perhaps be the result of some careless reading of a passage in T.W. Doane, making various claims about Mithras and then Zoroaster.185. The “twelve disciples of Mithras”CIMRM 860CIMRM 75The earliest appearance of this claim appears to be by Godfrey Higgins in 1836, where it is unreferenced and appears in passing.19 Higgins work was apparently quarried extensively by the theosophist Madame Blavatsky.20The claim appears in an elaborate form in the notorious “Jesus Mysteries” of Freke and Gandy in 2001.21 It has been publicised by someone calling themselves “Acharya S”, who turns out to be an American woman named Dorothy Murdock.22 Murdock was made aware that the claim was untrue, but has since elaborated and reiterated the claim. She knows that Mithras is depicted surrounded by the zodiac on a couple of reliefs, and proposes that these ‘must’ be disciples, since sometimes in renaissance Christian art the apostles are depicted with the signs of the zodiac.23