Chapter 3: A Vital Key
Footnote: The Salvation Thing
A central theme of the message contained in the biblical text seems to me to assert that I - along with all other human beings - need to be saved from something and that the only way I can be saved from it is to accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ's life for my sins.
Saved From What?
The ingrained idea, within most of what is known as the Christian world, is that I need to be saved from eternal damnation. What most people will tell me is that if I sin in this life, I (my conscious soul) will be transported to Hell. This is a place of eternal fire where I, along with all other sinners, will suffer excruciating pain and torment for the rest of eternity. This Hell, of course, does not exist within the domain of the physical universe. It is in some kind of hyper-reality beyond physical dimensions.
It is no use my trying to be sinless. No matter how hard I try, I am doomed to fail. This is because my fundamental nature as a human being is sinful. Sin is beyond my control. It is as if I were a machine that is controlled by internal software that is deliberately programmed to make me sin. Fortunately, although I am bound to sin, I can be saved from eternal damnation. All I have to do is accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ's life in payment for my sins. Thus, he will have been deemed to have suffered in my stead. My slate is clean.
By accepting the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in payment for my sins, I do not just get saved from eternal damnation. My body may eventually die and decay, but I (as a conscious soul) go on to live my inherent eternal life in a beautiful happy place called Heaven. There I join all the other people who have been thus saved to sing together in praise of God for ever.
The vast majority of humanity, through no fault of their own, have either never heard of Jesus Christ or have been brought up to believe a different creed. They, it is believed, will all go to Hell to burn with pain and torment for the rest of eternity.
I make no apology for stating that, to my mind, this whole scenario could have been dreamt up by none other than a sadistic psychopath. Yet it is what most in the Christian West seem to believe.
Notwithstanding, I am utterly unable to parse such a vision of damnation and salvation out of the biblical text. This whole scenario must have been imported from elsewhere and subsequently merged with ideas contained in the biblical text to form Christianity's long established amalgam of incompatible beliefs.
Most people seem to believe that Jesus Christ suffered and died so that all humanity could be saved from suffering pain and torment in the fires of Hell for all eternity. The common belief is as follows. Jesus Christ had previously existed as a divine being. He emptied himself of his divine existence and became a mortal human. He lived a perfect human life without sin. All this made his life worth more than the lives of all other human beings put together. He submitted to the evils of men who put him to death. He descended into Hell. This penalty that the innocent Christ paid was accepted by the Most High god as payment for the sins of all humanity.
If Christ has bailed us out from the eternal torment in Hell, then it is only logical that He must, in like manner, suffer the same eternal torment in Hell in our stead. So long as we remain saved, He must remain in Hell. If He ever came back out of Hell, the penalty of eternal suffering would not have been completed. We would all have to be thrown down there to continue our own torment for the remainder of eternity.
Notwithstanding, according to the biblical text, this isn't the way it is supposed to happen. According to the biblical text, as I read it, there existed from past eternity two known god-beings. One is referred to as the Most High. The other is referred to as the Logos, which can be variously interpreted as Word, Command or The One Who Speaks. The plan of "salvation" they devised seems to be as follows.
The Logos (or Word) emptied himself of his divinity (self-existent eternal life) and became born as a mortal human being called Jesus. He lived a sinless life as a human being. He was killed and died a mortal death as a human being. He was then laid in a tomb, where he remained dead for 3 days and 3 nights.
The Most High then resurrected him from death. But he was not resurrected as a mortal human. He was resurrected to eternal life as a god-being. He thus regained eternal life as a divine being. Nevertheless, he had not regained his original self-existence as the Logos. Instead, he became born as a Son of the Most High, who then became known as God the Father. The life of the Logos existed no more, yet the very same conscious entity who had been the Logos had become the first Son of the Most High. He was again a god.
During his short human lifetime as Jesus, the conscious entity who was the former Logos experienced all human circumstances. He experienced what we would call ordinary middle-class life as the son of an artisan carpenter. He crossed his "two-edged sword" with politicians. He fought the temptations of the wealthy. He endured the deprivation of the poor. The torture of a captured spy. He fell foul of humanly-enacted laws. Through these he was wrongly condemned, imprisoned, and finally executed by the most agonising and barbaric means humanly imaginable. By going through all this, he gained something that he did not have as a god. He gained an experience of life from every possible human point of view. He therefore acquired the necessary and sufficient mental frame of reference to perceive the true point of view, intents and circumstances of every human individual who has or ever shall live. He thereby became uniquely qualified to judge them.
