PERSPECTIVES OF
A VERY GREAT LIGHT


       Although the importance of the Bible cannot be overlooked by any sincere seeker of what is true, the significance of the Bible does not lie in proof of the literal accuracy of its contents, neither did the authors of the Bible intend that religions be devised from its concepts nor that belief in the Bible should ever become canonized doctrine of self-supposed saints.  What is important to the authors of the Bible, are truth, individual and collective freedom and the greater vision of Human and Civil Rights.  This larger perspective of mature kindness includes care for the sick and poor, environmental conscience and awareness, personal and collective freedom, free public education for all, including the very poor and slow of learning, striving for and spreading peace and goodwill and non-discrimination in nationality, culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, physical, mental and other ability, wealth and/or societal status.  There is no such thing as ‘race’ based on Biblical principles nor true scientific reality; both modern science and the Bible agree that all members of our species originated from a common female ancestor, making us all of “one blood”, that is, we are all one Human Race. ¹

       Jesus, from true historical perspective, is not the founder of Christianity or any other religion but rather, the founder of Human and Civil Rights.  Although the terms “Human Rights” and “Civil Rights” are relatively new, the foundation and principle concepts of Human and Civil Rights clearly trace directly back to Jesus and both his ideas and his historical importance cannot rationally be overstated or ignored.  Judaism and Christianity and especially the twisted dogma of modern conservative fundamentalism have nothing in common whatsoever with either Jesus or the authors of the Bible.  Jesus very clearly taught that belief in religious doctrines and tradition and belief in the Bible itself ("scriptures") is not what is important to the true God, ²  who he referred to as “our father in heaven.”  It remains an open shame that the words and life of Jesus are not studied in America's public school classrooms, the blame for which rests largely on those who portray him very wrongly as synonymous with religion rather than correctly as the historical backbone of Human Rights, true ethics and personal and collective freedom.

       Other than simple concepts such as "father", "friend" and "love", there is virtually no theology found in the teaching of Jesus, that is, almost no descriptive concepts of God.  According to Jesus, what is important to the true God is how we treat members of our own species.  Teachings and the specific actions of Jesus mainly center on how people should treat other people.  Much of the remainder addresses individual personal motivation as opposed to outward religious piety and similar pretense.  About one quarter of all words attributed to Jesus are in radical opposition to conservative fundamental religionists, which is one of the main reasons why he was crucified.  The combined content and actions of Jesus make him not only by historical default, the founder of Human Rights but also, a true political and social revolutionary if there ever was one.  According to Jesus, changing the planet politically and socially both share a synonymous solution, beginning with change in the human heart, one person at a time and extending outward toward our own and other species and the planet as a whole.  It is more than fair to consider Jesus the most radical individual to ever walk on Planet Earth, his teaching and personal example encompassing the height and depth and length and breadth of positive political and social revolution.

       Much of the radical reality (and often sarcastic humor) of Jesus as readily perceived by the Romans, religionists and "common people" of his day is lost on modern 21st Century Americans who are not familiar with the historical context and customs of First Century Palestine.  Suffice it to say that opposed to most modern portrayals of him, Jesus was almost entirely opposite of the white-robed, light-skinned, tall, mild-mannered, pious and often handsome individual he is so often characterized as being.  Jesus often used the natural world to illustrate the invisible "kingdom of heaven".  The overall portrait of him is of one highly in tune with nature; he preferred the mountains and seaside to life in even the smallest of towns and stated that a common flower is to be more appreciated than the greatest of human edifices (a reverence for the natural world entirely foreign to his time and largely unheard of even today). ³  He appears to have been a very great public speaker, captivating audiences of up to fifteen or twenty thousand people for hours without a stadium or theatre and the aid of modern electronic amplification.  Though, according to the prophet Isaiah he was not at all physically desirable, he had a very unusual ability to strongly attract women of all societal status.

       Jesus taught on both literal and symbolic levels, often using the natural world to illustrate the invisible "kingdom of heaven".  He is portrayed in the New Testament as an extremely busy individual, something overlooked by most people, including most scholars.  Some of what he taught is bound up in cultural ‘common knowledge’ of the times, such as his famous camel going through the eye of a needle comparison and thus, what he most probably intended is often misinterpreted by modern priests and preachers to mean something entirely different.  Jesus was far more radical than most modern political and social activists and by far the most liberal person who ever lived, an historical reality virtually entirely lost on modern Western Judeo/Christian-tainted populations. He very deliberately went against established tradition and just as deliberately, associated with the “sinners and common people”, insisting that positively motivating the poor and common masses is the correct way to bring positive political and social change to our planet.  Jesus is undoubtedly the most misinterpreted and misunderstood person in all of recorded history.  (See Revolution and Revolution; Side B for more information on the historical Jesus.)

