May 31st, 2007 10:41 EST
To Know Thyself Be True
There are many things going on behind the scenes the general public is unaware of. Nothing is exactly as it seems. A is A.
And yet " a picture of an apple is not an apple.
Arthur Clarke`s third law of prediction states that: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. But let`s not overlook the frequently overlooked-- though equally significant-- first two laws: When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
And, the only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
We may be able to use history to predict the future the way science can predict by determining patterns of probability through cause and effect. But as with science, the accuracy of these predictions depends on the accuracy and applicability of data.
History is like performance magic: misdirection and misperception. History is not about what actually happened or existed, but what someone saw, thought they saw, or wanted known-- or believed. Tainted with lies and half-truths-- both deliberate and unintended, history is arbitrary and circumstantial, defined by agenda and/or innocence. Never completely accurate, never the whole story. For the most part, it is just a story. A kind of historical fiction, merely based on actual events, and accepted and assumed mostly on faith. As with scientific truth, religious truth and personal truth, historical truth is malleable " subject to interpretation and revision, according to what is known " or understood -- true only until it isn`t.
If it is in anyway true, it is only partial truth. Although, it is not so much a matter of true or false, but of accuracy. History is false because it tends to be simplistic, biased and one sided. It is true only from a certain point of view. Any debate limited to two options is illegitimate.
Facts without situational and social context are meaningless; they are not truth.
The Bible is a prime example of how susceptible history is to inaccuracy.
It reports that Jesus walked on water, supposedly evidence that he is the Son of God.
But it also mentions that Peter walked on water. So clearly something else is going on here.
The Bible claims Jesus turned water to wine. Well, yes and no. In a manner of speaking, he did, in that Jesus made available to everyone attending wine that was normally reserved for a certain class of individuals. What was miraculous " about it was his breaking of protocol.
If history can so easily misrepresent something so minor, so trivial, then wonder what other more consequential details were gotten wrong or incomplete. Not just in The Bible, but every historical record and documentation.
Such things are written, and often repeated, and therefore widely and long accepted--- assuming an appearance of truth.
But being written, being said, being believed, does not make something true.
A thing being so, makes it so. Do we know what we don`t know?
The Bible demonstrates how a simple mistranslation or misinterpretation of text and context can transform a young woman engaged to be married into a case of immaculate conception leading to a Virgin birth. Such errors can change the wife and teaching partner of a holy man into a prostitute for over 2 millennia. They can turn a faithful disciple following orders into a betrayer with 30 pieces of silver. They can make the son of a learned craftsman the son of a carpenter. And they can even cause a religion to be perpetuated. These errors have the power to influence our beliefs.
Just as we today give people, places and things titles, nicknames, aliases and code names, so did people in the time of Jesus. Just as we use slang words and phrases today, so did the people in Jesus` time. For instance, we abbreviate The President of The United States " as POTUS. Or we call this President Mr. President , Commander in Chief , or Leader of the Free World . And in the case of particular Presidents, perhaps we refer to them as W " or JFK " or Gipper . Read out of context 500 years from now, it might be assumed that POTUS was a proper name or rank. As part of organizations, individuals are assigned titles signifying rank or position effective within the group. Names are symbolic, they mean or represent something. My name, Sean, is Irish for John ", which is just another way to say God is gracious/merciful " in Hebrew, or beloved by God ". Many last names derived from things like an individual`s occupation, where they lived, or some personal characteristic. Or perhaps misunderstanding and incorrect transcription. A person or an entire family gets stuck with a mangled name change because someone else heard it wrong or wrote it wrong.
Similarly, people in Jesus` religious community used the terms like Christ, Fisher, Mary, Lazarus and Peter to denote status or stations in that community. Christ " isn`t the last name of Jesus, it is his title. Therefore, anything regarding any community needs to be considered in the context of customs and beliefs in their community. The cultures of Japan, India and America do not abide by the same rules.
Sarcasm. Facetiousness. Joking. People may lie, pretend or embellish. Deception and illusion are everywhere.
And so, aware of this, it would be not just foolish but irresponsible to take everything at face value. We must be vigilant, skeptical, inquisitive. We cannot and should not interpret everything literally, uncritically and without context. Did people take Jesus too literally? Did they mistake science for magic? Confusing appearance and assumption for actuality?
Did Jesus deceive the people-- intentionally or not? Or did the people deceive themselves?
Humans are symbolic and imaginative creatures-- dreamers, myth makers, story tellers.
Jesus very well understood this when he purposefully adopted and arranged to fulfill the mythic role of Messiah. Not just to educate people and make the world a better place, but as a means to disseminate and thereby perpetuate and safeguard the spiritual philosophy of a secret society. Jesus and Magdalene were not Christians, they believed God was an abstract power-- not an anthropomorphisized deity, and their community venerated both masculine and feminine.
Publicly available documentation and research reveals this. But if you aren`t aware of something, or refuse to believe it, then from your perspective it doesn`t exist.
As usual, history essentially erased such information by obscuring, ignoring and distorting.
Governments, corporations, religions, cultures and any number of unknown agencies or institutions can and do suppress and hide information they perceive as dangerous to them or to society. History used as propaganda? And vice versa?
This doesn`t even take into account pieces of information that are accidentally lost or missed, leaving holes in our puzzle.
History is extremely fragile, delicate, vulnerable. It both effects and is effected by our beliefs about reality. Knowledge is power. Garbage in, garbage out. So history needs to be respected, protected, preserved, so that the real story of humanity is recorded as honestly and precisely as currently possible. For the future, of the future. Everything humanity did, everything they knew, seeing all that they are. So that it could be known who we really are, really were, and really may become or might have been.
The millennium was not an event, it is a process. More than that, it serves as a caveat. The future is determined by the past; by what we do-- and don`t do-- in the present " and we, in the present, are determined by our expectations for the future. We are created as much by the past as we are by the future. Now is always and always is. The past doesn`t stay in the past. The future is just another name for the past yet to be. A time may come, when what we knew might become what we do, what we need. Or maybe even all that`s left of mankind. Those who do not learn from the future are doomed to repeat the past.
I have seen the future, and it will be...