A modern High Court judge living on a high salary simply does not possess a valid frame of reference against which he is properly able to judge a fellow human being whom society has allowed no option but theft as the means of providing for his family. He is morally unqualified. A middle-class Tory MP with several business interests and investments is similarly unqualified to take part in the enactment of laws that affect the poor. He is not equipped to understand the ramifications of their effects. But the god who became human and died as a criminal is. He uniquely is equipped to be able to see the universe from the viewpoint of any and every human being. Therefore he alone is fully qualified to school humanity, during their second physical lives, into becoming egalitarian beings.
Consequently, the perfect human life of Jesus was deemed to be worth more than all other human life put together. Therefore, the sacrificing of this one perfect life was equivalent to the sacrificing of all other humans (that have ever lived, are living and will ever live) put together. This way, he paid the penalty in place of all other human beings. He thus bailed everybody out from the death penalty for sin. This ultimately cleared the barrier so that the Most High could give everybody eternal life.
But What Was Paid?
It is not clear to me from the biblical text what exactly was paid in return for the redemption of mankind. Was it simply the perfect mortal human life of Jesus? Or was it, more credibly, the eternal self-existence of the Logos who became the mortal human Jesus? The biblical text seems to me to imply the former: that Jesus redeemed humanity by forfeiting his perfect human life. Notwithstanding, whatever Jesus paid, he ended up as a resurrected god-being. The individual conscious entity that died as a mortal human became the same individual conscious entity resurrected as a god-being.
The penalty (or price) for redemption, that most people believe the vast majority of humanity will ultimately be obliged to pay, is the suffering of pain and torment as an eternal soul languishing in the fires of Hell for ever and ever. By that account, Jesus got off lightly. He simply died and remained dead for 36 hours or so. He was then resurrected as an eternal Son of the Most High.
Whichever way I look at this, it seems to me that Jesus still had his cake after he had eaten it. He paid for something with his life then promptly got his life back again while his death was still recognized as valid payment in lieu of the suffering of pain and torment by all humanity in the fires of Hell for ever and ever.
There seems to be something of a logical anomaly here. Am I required to accept that 36 hours of ordinary physical death in a tomb on the part of the human Jesus be a valid ransom for bailing out billions of human beings from a sentence of suffering pain and torment in the fires of Hell for ever and ever? It seems a bit odd to me.
Guilt and Punishment
The whole subject of salvation seems to be understood by most people within a framework of guilt and punishment. Every individual has sinned. Therefore he must be punished. And the punishment is eternal suffering of pain and torment within the fires of Hell for ever and ever. The problem is that the systematic structure of what is being said by the biblical text does not readily fit a guilt and punishment model.
According to the biblical text, the original sinner was Adam. (According to the story, it was Eve but let's not get too picky.) He sinned. He died, thus paying the penalty of sin. But that is not where it ends. It appears that I, along with every other member of humanity, am also guilty of Adam's sins. I was not there when Adam sinned. Therefore I do not admit responsibility for his sins. Neither do I accept that I should be punished for them. Any God who would deem a person culpable for another's sins, especially sins that were committed thousands of years before he was born, can be nothing other than a mischievous sadist.
It also appears from the biblical text that my mind is built in such a way that I am bound to sin. It is no use my trying to be sinless. No matter how hard I try, I am doomed to fail. It is as if my mind is controlled by internal software that is deliberately programmed to make me sin. It's the way I am made. I did not make myself that way. Consequently, I am not to blame for the way I was constructed. I cannot therefore be guilty of the sins I automatically and inevitably commit.
If I, as a human being, be considered a guilty sinner for doing precisely what I was designed and constructed to do, what about animals? Do animals sin? Will all lions suffer everlasting pain and torment in Hell for killing innocent little wildebeest? Lions are designed with the necessity and programmed with the procedure to feed on flesh. They need to sin to survive. Will cows go to Hell for killing the poor grass that they eat? Do plants and trees sin? If a tree falls on a human and kills him, has it sinned? Will it suffer eternal pain and torment in the fires of Hell for all eternity? Do humans sin if they eat their fellows to survive after a remote air crash?