       The Bible may perhaps be best viewed as “perspectives of a very Great Light”. *  The authors of the Bible overwhelmingly agree that no one even remotely understands God and, rather than disputing esoteric points of invented theologies, which serves no good purpose whatsoever, it is best to dwell on what matters between God and our species in terms of proper understanding and motivation toward loving one another and obtaining help from our Creator to do so.  Jesus, it would seem, viewed the pharisaic notion of belief in the Bible as just another religious roadblock in the way of Human and Civil Rights. ²  A consistent theme of special caring for the sick, poor and downtrodden of society is found repeatedly throughout both the Old and New Testaments, in particular with both the teaching and example of Jesus.  To "fear" God from true historical perspective is to become actively engaged in helping the sick and poor.  A nation that does not care for its sick and poor is a nation that does not honor or fear the Creator and, according to both the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel and the  New Testament Jesus,  a nation that will pay the ultimate price, accordingly. 4
  As the New Testament very clearly teaches, how can we pretend to love and honor God who we have not seen if we do not care about our neighbor who we have seen?

       According to Paul, one of the main authors of the New Testament, unlike either conservative religionists or modern intellectuals apparently possess the necessary grace to grasp, **  the Creator enjoys acting and creating in multifaceted dimensions, making the people, places and events in the Bible both literally true and allegorically symbolic toward illuminating greater lessons of the unseen worlds of motivation, spirit and soul. 5
 Similar to how a great author such as John Steinbeck (who frequently made use of Biblical history and symbolism) crafts a story of fictitious people based on true events to underscore social problems of capitalistic oppression, God uses real historical people and events to otherwise, symbolize and illustrate truths regarding the invisible "kingdom of heaven".  For example, the story of Moses and the children of Israel escaping oppressive bondage in Egypt, wandering in the wilderness and their offspring eventually entering "the promised land", along with isolated incidents within the greater narrative, such as the worship of a golden calf and Moses striking the rock, are both literal history and symbolic allegory illustrating struggles of the soul and spirit.  Unlike some of history's great authors, such as Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Steinbeck, Bob Dylan 6 and others, the Creator holds the advantage of being able to manipulate actual history by weaving real historical people, places and events towards both an eventual literal historical "common people" victory of "we shall overcome" and at the same time, as symbolic illustration being profitable "for reproof, for correction [and] for instruction in righteousness". 7 ***

       It is a serious mistake for a society such as that found in modern-day America to not require children to have both a Biblical and an adequate Human and Civil Rights background as educational prerequisites.  It is not possible to be educated in even a rudimentary sense of the word if one cannot comprehend fundamental ideas of Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Steinbeck, Twain and a myriad of other authors who base their works on Biblical concepts and references and there is no valid purpose for education if it is not firmly grounded on Human and Civil Rights principles.  On the contrary, knowledge without proper ethical motivation is highly dangerous for both our own species and everything else that inhabits our planet, the development of nuclear and biological weapons being a prime example.  (See The Tree of Knowledge for more information.) Most of American and world history, culture and literature cannot be adequately understood without a solid Biblical background and indeed, it is not possible to have even a remote grasp of human civilization and cultural diversity entirely, if one has not studied all of the Bible carefully.  There is no other collection of writings reflected so diversely in the works and ideas of famous authors, philosophers and political and social thinkers, nor can there be any hope of important historical events and personages being rationally understood without a comprehensive knowledge of Biblical literature and other writings.

       The fundamental message of the entire Bible overwhelmingly is that We The People Of Planet Earth, that is, we as one race of human beings, must of necessity for survival of our offspring and our own persons, move toward loving both our immediate and our planetary-wide brothers and sisters as our own selves and move away from thievery, murder, war and all manner of human oppression.  As Jesus clearly taught, treating other people as we ourselves wish to be treated is the sum of what matters:  For this reason, we will not condemn and treat falsely, we will not steal, we will not rape, we will not kill, we will not enslave and otherwise, oppress other people and we will not pollute the fragile habitat of our children's future.  Most importantly, we must seek our Creator’s help to treat both other people and our own selves in a positive manner; that is, we all need God’s HELP to “overcome”. 8
 This is not a message of religion but rather, the foundational message of Human and Civil Rights, an ethical and moral way of life (called “The Way” by early followers of Jesus) and a mandate for human survival.  (See also The Way: A Theory of Root Cause and Solution.)

       Based on what Jesus himself taught, it seems fair to conclude that belief in religion and belief in the Bible and traditional 'doctrines' supposedly based on the Bible means nothing to the Creator of our species.  Having love, one for another, means everything to our Father in heaven. 9
 He or she who has an ear, let them hear:  "I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to those who thirst.  Those who overcome shall inherit all things and I will be their God and they shall be my children." 10


Credits:

1. Modern biologists overwhelmingly agree that at the genetic level, there is no such thing as race.  Once again, modern science has finally caught up with what the Bible long ago promoted as being true (see Random Chance A-Z Primer of Science and the Bible for more information).

