Individuals and groups, both small and large, act and behave according to what they believe, whether what they believe has any basis in truth!Subject: The Great Deception!
Introduction: We were taught to believe in Santa Claus, that is until we learned better. My son informed me one day, after returning from a religious camp that he was permitted to attend at the age of about 7, that the two terms Santa and Satan had something in common. I said "what son, do they have in common?" He said, "if you were to change two letters around in either term Santa spells Satan, and Satan spells Santa Claus.
Deception? I don’t know about you, but when I was a toddler I was taught that there was this big, jolly, round, bearded man named Santa Claus. And not only that, I was taught that not only did this exacting figure, Santa Claus, exist, I was also provide with a complete foundation of supporting evidence that accompanied this myth.
For example, Santa could fly, Santa was omniscient as well as omnipresent and he gave or withheld gifts to mankind. Santa was and is still for some, an omniscient, omnipresent figure that resided then (and continues to reside at the North Pole). And Santa, like God, was and is interested in who has been naughty or nice.
For if you were naughty, you could forget about receiving ‘the gift’ from Santa. Not only did parents, aunts, uncles, grandpas and grandmas teach about Santa, Santa was taught about at school and oftentimes at church. Santa would even show up underneath the Christmas Tree, in one form or another, under the tree or on top of the tree with the Baby Jesus.
And then one day, I discovered that everything that I had been taught or led to believe about this iconic figure in whom I placed so much trust, did not exist accept in someone's imagination.
For Santa was nothing more than a well-crafted myth that derived from the actual story of an earlier historical figure who took it upon himself to disperse gifts to humans.
So what does any of this have to do with God?
I. Humans seem to have a need for an explanation of, whether all of the pieces fit together or not. Stories are comforting and can often become real to the listener.
One of my nephews, was misbehaving one day, when I decided to have some fun
with him. I went and picked up the phone, pretended that I was phoning the North
Pole. Continuing to pretend that Santa had answered the phone, I explained that
My 3 year old nephew, at the time, had been misbehaving, and that Santa
should not bring him any toys for Christmas. End of story? No, for to my surprise my 3 year old nephew walked into the dining room, climbed up on a chair, picked the receiver up from the phone and began to plead his case to Santa Claus in the handset.
He explained to Santa, that he had not misbehaved, as I reported, and to please bring him some presents. When I saw the serious look on his face and the manner in which he made his case to Santa with tears in his eyes, I was embarrassed by my attempt at levity and behavior modification, its only motivation being to get my nephew to do what I wanted him to do.
I learned long ago that individuals will act and behave according to what they believe, whether what they believe has any basis in truth or not. And the latter does not apply only to youngsters, the saying also applies to adults.
Before I go any further, let me repeat what I have written before in this series: I believe that there is at least a God Equivalent, in fact, I am convinced of it. Having said that, I suspect that the God that most religions teach about is simply their explanation for something that they too believe is real, but cannot explain.
I also said before that I believe that our first century ancestors and all of those who preceded them attempted to come up with an explanation for the God factor that they experienced in their lives, and they did so with the knowledge that they had at the time.
Consider a child again who has been raised in religion. Put the child to the test and ask them who or what is God? And to the best of their ability they will explain God in the manner that they have been taught, even though, as far as we know, they have never seen God themselves, and that is not to say that the only manner in which
you can experience God is through empiricism. Oftentimes, when children explain God, they employ the same modifiers that they would use in order to describe Santa Claus, omniscient, a gift giver, omnipresent, knows when you've been naughty and nice and lives at a different pole ...
However, what is okay for children is inadequate when one is talking to or about an adult. Having said that, many adults behave like children, when they as adults have been conditioned to remain children in this sense, to think like a child, to submit to another adult as if they were a child, to pursue truth as a child would and to draw conclusions based upon childlike understanding.
The latter is what most adults have been and are being told to do in most religious groups. When introduced to a religious circle, the newcomer is told that essentially he or she knows nothing, and that the leader of the group, who has the advantage of knowing, will open up their understanding that they need to know, according to the teacher’s understanding.
I propose that if adults are going to behave like children, please do so in the manner that Jesus conducted himself as a child when he questioned the Doctors of the Hebrew Law. A couple of decades ago, I attempted to question one of my leaders a decade ago, without any contempt
With respect to a well known scripture in the Canon , I was simply seeking to have an open an honest discussion with an informed but dogmatic teacher as it were. The very fact that I mentioned that other scholars did not agree with the interpretation of a certain text in the manner that his church group was teaching set him off.