The biblical text asserts that the wages of sin is death. It records that the human lifespan was deliberately shortened by God because of sin. Notwithstanding, the guilt and punishment model is nowhere found in nature. Human beings, like all other biological entities, die. They all go through the same phases of birth, growth, maturity, senility and death. This natural cycle does not involve notions of sin, guilt and punishment. No human being, including Jesus Christ, is known to have been saved from eventually having to die, no matter how sinless his life may have been.
A Means of Subjugation
The guilt and punishment model is clearly an artificial device used by exigent elites to subjugate and exploit hapless majorities who simply want to get on with their lives in peace. But how can a minority keep a majority subjugated? By force: initially by force of arms and later by force of law, which is simply the threat of armed force. Any who transgress the law are declared guilty and are subsequently punished.
The force of law is, however, only effective as far as the eyes of the law can reach. And the eyes of the law are only human. They cannot be everywhere at once to keep all of a majority in sight. The force of law is also merely human. A majority will eventually organize, rise up and overthrow a human oppressor. After all, a human majority is, by reason of numbers, ultimately stronger than a human minority, however elite it may be. To successfully and permanently subjugate a majority, the elite needs the help of something overwhelmingly more powerful than the majority it wishes to subjugate. To this end, they constructed God.
God is an invisible super-being whom I must please. If I fail to please him, he will punish me. But the punishment he will unleash upon me does not, for the most part, occur during my physical human life here on Earth. It occurs in a hyper-physical realm where my conscious soul will be transported after I die. It will be a punishment far worse than anything that could be administered by my elite superiors here on Earth. It is worse than beatings, floggings, starvation or even death. It is eternal damnation. It is the suffering of excruciating pain and torment for ever and ever in the fires of Hell.
I am frightened. I am petrified. How can I please God? By obeying my elite masters, I am told, who were put there by God to administer all good things. It is thus through fear that I am subjugated by my elite oppressors, as are all the other members of the majority over whom they reign. But I am no longer subjugated merely by human force. Now, I am subjugated through the fear of divine force. I am subjugated through the fear of something I cannot see, feel or even understand. I am subjugated through the fear of what may be awaiting me beyond my death.
Nevertheless, as time goes on, I cease to blindly accept what the elite preach to me. I begin to dare to think. I start to question. It begins to dawn on me that all that has been preached to me is intangible. My oppressors can present no demonstrable concrete evidence for any of it. I find that there are many others of like mind. We feel encouraged. Our fear begins to evaporate. The chains of bondage are crumbling. The smell of freedom beckons. To avoid losing control of their subjects, the elite need to do something other than wield the stick. They need to offer a carrot as well. So, about 2000 yeas ago, there emerged what is known as Christianity.
Born into Debt
Christianity combines my fear of what surely awaits me beyond the grave with an astronomical debt of guilt that I am deemed to have inherited from before I was born - a debt that is way beyond my capacity to repay. So I am now damned from both ends. Christianity tells me that I am also sinful by nature. I am, throughout my physical human life here on Earth, naturally bound to sin. So I am damned in the middle as well.
It seems that I now have a God who is even more psychopathic and sadistic than before. He brings me into this world with an imputed debt of guilt for something I know nothing about and in which I had no part. He made me in such a way that I am bound to incur even more guilt just by existing. For this he sentences me to the suffering of excruciating pain and torment for all eternity after I die.
But Christianity also offers me a carrot. It offers me a way out. All I have to do is accept it. That carrot is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. He will undergo the suffering required by God in payment for my sins. I then become free of the debt with which I was born and the additional debt that I have already incurred and am yet to incur during my human life.
But there is a condition. In return for my redemption (the complete paying off of the debt I owe him) through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, God requires of me my complete and heartfelt gratitude. This I must continuously thereafter express to him through my unconditional obedience, loyalty and deference. Gratitude is something that comes from within. Consequently, my obedience, loyalty and deference does not need to be enforced through external coercion. It makes me my own policeman. I become self-subjugating.
Unconditional obedience gives complete control. Complete control is possession. The possession of a person is slavery. Slavery is the on-going mandatory obligation to serve with an attitude of loyalty, respect and deference. It is a situation that must necessarily be abhorrent to any free-thinking conscious being.
