Thursday, 15 March 2007

The host of heaven

The modern world is a very different place from the one our forefathers and foremothers lived in. If you had to put a single person at the fulcrum of change it might well be Copernicus. After him, the planet was demoted from center of the universe to one more sphere orbiting an unspectacular sun.

One of the significant casualties of 'modernity' is astrology. For thousands of years our ancestors looked up to the skies with awe, and read purpose and prophecy in the motion of the heavens. Paul imagined he had been "caught up to the third heaven" (2 Cor 12:2), the clockwork motions of the stars were thought to determine human destiny, and even those giants of the Enlightenment were keen on divining meaning from the firmament.

Copernicus made no distinction... between astronomy and astrology, referring to them jointly as “the head of all liberal arts.” ... Kepler was his era's foremost astrological theoretician... Even Galileo, like most Renaissance astronomers, routinely calculated astrological birth charts... Newton reported that it was his own early interest in astrology that stimulated his epochal researches in mathematics... (Richard Tarnas, The Passion of the Western Mind, p.294-295.)

Given the universal interest in such things, it's no wonder that many commentators have searched for astrological references in the Bible. If the rest of us find that a curiously antiquarian quest, perhaps it indicates that we have a blindness to the subject that marks our own more rational age. After all, one of the pivotal New Testament stories has three Magi following a star which leads them to Jesus. Three centuries later the upstart emperor Constantine was to legitimate his bloody campaign for the imperial purple by a heavenly sign of his own, a portent that coincidently elevated a form of Christianity to the heart of Roman power.

No post-WCG figure has made a stronger case for astronomical references in the scriptures than former pastor Dennis Diehl. Dennis recommends a site called Solar Mythology and the Bible, and has a couple of articles on the subject, one on Isaiah 14, and another on “the original Sun of God.”

Is he on to something? That's for you to decide. Sophisticated liberal theologians are loathe to see these superstitions in their urbane analyses. Fundamentalists are too blinkered to look beyond their treasure trove of proof-texted dogmas. Maybe we've been missing a very real layer of pure nonsense parading as profundity.

There's a reading list linked from the Solar Mythology site, and for those with a thirst for a deeper understanding of just how different the modern/post-modern world-view really is, you could do worse than tackling Richard Tarnas' powerful book The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas that Have Shaped Our World View.

For myself, I'm one Piscean who is delighted to be on this side of the Copernican divide.


Dennis said...

For example: Consider the astro-theolgy behind the classic Cherub, or Cherubim.

Chapters 1 and 10 of the book of Ezekiel describe the "four living creatures" (Ezekiel 1:5) as the same beings as the cherubim (Ezekiel 10). Each had four faces-that of a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle (Ezekiel 1:10; also 10:14) - and each had four wings. In their appearance, the cherubim "had the likeness of a man"

Angelic origins would be related to the four seasons. A man-Aquarius the Water Bearer-winter.
A Lion-Leo-Spring. An Ox-Taurus-Summer. An Eagle-Aquila-Fall. The six wings are six divisions of the 360 sky each 60 degrees, or four "wings" are sections of 90 degrees each. The many eyed wings are the stars.

Also, when Revelation, a very astro-theological book, says,

Rev 4:5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
Rev 4:6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.

...we have an astrological or astonomical description of "God's throne in the North--Casseopea-the throne constellation visible every night,thru which the real milky-way runs-the sea of glass and directly across from which lies the seven stars,or spirts of God, that make up the Big dipper.

Either this speaks volumes or this is all truly one othe biggest coincidences in theology. We all were taught that God's throne is "in the north" and it is..every night. A good astronomy program will bring this all to life for you.

Revelation 22 also calls Jesus..." "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star."

...which is also a comparison made of Lucifer, the lightbringer, (Venus) in Isaiah 14.

It's theology at its oldest and perhaps the source of all we think unique to Christianity.

Cool beans...or not...depending

Lyle said...