2. John 5:39.

3. Matthew 6:28-33 -- Note the depth of the wisdom of Jesus, who in a couple of sentences in this sixth chapter of the first book in the New Testament is heard giving both the greatest environmental statement and the most profound statement on faith in the history of human civilization records, intertwined together into one great and yet, short and simple lesson. Narrow-minded individuals who attempt to turn Jesus into a fundamental literalist truly bring grave dishonor to someone who consistently spoke volumes of wisdom in short sentences using simple allegorical stories and common symbols while producing concepts of very deep meaning on several levels at the same time, simultaneously touching the hearts of the simple, the complex and the prudent.  One can read the words of Jesus many times over, learning more each time from the same deceptively simplistic-appearing short stories, concise sentences and simple words.  Perhaps more than anyone in history who is revered as a philosopher or teacher of truth, Jesus was not one to waste words (or time).  As his contemporaries concluded, “never a man spoke like this man.”

4. Matthew 25:31-46; Ezekiel 16:49

5. See Galatians, Romans and other letters of Paul.

6. Even though Bob Dylan declines to publicly explain the meaning of his songs, he once stated in an interview that some of them are written on more than one level.  It is undoubtedly correct to assume that if mere mortals such as Steinbeck and Dylan can create literature with more than one level of meaning, then the Grand Designer of the universe would have little trouble in going a step or two farther.

7. II Timothy 3:16.

8. The entire idea and concept of “We Shall Overcome” is directly from the book of Revelation in the New Testament and it is ludicrous to imagine that our children and the rest of us can understand and grasp the importance and necessity of Human and Civil Rights without knowledge of what the Bible contains.  An education system that ignores the Bible is a system entirely devoid of education.

9. John 15:8-17; see also Matthew 7:12 and Mark 12:28-31.

10. Revelation 21:6-7 (pc)


*FootNote:  Several complete versions of the Bible are available online at BibleGateway.com. The New King James Version is recommended as being perhaps, the most readable somewhat reliable English text currently available.  Apparently there are no existing versions that are not biased from a particular perspective and it is advised that one avoid versions favored by modern Evangelical Christians and other fundamentalists, as they tend to be mistranslated toward conservative fundamental gross misassumption and baseless tradition at the expense of the very liberal views of the various Biblical (especially New Testament) authors.  For more information, see Season, Credit #4.

**FootNote II:  A somewhat self-contradictory segment of the modern American population known as "Evangelical Christians", as well as even more conservative religionists, claim to believe in the Bible and accept it "literally".  Based on their political and other actions, the truth is that the vast majority of these fundamentalists very much, pick-and-choose what they literally practice.  For example, most of them support war rather than literally putting their sword in its place, they literally spend a great deal of time and money opposing abortion, something Jesus never mentioned, and very little if any time actually helping the sick and poor, which Jesus literally practiced constantly and, no matter how often neo-conservative political scam artists practice the exact opposite of what Jesus literally taught regarding capitalism, oppression and war and no matter how many times these totally corrupt Biblical opposites literally screw the "common people" that Jesus claimed to love, these supposed Biblical 'literalists' consistently and quite literally, vote them into office again and again, anyway.
       On the other side of Caesar's coin (so to speak), we find liberal socialists, anarchists and similar political activists, who generally tend to accept that what Jesus taught as being fundamentally correct, yet variously believe that the Bible is merely an allegory for ethical exercise or otherwise, invented history and philosophy and that Jesus was somehow, entirely wrong about the existence of God and evil.  It quite literally strains all credibility, logic and rationale to conclude that someone could be so completely right about Human Rights and yet, so entirely wrong about God and evil.

***FootNote III:  Nature is an adequate mirror of the multifaceted nature of the Creator, as the extremely diverse design and coloration found in the flora and fauna of Creation has multiplexity of purpose, including camouflage for survival, attraction for reproduction and artfulness of design reflecting the Creator's glory.  Our human ability to appreciate God's handiwork reflected in a magnificent sunset and an intricate flower does not eliminate survival and other reasons for coloration and design spread throughout creation, nor do camouflage and reproductive purposes of design eliminate a Designer from the equation.  The apparent fact that a great many extremely myopic 'scientists' cannot seem to grasp even the simplest of evidentiary-based logic indicating that just perhaps, the Grand Designer is capable of multiplicity of purpose within grandness of design, does not diminish overwhelming observable evidence that any school-age child could easily grasp---that is, could easily grasp if discussion of God were freely allowed in our public classrooms as the Constitution clearly dictates should be the case (see The Myth of Modern Science, Of God and Monkey Business and The Tree of Knowledge for more information).


           


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Copyright © August 20th, 2003 by Richard Aberdeen.

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