Nonetheless, this is the force through which free peoples in ancient times were enslaved by exigent emperors. It is the principle upon which modern capitalism enslaves those today who labour subserviently within their illusions of freedom. It is the structure under which the administrators of socialist states regiment their proletariats to power their means of production, distribution and exchange.
In place of spiritual gratitude for salvation, human emperors demand patriotic gratitude in return for physical protection. And rather than each being his own policeman, patriotism has the insidious effect of making each his neighbour's policeman. In many countries, the state, through a system of Value-Added Tax, even makes each his neighbour's tax collector. Each is responsible to the state for collecting other people's tax. If you don't manage to collect the required tax from your neighbour (person or company with whom you trade) you are forced by law to pay your neighbour's tax for him. How much more insidious could it get?
In place of being born with a debt of sin, the citizen of the modern state is born into economic debt. He is deemed to owe a debt of life-long labour to the state and to his social superiors in return for his basic needs of life, which the Earth itself freely provides to all. It is clear from whence came the idea of subjugation through imputed debt. It came from Christianity. The social orders of the present world have merely secularized this obnoxious spiritual principle. Or perhaps it was the other way around?
In The Image of Man
It is thus clear that God is a supreme being who requires sacrifice in payment for displeasing him. The payment he requires is excruciating suffering for all eternity. All human beings cannot other than displease him because they are naturally bound to do so. They were made to function that way. They did not make themselves that way. It was God himself who made them that way. It is entirely his fault.
This portrays God as a ruthless sadistic omnipotent spoilt brat. Far from being the benign creator of all things, it seems to me that this God was created in the image of man. But not just the average man. This God was created in the image of the basest possible example of depraved human character.
It reminds me of how, during my early childhood, certain of the dominant kids-on-the-block enforced their domination of the rest of us. They would invoke within us the fear of the bogeyman (or boogyman). They persuasively portended that if we did not conform and obey, this amorphous embodiment of evil would come in the night and "get" us.
It seems that the whole structure of subjugation by invoking fear of the unknown is built into human consciousness at a fundamental level, even in young children. For this to be possible, the human mind - even a very young one - must have the inherent capability to conceive of realms and dimensions beyond its physical scope of perception.
Salvation vs Transformation?
If what is conveyed by the original biblical message does not fit the widely accepted model of salvation from guilt and punishment, then what model does it fit? To me, the message of the biblical text seems to embody a different model: a model of transformation to a new level or phase of existence.
The plan seems to be for the children of men to become transformed into children of God. The children of human beings are human beings. Consequently, the children of God must be god-beings. That, to me, at least makes systematic sense. Humans are biological mechanisms. Their lives therefore go through the 5 phases of birth, growth, maturity, senility and death. The children of God, on the other hand, are born but do not die. I have seen no indication in the biblical text as to whether they go through the phases of growth and maturity. But it seems doubtful that they would go through the senility phase. Essentially, each person who was human and died later becomes born as a god who is that very same person.
So all humans die. The biblical text says that the living know that they shall die but the dead know not anything. This suggests that the dead are not conscious. It is evident from the biblical text that dead humans can remain dead for a vast expanse of time. It indicates that there exist only two grand events in time (presumably both future) at which the dead shall be raised incorruptible. In other words, there are two events at which humans that have been dead, possibly for millennia, are born as (transformed into) gods. Maybe they are born as little gods and have to grow up, I don't know. I expect they would be born to appear as adults.
This transformation from human to god is merely a change in one's mode of existence. The person (the conscious self) in each case is the same. The new god-body contains the same conscious "me" as the original human body. This means that, for the duration of time from human death to rebirth as a god, the essence of the individual must be preserved. Presumably, this essence - the individual's personality, character and memories - must be stored on a kind of hyper-physical recording medium: the heavenly equivalent of a CD.
The idea seems to be that once the new god-body has been made, the "CD" containing the character, personality and life-memories of the original human is downloaded into the "brain" of the new "body". From the point of view of the individual, it is as if he went to sleep as a human and awoke the next morning as a god. Since the dead know not anything, he will have had no sense of the passing of time during the millennia in which he was dead.
