by Liam Scheff
It is strange for me to realize that Christians tend to believe the following:
There was an historical figure named Yeshua (Jesus) whose life is 90 percent a mystery, who was born of a virgin (who had her virginity restored) by the word of an angry thunder God who used to beat the crap out of people for his own amusement; that 2nd version of the God (the son) advocated the violent overthrow of Roman rule in Judea, and also preached peace and tolerance. He opposed corrupt Jewish officials. He was killed by the Romans with the collusion of a few Jews.
He died, but came back a little different, and promised to come back again to wrap it all up. He didn’t, but the date keeps getting pushed back.
To believers in this ancient story (one that has been repeated in many cultures – the story of the resurrected God, son of God, and a God who loves, instead of hates or manipulates people), his death and resurrection “fulfilled the Old Covenant Law,” loaded, as it was with Leviticus – too many rules and regulations – and dispensed with it, which means that we can all now be free. If! If…we believe the above story. Otherwise, we’re f*cked, and we can go f*ck ourselves, unless we repent and throw our belief to yet another tribal God, or Son of God.
(There is, thank goodness, a more generous view, practiced by most Christians. Many (or most) Christians are simply good people who keep their hearts open to the world, and try to practice the lessons of love and generosity they find in the Yeshua story.)
What bothers me in the Yeshua story is the evident (and quite willful) lack of logic in the analysis of human history and the history of the era. Intellectually curious Christians tend to be good at dismantling the myths of science – it’s as though they are freer to do so because they already have one logic-defying bit of belief, and they don’t need any more (so they can pierce the veils of vaccination and other techno-religious rituals). But they’re awful at dismantling the myths of their belief system. Are they afraid the meaning will be lost if they admit the historicity isn’t very convincing? (It shouldn’t, because myths are not literally true, and don’t need to be – more on that in a moment.)
I understand the Yeshua story as a necessary antidote to the spiteful Thunder God Yahweh, needed to bring the Hebrew Mythos the feeling and notion of a God Who Loves People. (The Indian mythos has Gods who love people; as does the ancient Greek, as does the world Aboriginal. But Yahweh was a tough sell.)
I think that is the true part of the story: the truth of the myth. In my view, myths are not literally true, but they are energetically, arch-typically true. Their truth transcends words and temporal experience. Yes, there is a ‘god’ who loves people, because what we see as a ‘god’ is but one facet of the mind and soul of the universe. And the mind and soul of the universe is love – does love. It loves, it also destroys, it builds, it creates, it is change. It is an infinity of possibilities – and love is one of them. It may be more “Vishnu” than “Shiva,” more the protector and preserver than the destroyer – but love is real in the universe, and we can connect to that source.
When we connect to that ‘current,’ no matter what we call it, we connect to the soul of the universe, and all of the arrayed energies that carry love, guidance, support, strength, wisdom, opportunity for growth and for more love.
We name these as people – we anthropomorphize: Jesus, Lakshmi, Parvati, Krishna. And Spiderman and Superman. No, really – what are these last two, if not modern Gods who love people and tries to always do right? What are ‘superheroes’ if not embodiments of the ancient polytheistic mind combining with the modern fascination of ‘science’ and technology?
The Yeshua story seems to me to provide the most value in this message: Give love, be gentle with people, favor kindness. The historicity of it (the historical veracity) seems to be quite low or weak – but the emotional and spiritual value seem to be quite strong.
So, why do we have to believe in a literal Yeshua, when the spiritual Gods of Love and Kindness are within us to call upon at any moment? We can call kindness by any name, we can embody it in any form. What is interesting about humans is how we choose to fight – tribally – about whose God of Love is the ‘True God of Love.’
We’re funny that way.
Liam Scheff is author of Official Stories – because official stories exist to protect officials; drilling to the core of the gooey religious center of science.