There is a very good book on this topic which appears on the surface to be full of quackery, but is actually very scholarly. The book is called "The Witness of the Stars" by EW Bullinger, a Christian linguist. Bullinger is the same man who made the well loved Companion Bible. Basically “The Witness of the Stars” goes through all the ancient names of the constellations and stars in those constellations, and finds that those names are highly Messianic. Bullinger finds convincing evidence that the ancients were taught the plan of God through a divine Zodiac, which was slightly bastardized by the Greeks and Romans. This is why he sources the oldest Zodiac's he can find. Somehow the whole Messianic picture fits together. You have to read it to believe it.

I'm a skeptic by heart, and also rather conservative in my outlook, but this one has me thinking there is something to all this evidence.

lussenheide said...

Jesus was most likely born at the Feast of Tabernacles.

Using the "Course of Abijah" for the priestly service, (Abijah incidentally meaning "My Father is God"), this would imply that Zacharias the father of John the Baptist finished his course of duty in the temple around the time after Pentecost. Elizabeth becomes pregnant, and meets Mary the mother of Jesus about 6 months later. Mary has just coneived, and the babies "leap". Add 9 months for Jesus' gestation, and you end up in FOT time for Jesus' birth.

I suggest that the Magi, who were astronomers, knew of the prophecy that the "Virgin would conceive". The Sun sign around the FOT is the constellation of "Virgo" or "The Virgin". Jesus is thus a "Virgo"!

So besides having a literal virgin mother, God also confirms the idea by having him born under the sun sign of Virgo.

God hung the heavens and placed every star. If he knows every hair on your head, it would seem odd that he did not how the apparent magnitude of every star would appear from the Earth perspective, wouldnt it?

Im not exactly sure with what we are dealing with here, but as an amateur astronomer myself for over 40 years, it appears that the epoch of the Bible does play out in the constellations in some form.

There are only Seven permanent moving objects in the sky visible to the naked eye...Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.

They travel in the ecliptic, a fairly defined course of 12 constellations.

According to ancient mythology, Scorpio (the scorpion, symbolic of Satan?) kills Orion, (Orion being the most dominant of the Constellations of the sky, and with the belt of Orion corresponding to the extension of the Equator into the sky, so we must ask does Orion represent Jesus?)... the scorpion rises out of the ground to attack and kill Orion by "biting him in the heal" a very similar story to the prophecy of the Messiah in Genesis. Although the scorpion and Orion appear together in this myth, the constellation of Orion is almost opposite to Scorpio in the night sky. The two constellations never appear together in the sky. In legend it has been suggested that this was a divine precaution to forestall the heavenly continuation of the feud.

God hung the heavens and the Earth, and gave the sky as a calendar. So if any of this stuff is true, it would not surprise me.


Dennis said...

"The Catholic Encyclopedia on John the Baptist gives us the dates of three holy days that are no longer celebrated: The celebration of the Decollation on August 29 marks the day he was beheaded. The feast of the Conception of the Precursor on September 24 marks when he was conceived. The feast of St. John on June 24 marks when he was born.

With a December "birth of the son" or SUN. The celebration of John's birth, six months prior is nicely close to the summer solstice when the sun is at its highest. Thus, with Jesus born (not really) on the winter solstice six months later at the lowest point, we have the astro-theological fact that John must decrease, i.e. head down from the high point of summer and Jesus must increase or the sun heading out of the short days to spring and then summer.

It may well be the story of Jesus temptation in the wilderness as well, where the SUN in winter to spring is tempted to be lazy and not go forward to take away the "sins of the world"which would be the darkness of winter. Once it gets to the Spring Equinox and is crossified on the ecliptic and celestial equator and resurrected, the sun leaves darkness behind, overcomes it and goes on to summer etc. Easter is originally the Spring Eqinox where the sun rises due East and why Easter Sunrise services are older than dirt, waiting for the Sun to be born resurrected to take away the sin of the world.

That 'ol sun we take for granted is the origin of all human religious cycles.