This transformation of the body is, in effect, simply transferring a conscious human being from a physical body to what we can call a spirit body. However, doing this without first transforming the mind of the person could be very dangerous.
Transformation of The Mind
A god would naturally possess super-powers beyond the imagination of any author of a television super-hero series. Transforming an egotistic human being into a being with such super-powers would almost inevitably wreak galactic havoc. It is too dangerous to contemplate.
About 1% of humans are natural psychopaths. They have no conscience. Probably another 1% are natural egalitarians. They have a highly developed conscience. That leaves 98% somewhere in between. The distribution of conscience is such that only a very small proportion of the human population has a conscience of sufficient intensity to be true egalitarians. That is, for each to be truly capable of loving his neighbour as himself. Such minds are sufficiently evolved to be safely placed within a god-body. They could form a peaceful egalitarian society of god-beings.
Being about 1% of humanity means that there must be about 70 million of them scattered throughout the world today. I have had the good fortune, at various times and in diverse places, to meet such individuals. And I have been struck by my observation that they are indeed individuals. They are not necessarily religious. In fact, most are not. Some are deists. Many are even atheists. This leads me to conclude that conscience is something inherent to each particular human mind or spirit. It is nothing to do with religion, belief in God or cultural influence.
Notwithstanding, the biblical text asserts that in order to gain this more spiritually evolved mind, I must receive something called the sacred wind or holy spirit. To me, this sounds as if my normal egotistic human mind needs a kind of software upgrade to empower it to love my neighbour as myself. In another sense, it appears to be the source that supplies the power to overcome my natural tendency towards selfishness. Most people in the Christian West seem to think this holy spirit is some kind of divine person. I cannot parse this idea out of the biblical text. The notion of a "god-person" inhabiting the minds of millions of separate human beings doesn't make sense.
The message seems to be that this holy spirit motivates a person to - of their own volition - change from being a greed-driven egotist to a love-driven egalitarian. The hope is that, eventually, all humanity will accept the gift of the holy spirit and become spiritually enlightened. Each will then naturally seek to love his neighbour as himself. Each will thus change his outlook, develop his methodology and practise it in his day-to-day life. He will then have reached a state of spiritual evolution at which it is safe for him to be transformed into a god.
Pretty well all mainstream churches and the myriad sects that constitute the so-called Christian religion seem to subscribe to the idea that their members are inspired and empowered by the holy spirit to live in a neighbourly way. Sadly, this is not what I observe. For the most part, I see people who are just as selfish but who have become arrogantly self-assured of their own knowledge, righteousness and elect status. They look disdainfully upon those who are not members of their particular faith. Their general comportment in the home, in the street and in the workplace belies the words of the creeds they purport to follow. To me, their holy spirit, assuming that they have it, seems to be a very hollow illusion.
These people also seem to be very naïve. The mainstreams are rich in land and real-estate gained centuries ago in lieu of tithes. It is land and real-estate on which a substantial portion of common people must pay rent in order to have a home in which to live. The masters of the cults thunder that God requires their members to - with a glad heart - pay tithes and offerings from their meagre wages or take the consequences for failing to keep the faith required for eternal salvation. So they do so, as they strive in desperation to keep their children fed and clothed, while their ministers live in big houses and drive around in brand new cars.
Yet, on the other hand, there appears to be of the order of 70 million people in the world who are truly enlightened and could safely be transformed into god-beings. How do these few come to have enlightened minds? It is obviously not from being members of a church or following a biblical creed. It seems that they are naturally that way just as others are naturally psychopathic. Perhaps, one day, we will all catch up with them. Whether or not we will each and all then be transformed into a higher hyper-physical form of life remains to be seen. But it would be nice.
Inherent Fear of Death
The human body is mortal. It goes through the biological cycle of birth, growth, maturity, senility and death. Human consciousness depends for its existence and function upon the physical human body. By consequence, human consciousness must also be mortal, as far as can be verified by observation.
Yet a conscious human mind is able to contemplate eternity in both space and time. It is able to include, within its conceptual universe, dimensions beyond what can be physically perceived. It can take in events that occurred prior to the beginning of its own existence. It is able to learn from these events and build itself upon their foundation. It is also able to conceive of and consider time beyond its inevitable demise. It is able to plan and initiate what shall take place after it will no longer exist.
