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 Blooming Stars

Programming, Deprogramming, and Reprogramming the World – 11

            While I stated my preference for certain models of humanity even as I advocate spirituality beyond religions I need to make clear that currently I do not represent any particular religion. While some trappings of my old background may be observed, I need to say that all religions be evaluated on their own merits. Let all take the best from all religions for a rich life. In this article I would like to high-light some points on the major world religions relevant for modern living, while bypassing the claims they make for themselves, as religions play such a major role in programming humanity. Christianity beginning with the Old Testament (essentially the Jewish scriptures) finds its continuity and its fulfillment in the New Testament dealing with the life, teachings, and ministry of Christ and his message of the kingdom of God to humanity. I do not take Adam and Eve as real persons. I do not believe in the Garden of Eden as a real place. These to me are powerful and poignant stories and metaphors to depict the condition of humanity at that time written by authors deeply inspired by God. Humanity comes from God and returns to God. We are never away from God. We are only in different altered states of consciousness. Human beings (Adam and Eve) in their temporary voyage/sojourn on earth from God but not away from God started living in the ideal condition in the Garden of Eden. In a sense this would be a temporary existence of the souls in their bodies on earth.

             Their disobedience to God, the original sin, was doing their thing and going their way, and wandering away from God’s path leading to their being thrown out of Eden. They did not discern God’s will for them. It is not really any different from what people are doing right now. We can all be thrown out of Eden - God’s favor. Sin consists in not doing God’s will. It is missing the mark. Sin coming from the Greek word amartia means missing the mark, say, in shooting practice. We are all sinners in the sense we all miss the mark or fall short of the center of the mark (the bull’s eye) in our life.

            The Fall (disobedience)of Adam and Eve taking place in Genesis (the Old Testament of the Bible) culminating in crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Christ summing up Redemption in the four Gospels (the New Testament of the Bible) need to be symbolically interpreted in the light of the progress of humanity’s experiments with consciousness, awareness, and Awakening. Sin falls on a continuum of obedience-disobedience to God’s will with different levels of consciousness/awareness of God’s presence. And hell may be considered the lowest or even zero level of consciousness for human beings. In this connection it is good to remember the Hindu analogy of God sleeping in the rock, sensing in vegetation, and breathing and moving in animals. Sin in Hinduism would be perfect avidya (perfect ignorance equivalent to zero level consciousness). Christ modeled life for humanity so humanity could get back on the road. Christianity, the religion, that developed after Christ, appropriated and programmed Christ to suit its institutional needs. As it progressed. Christ who already belonged to the whole humanity through the sheer force of his message was presented by Christianity to humanity as someone who should belong to humanity through its ritualistic conversion, doctrines, dogmas, and disciplines. In other words, Christianity presenting Christ in determined (programmed) ways is working hard to present this programmed Christ to humanity.

            That does not make sense. Interestingly there are as many distinct presentations as there are Christian denominations. What presentation should one choose? This is certainly confusion worst confounded. That is why it is important to liberate Christ from Christianity so Christ can take the place in humanity that he truly deserves. Let people read the New Testament and experience Christ in their own way and come to their own conclusions. Let people see if Christians follow Christ’s message and his life of love. Christ was the greatest revolutionary that I know. His early disciples tried to live a real community life based on his teachings, which is more than any modern day communist could ask for (Acts Chapters 2 & 4). His powerful stories and parables teach us how to live life on the basis of sharing love, compassion, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

            In his parables and stories he presented non-Jews (gentiles: equivalent to dalits in India) as models of neighborly love and faith to Jews (the chosen ones like Brahmins). The Jewish leaders were furious and wanted to get rid of him. The Jewish high priest (Caiaphas) decided that Christ needed to die to save the nation. Lest we get back into the vicious anti-Semitism that grievously diminished humanity in the past, let us be aware that the Jewish leaders and the high priest of Christ’s time are very much in our midst and often within us diligently guarding our vested interests, theories, and pet theological speculations to pounce on Christ in our fellow human being and crucify him. If Christ showed up in midst today he will be subjected to inquisition proceedings as happened in Dostoevsky’s novel, Brothers Karamazov, wherein a cardinal of the Christian Church questions Christ with regard to his Christian orthodoxy and correct understanding of Christian doctrines.

 

     
 
 
 
 
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