Seeing this celestial drama played out in the clear skies of the Middle East gave rise to the story that also fits the god-men of Egypt and Persia. Some have felt the inclusion of the Magi in the Birth stories, which iare very astro-theological when you know what to look for, is a symbol of passing Mithraism and Bull signs of Taurus over to Aries, the lamb and the next constellation in the story. It is no coincidence that the age of Taurus (4000-2000BC) ended with Abraham finding a lamb to sacrifice instead of his "son/sun" to begin the age of Aries (2000BC to 1-ish AD). Nor is it a coincidence that the Age of Aries the Lamb ends with the death of the Lamb of God typology.

Perhaps what the text means by "and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age." (Aries) Of course the Christian church adopted the Fish as a sign of itself and the "fishers of men motif in the gospels reflects the now beginning age of Pices the Fish (1-ish AD to Present) which is now shifting once again to another sign...Aquarius the Waterman.

Dennis said...

"I suggest that the Magi, who were astronomers, knew of the prophecy that the "Virgin would conceive". The Sun sign around the FOT is the constellation of "Virgo" or "The Virgin". Jesus is thus a "Virgo"!

That is true. Virgo is the Virgin of the Harvest in fall. However, aside from trying to find the date of a literal Jesus birth, the birth of the SUN is always at the Winter solstice, where it lies three days motionless prior to birth, or 3 days in the grave awaiting resurrection depending on definitions of terms on the 25th and the start of it's northward journey the summer high.

Virgo, the Virgin is at the most high point (noon) in December when the Sun is born. Thus astro-theology says that "the Virgin brings forth the sun." Virgo is also the Virgin of much literalist theology and this most high point in the sky gives her adoration status by literalists. "God Most High" is the SUN at noon in the mythology.

The "Magi" have also been seen as the three stars in Orion's belt which set at sunrise on Dec 25th. It explains the enigma in the literal story of why Herod could not follow the Magi to Jesus himself. It was a story played out in the heavens, as above so below. Herod was an analogy for "darkness" and Herod can't find the wisemen just as darkness can find the three stars in Orion when the sun rises. It's daytime now!

It is why the Magi "see his star (the Sun) in the east (sunrise,birth on the Winter solstice)as they themselves go down in the Western sky that morning. It also explain why you can see a star in the east (sunrise) and go west looking for it. (apparent motion of sun and stars from east to west.) In the literal story, this is stupid. In the sky it is the only explanation. The three stars in Orion's belt can only go west to set, looking for the "Sun"

One point to make is that stories preceed christianity and are not just nice things that Christians up with after the fact to confirm the literalism of their own story. The one year journey of the sun through the 12 disciples of the Zodiac is ancient and was used in the creation of more than just the story of one year ministry of Jesus with his 12.

lussenheide said...

Dennis and all:

Interesting stuff!

Here is how we will disagree. You contend "One point to make is that stories preceed christianity and are not just nice things that Christians up with after the fact to confirm the literalism of their own story".

I will contend that indeed, the "story of the stars" are evidence of the literalism of the Christian/Biblical saga. Afterall, the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the World, and the drama of Salvation was in God's mind from the beginning.

Although we can compare notes on the interesting analogies of the heavens, our conclussions are irreconciable.

On this, both of us being reasonable men, we will have to "agree to diagree in an agreeable way!"


Dennis said...

Luss...absolutely. This is not to argue for one case or another. It is fascinating. I do have to say that..

"Afterall, the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the World, and the drama of Salvation was in God's mind from the beginning."

..still fits in with the timelessness of the astro-theological story. The stars have been spinning the dying SUN reborn story since humans first consciously looked up and saw pictures of the familiar in the sky. David Ulansey has done some excellent work on the meaning behind the slaying of the bull motif in Mithraism and the Mithraum's or worship centers found in England and across Europe. With all the symbols on the altars we see it was the human recognition of the procession of the equinox out of Taurus into Aries. Mithras slaying the bull with the Sun and moon above and canis minor and scorpio at his feet (south) show that particular mystery of the times.