How, from whence and for what purpose did human consciousness acquire this capability? It could have an evolutionary motive. Survival and well-being are enhanced by building on the knowledge of prior generations. The future survival of genes is enhanced by planning for future generations. This, however, does not explain the most powerful of all human desires: the individual desire to be able to live forever.
Why does human consciousness have an insatiable desire to be eternal? It's incompatible with the nature of mortal man. Why aren't we programmed to take the oblivion of death casually and without concern? It would fit in much better with what we can see to be the natural order of life. Why are we programmed to fear death? Why does it prey on our minds as we get older? Why are we not able to die just saying to our loved ones "Cheerio, folks!" as casually as we would say to our work colleagues when going home at the end of the day? The fact is, we can't. Fear of personal oblivion is inherent.
We may pretend we can. We may will ourselves into a psychological state of denial. Right up until the end, we may behave as if our lives are going to continue. We die leaving unfinished symphonies, books, theories and pet projects. We privately struggle to crystallize and rationalize our ideas and beliefs before we die. We may anaesthetize the thought of death through some kind of religious faith. But we cannot, in honesty, take death casually. For the human being, death can never be emotionally neutral. It is something we naturally fear with insupportable intensely.
A Sense of Beyond
The human consciousness is well aware that death is the inescapable destiny of life. Yet despite this, people spend vast amounts of time and effort learning, working and developing their bodies, minds and relationships. Why? Why bother? There would seem to be no point. The only rational explanation is that they must have some kind of conviction - even if only a subconscious one - that death is not the end.
The physical life-cycle of the human being - with its 5 phases of birth, growth, maturity, senility and death - fits in snugly with the observed and established laws of nature. The life-cycle of the human mind, on the other hand, does not. This goes through the phases of birth and growth. Maturity is merely an early way-mark along the path of growth. Growth is on-going. Senility only occurs when a person gives up or becomes ill with dementia. There is no inevitable physical reason for intellectual or spiritual senility.
From the point of view of human consciousness and intellect, death is incongruous. It is like an aborted take-off. It is an event out of season. It is like the profile of an iceberg that appears to finish abruptly at the water surface, begging the supposition that it carries on, for its greater part, below the water's surface.
An Incongruous Discontinuity
Some of the relationships in the physical universe are linear. Most, however, are non-linear. They involve things like exponentials and powers. All can be represented by graphs that are continuous straight lines or curves. Nature does not readily (if at all) entertain discontinuities: relationships whose graphs contain awkward abrupt kinks, cusps and terminations.
Notwithstanding, a researcher may sometimes encounter what can appear to be a discontinuity in the behaviour of a phenomenon he is observing. When this occurs, he is wise to suppose that what he is observing is only a part of the phenomena and that the rest is taking place at an angle or in a dimension that is hidden from his current point of view. In other words, the function representing the phenomena continues into a hidden realm.
Physicists far more often encounter discontinuities or singularities when they extrapolate a known physical law way beyond the bounds within which it has been observed. A good example of this is estimating how long the universe has existed and deducing that it began with a "big bang". Perhaps time and space do not extrapolate backwards forever in exactly the same fashion as they have been seen to advance during the short epoch of scientific observation. Perhaps the observed law is no more than a special-case approximation of the true universal law to which it corresponds.
Considering the build-up of knowledge and wisdom that accelerates throughout our lives, death of the conscious self certainly appears to be a functional discontinuity that simply does not fit in with the nature of conscious experience. It is not surprising, therefore, that people seek some kind of explanation that continues beyond what can be physically observed.
An Appealing Notion
Of the possible theories, explanations and speculations, the transformation idea (described above) seems to me to be the most cogent. When I die, my personality, character and memories are preserved and my body decays. At some future time, I will be resurrected and my original personality, character and memories will be installed in the brain of my new body. My mind receives a software upgrade to make me more conscience-driven and egalitarian. I continue to perfect my character. Finally, when I am ready, I am transformed into a god with inherent eternal self-existence. It's very appealing.
But what if there is nothing beyond the grave. What if death is eternal oblivion? What would be the point of all my effort to survive in this awful world, accumulate knowledge, gain wisdom, develop my personality and perfect my character? It would be an awful waste of time and space.