The sermon at church that night was about ‘Not Listening To Anyone Else’s Teaching but Mine’. This is frightening, and I know that not all religious people have been raised in such a dogmatic atmosphere, however, too many of us have been. So what am I doing really, simply getting something off of my chest by engaging in these writings?
I don’t think so, my jaundiced critic. I am simply fascinated by life, and I am eager to invoke my right to understand all that I can about what this wonderful thing that we call Life, as well as the Cosmos wherein we practice life, happens to be. No one has a right to prevent me from doing so, due to their fears or their manner of indoctrination
I believe that there is more to know and learn, that transcends 1st century and before, understanding.And, I want to and have already begun encouraging others to seek for a broader understanding of who, what, how, when and where, as it relates to human beings, the universe, our origins, our purpose, truth as such and what is and what is not real.
Having taught others in the same manner as I was taught for years, I have already found it necessary to admit my failure in terms of, initially, accepting one library of books as the only truth, as opposed to considering other sources and seeking to approach that which has been in the shadows or the obscure by learning more from what is right in front of face. I believe that a person could find what is real today, existentially, haven’t never known anything about the historical sacred texts, and in order to do so all that they would have to do is want the truth, and to seek it.
To wit, here is another one of my propositions: Too many individuals are disappointed with God, and they happen to believe that God has somehow failed them, because what they have been taught is God differs largely from what they have experienced. In other words what we refer to as God has not behaved like a good Santa Claus! However, what if the God as Santa Claus allegory is untrue.
Let’s place the historical books, and our former teachings, respectfully, into their proper historical context, understanding that in most instances the texts and those who taught them, most of the time, meant well. And just as the individuals who provided us with these texts from the past, in our present reality can seek after the truth from reliable and verifiable sources.
Having said that, you don't have to throw them all away, because for some that would be too difficult to countenance, even though on the other hand – there is nothing to fear by using these documents as a reference point, having placed them in their proper historical context.
My people perish for the lack of knowledge. If anything were ever more true than that statement, I don't know what it could be.Let’s move on in our present reality, a reality that our predecessors knew very little about, and learn 'the rest of the story', in order to fill in the in the gaps. We ought to be our predecessors teachers, instead we rely upon what they have passed down to us, much of which can be debunked, and permit them and the texts that they have passed on to an enlightened class to be our teachers.
If they could be with us today, we ought to again, be their teachers and help them to understand that which has been a mystery to them for so long. I believe that they were victims, at times of a greater conspiracy, individuals who had ulterior motives, and others who meant well but were y. Simple misunderstandings and explanations served the people of ancient times, but will not suffice a thinking and more educated class of people today!
Had they not heard of an Osiris, Horus, god, Jupiter, Zeus, Tonkah, Allah, perhaps they would have sought after and found the truth, recognizing what it was that they were truly seeking after - and they would have likely found (IT).
Now to my critics just remember this, that in Jewish circles, Jesus was considered, an apostate, a heretic and even the devil himself, as some will consider me to for writing what I am writing today. However, if you think about it, and would simply consider what is taking place in most religious organizations today, it isn't that hard to figure out who is seeking after what is real, and who is using religion in order to accomplishing their own purposes.
Folks, just as we left Santa behind, when we became older (well most of us anyway), we need to do the same with religious fairy tale narratives as well as with the narrators who teach narrastives/myths as truth! I have made a personal observation, given the types of people filling the membershi roles of various religious organizations today, and I find these individuals to be quite wanton.
They are not the kind of individuals that even let's say a Jesus talked about that would enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but that does not stop them from claiming to be preachers, teachers, musicians, deacons ...
On the other hand, individuals of this ilk appear to be using religious organizations and institutions for political reason, to have a place where they can practice self-piety ..., and instead of becoming pious they simply practice a form of piety of their own making.
My nephew, who I talked about before, eventually outgrew Santa. Now I wonder, when will the average religious sycophant outgrow their preoccupations with fairy tales and religious usurpations that they base their whole existence and way of life upon and to instead move on to the kind of perfection that they talk about? Someone once said: It is the strong medicine that does the most good, and I subscribe to that notion, for we have gone around the same mountain long again, the religious mountain and the Mountain of Saint Nick!