Sometimes I feel that the ultimate secrets of mystery schools was that the earth is not central to the solar system and that the sun progresses thru the signs. Both of which ideas could get you bumped off by the literalist priesthood.

Also, some will argue that the Bible forbids astrology. On the other hand the Bible is full of it too. Perhaps the forbidding is that only the Priesthood can maintain the secret and the masses can fool around with a literal tale that has many problems when taken that way. But the average Israelite must not look further upon pain of death. Not all forbiddings are because there is nothing to something.

Libro said...

I have to confess some skepticism when it comes to discussing this topic, because there's one very important question that seems to be neglected: What constellations did the Israelites see?

Bullinger and Dennis and Lussenheide all talk about Virgo and Bootes and Scorpius and so on. But these are the Greek and Roman constellations. Go look outside and you'll see that the real sky is more like a connect-the-dots without any numbers -- the lines aren't really up there, just the dots.

You would not believe how many times I've pointed constellations out to friends and relatives, only to hear them say they couldn't really see it. "There's Auriga," I'll say.

"Where?" they reply.

"Right over there -- that pentagon with the two little stars hanging off the right corner."

"I don't see any chariot, and those little stars sure don't look like goats!" they counter.

And so it goes. Even Cygnus, which to me actually looks like a swan flying overhead, escapes others.

Take a look at an ancient Egyptian starmap. Same stars, but they connect the dots differently. Where we see the Big Dipper, they saw a crocodile and a god. Try and find an ancient Chinese starmap. Again, same stars, but different constellations with different names and different mythologies.

Sure, there are commonalities, such as the realization that the Sun, Moon, and all planets circle around in the same band of stars, along with the soltaces and equinoxes. But even some things we might expect to be universal simply are not. Our Western mythology depicts the Sun as the all-powerful masculine and the Moon as a less-powerful feminine. However, other cultures have it reversed -- which is why Allah was god of the Moon. The Pleiades were well known as the Seven Sisters -- or were they the Seven Warriors?

So, what constellations did the Israelites see? Did they tend to see the Egyptian ones in the time of Moses? Did they tend to see the Greek ones at the time of Jesus? And what did they see during the hundreds of years in between?

Remember -- that squiggle of stars in the north isn't a throne just because we think it is. Turn it a little, and it looks like an M -- or a W -- or an ancient Phoenician S. If we want to look for astrological references in Hebrew scripture, we first need to know something about Hebrew astrology, instead of assuming that they saw eagles and serpents and lions in all the same places we do today.

Dennis said...

Libro..there are some excellent books on the history of constellations and surprizingly they have not changed all that much since Babylonian times etc. I'm at my practice at the moment and can't remember what it is called. There are of course, variations but the biggies of the zodiac tended to stay in tact as a bull is a bull, a ram a ram, a woman still is a woman. Orion has been everything from the Angel placed in the east to keep adam and eve out of the garden to Osiris and Mithras. But whatever the label, it always fits the season and the same story of birth, overcoming evil, resurrection to on high, betrayal, piercing, dying and rebirth again at the winter solstice. The topic of constellations images is covered in the website I think too.

Dennis said...

Interesting enough...the story of Jesus cursing the fig tree has the editors note, "for it was not the seasons for figs" which of course opens the door to howls of theological debate over then why would Jesus curse it if it wasn't suppose to have fruit. The fact might be the editor is indicating that the story, the death or at least the arrest was a fall event. Fall is the more accurate astro-theological time at the autumnal equinox for the crossification or arrest of the SUN on the ecliptic/celestial equator but would also fit with the stinging (betrayal) of Jesus by judas and the piercing (saggitarius) and death to be reborn in December, of the SUN. Or not...

From the scripture we can learn however, that God hates figs no matter what the season :)

jorgheinz said...

Er, may I be allowed to mention Tycho Brahe.