Let us assume for the moment that the transformation idea is correct. Assume there are hyper-physical dimensions, beyond our senses and our reason, where the gods live and rule. This being so, does the process of transforming fallible humans into perfect gods require sacrifice? How could the sacrifice of Jesus Christ logically fit into the transformation idea? Why should sacrifice be necessary? Is salvation a necessary part of the process?
The Nature of Sin
Under the transformation model, sin can be defined as that which causes harm to self or neighbour. By consequence, it must include actions that can harm the natural system that supports the life and well-being of self and neighbour, namely, the terrestrial environment and all upon which it depends. Sinful actions originate as sinful thoughts. However, sinful thoughts are not necessarily sins.
Thoughts are, unbeknown to me, taking place all the time within my subconscious mind. It is supposed that the most dominant thought at the time taking place within my subconscious mind is the one that jumps suddenly into my conscious view. As Buddha said: thoughts are like monkeys jumping in and out of one's conscious view. A thought is there and then it is gone. I have to be quick to catch it if I wish to hold onto it and consciously consider it.
Every sinful thought that I ever have thus emanates from within the primordial hard-wiring of my brain. I do not wilfully pull it into my conscious view. Its coming (or not) is outside my conscious control or anticipation. Therefore I cannot be to blame for its arriving. The sinful thought itself cannot therefore be a sin on my part.
It is only when I consider, meditate and inevitably act upon the sinful thought that I myself commit a sin. But what causes me to consider, meditate or act upon a sinful thought? Is it a result of my exercising free-will? If so, I am guilty of the sin. Or is it automatically determined by the laws of physics acting within the complex dynamics of my brain? If so, then sin is a meaningless notion. It all depends whether or not free-will is free to act outside the deterministic laws of physics.
According to the biblical text, the gods said "let there be light" and there was light. They freely willed light to be created. The gods must therefore be self-aware conscious entities with free will. The biblical text also asserts that god created man in his own image. God made man a being that was a physical model of his own spiritual reality. Consequently, man must, like god, possess free will. Man is thus free to shape his own personality, character and attitudes. He is also free to sin. To continue my thesis, I will assume that my decisions to engage in sinful considerations, meditations and actions are made by my independent free-will.
The Event Theory of Sin
A sinful thought can lead to a sinful act. A sinful act can become the cause of harmful effects. These themselves may then become causes of other subsequent harmful effects ad infinitum. A sinful act today can thus send a wave of harm into the future. The divergent structure of the universe does, however, tend to limit the reach of such a wave. Its potency tends to dissipate as it advances through time and space. Sins of the present can thus mar the future, but only so far and so much. Besides, deliberate action can be taken in the future to repair the harm caused by the effects of past sins.
Notwithstanding, there is a way that a sinful thought can revisit the sinner.
A thought, including a sinful thought, is a complex event. It is made up of lots of physical events taking place within the brain involving the firings of thousands if not millions of neurones. Each such physical event is itself postulated to be made up of a large number of fundamental events. In order to discuss fundamental events, it is first necessary to make some definitions.
A fundamental entity is a closed standing wave structure that behaves as a logical finite-state machine. A fundamental event is a change of state in a fundamental entity. A fundamental entity changes state when it absorbs or emits a fundamental travelling wave. The existence of a particular fundamental entity can only be known to the rest of the universe through the fundamental travelling waves it emits.
A sinful thought therefore causes a vast number of fundamental travelling waves to be emitted by my brain. These travel outwards spherically at the speed of light for ever to the far reaches of the universe. My sinful thought is thus indelibly written forever upon the fabric of space-time.
But why should this matter? Why should my sinful thoughts need to be erased from the universe? Why not just leave them to spread and dissipate forever into the infinity of space-time where, presumably, they can do no harm?
The myriad travelling waves that bear the signature of my sinful thought are winging their way to the "edge" of the universe. By definition a universe is closed. Nothing outside it (assuming it has an outside) can communicate with anything inside it. From the outside, the universe is therefore a non-event. On the other hand, events occurring inside it are universally communicated. An event that occurs at one point in space and time is eventually felt at every other point in space and time within the universe.
The further the waves travel and the longer they travel, the weaker and more diluted they become. However, within a closed universe, space and time form what can be represented by a finite closed surface. This must inevitably result in the waves revisiting the point from whence they originated.
The fabric of space-time thus eventually reflects them back to their origin. If the waves, having diverged to the far reaches of the universe, converge back to their point of origin, presumably they will reconstruct the original event that caused them. My sinful thoughts will thus eventually revisit me.
The gods, if they exist, are fundamentally beyond human perception. Therefore, they must inhabit hyper-physical dimensions that we cannot know. Yet they can perceive and influence our physical realm. According to the biblical message, they have directly communicated with man. Consequently, their abode must be within the same shared universe. It is just that the fabric of the reality that they inhabit includes dimensions beyond those of our own space and time. Nevertheless, being a single universe, their abode and ours must be parts of a single continuum, the only dividing line being the limits of human perception.
The upshot is that effects of events occurring within our physical realm must eventually impact upon the whole of reality, including the hyper-physical realm of the gods. Consequently, the waves resulting from my sinful thoughts, once emitted from my brain, will be forever present and effective throughout all eternity, preserving human disharmony within the otherwise perfect realm of the gods.
The Need for Salvation
The only cogent interpretation of salvation that I can get my head round is that it is an endeavour, on the part of the gods, to prevent the past sins of mankind contaminating eternity in this way. The idea is that, instead of our sins re-converging on their respective points of origin, they all converge on something else that can completely absorb their effects and so remove them from existence. That something else would necessarily have to be very powerful. The only candidate that appears to present itself from the biblical text seems to be the self-existent life of the god-being referred to as the Logos or Word, the person who became Jesus Christ.
The Logos thus forfeited his eternal self-existence to absorb the impact of the effects of the combined sins of all humanity. This, of course, would seem to be fair since it was he who purportedly made me - and all humanity - with the potential for sin. It was he who, in effect, programmed me with a form of free volition that incorporated a heavy bias towards sin.
It is true that, according to the biblical text, the body or form of being described as the Word or Logos does not exist any longer, although the person that was the Word or Logos - the conscious individual - still exists. He became the human Jesus Christ, died, and was then resurrected into a god-being whose existence was derived from the life of the other god-being referred to as the Father.
Nevertheless, the biblical text does not say that the self-existent former life of the Word or Logos is what paid for the sins of humanity. It implies far more strongly that it was the mere human life of Jesus Christ that paid for the sins of mankind. I cannot imagine how a human life of any kind can absorb the impact of all the sinful thoughts and acts as they re-converge from the outer reaches of the universe. Besides, he only spent 3 days and 3 nights dead and then got his life back again in another form.
I must therefore conclude that this whole notion of salvation from sin and its consequences is illogical. It simply doesn't make sense.
The only systematic sense I can make out of the process through which Jesus Christ passed is as follows. It was a prototype of the transformation that every human being is potentially destined to go through eventually. It is the process of being transformed from a mortal human being into an immortal god-being. The difference is that Jesus Christ was originally a god-being called the Word or Logos. He divested himself of his hyper-physical self-existence and became a mortal human being. All the rest of mankind, on the other hand, are simply born in the first place as mortal human babies, without having had any previous conscious existence.
As evinced by the whole of human history, the generic human being, unlike Jesus Christ, is not sufficiently developed spiritually to be able to function as a member of an egalitarian society. He cannot, at the end of his first human life, be safely transformed into an immortal god-being. He must die having experienced the shortcomings of the present human state. He must then be resurrected as a human being again to live a life within a future world in which egalitarianism is taught, cultivated and ultimately enforced. At the end of that second life he should be sufficiently developed spiritually to be safely transformed into an immortal god-being.
At least, this is the best I can make of what seems to peep from between the lines of the biblical text. I am not professing to be right. But none of the mainstream or alternative interpretations that I have seen make even this much sense to me.
There may well be a precious mycelium of original cogent systematic truth running under the subsurface of the biblical text. But it certainly looks to me as if the text itself has suffered millennia of devastating corruption at the hands of incompetent translators, biased interpreters, fraudulent embellishers, creative editors and partisan spin doctors. The result is a text that vainly attempts to form a synergy between an original message and other conflicting belief systems.
To objectively unravel the whole mess would, I fear, be a gargantuan task of forensic complexity.
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© 11 June 2010 Robert John Morton