He was possibly the star of Scandinavian astronomers,and he appears in family records.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps we all might like to hum that wonderful tune by Dwight Armstrong,"The Heavens God's Glory Do Declare".(Psalm 19).

Ah, that invokes wonderful memories of yesteryear; the wonderful euphonious voices,the harmony,the keeping in time to the piano,the perfect blending of (s)-trained voices.

Indeed, the church thought itself a star,unfortunately pole-arised in hindsight.

A Nonny Mouse

Dennis said...

The book I mentioned about astro-theology Starlore by William Olcott.

It covers the entire history of all the star groups and background.

Lyle said...

Like I said before, the book "The Witness of the Stars" uses the oldest Zodiacs and the most ancient names of them and their stars. It is very thoroughly researched. In terms of depth of coverage, it goes much further than what we are discussing here.

Here is a tid-bit, the Southern Cross constelation was known to exist for thousands of years, but it wasn't until man had made boats which could travel near the Southern tip of Africa that they saw it. How did ancient astrologers know of the stars? The Zodiacs they were making were from so long ago (thousands of years ago) that the earth's tilt in the universe was in position to see the Southern Cross.

And just so you know, the Soutern Cross is in the correct location in the sky to match were it should be for the Messianic story explained in the sky. Read the book, it is astounding.

Dennis said...

"Here is a tid-bit, the Southern Cross constelation was known to exist for thousands of years, but it wasn't until man had made boats which could travel near the Southern tip of Africa that they saw it. How did ancient astrologers know of the stars? The Zodiacs they were making were from so long ago (thousands of years ago) that the earth's tilt in the universe was in position to see the Southern Cross."

I know that makes some kind of sense to you...but you lost me.

Byker Bob said...

Two points. One is that the majority of mythology, astrology, history, you name it, is based on perceptions from the Northern Hemisphere. The Southern Cross is but one of the constellations visible from the Southern Hemisphere. All of the Levitical festivals related to harvest, etc. are six months out of sync for folks down under! Was God Northern Hemisphere-centric?

Second point. We live in an age where there is an abundance of far more brilliant scientists than Copernicus and Galileo. Religionists still don't give them any more credibility, and many insist on believing myth rather than science. Apparently some see more wisdom in the thoughts of the primitives, and are happy that way.


Dennis said...

" Was God Northern Hemisphere-centric?"

Actually yes he was :) Not only that, but he was a god that had not thought out how polar bears, penquins, kangaroos and platypusses would make the trek to board the ark. Seems he was unaware of them. More like a northern lower middle latitude god... :)

kscribe said...

Perhaps with all these myths of stars and constellations that the religionists around the world embrace, consider that perhaps all the knowledge man has known and contributed to some religious figure(s) or religion comes from another source.

The PLAIN TRUTH may be that our ancestors traveled here long ago from a dying(sun/son/solar system.)???

This makes more sense than the answers that the religious community spouts forth. And I might add, the questions that are raised by their errant theories and theology!


Anonymous said...

There is a scripture that hints at star worshipping, not a message in the stars, early in the scripture. I believe it is one scripture that can also be used to show that David was quoting Moses in Psalm 8, the wording is almost exact if you were to put this scripture side by side with Dt. 4:15-20 and then verse 20.

What is man that thou art mindful of him? David asked as he gazed up unto the heavens. Paul uses that scripture to explain that man was to inherit all things. Revelation talks about inheriting all things as well.

But, Dt 4 also talks about not making the likenesses of the things you see. Verses 17-18 are almost word for word used by David in the reverse in Psalm 8. Verse 19 says: "And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the Lord they God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven." the NKJV uses; "As a heritage (inheritance)." to end the verse.

God intended that man inherit the universe from the beginning. Someone once asked if there were a scripture that proves that man was to inherit the universe. HWA thought so, but nothing is as clear as this scripture. So, the universe is not to be looked to to worship, and although there stars may have been used to tell a story by man about God. God never intended that it be worshipped according to the scripture.

Anonymous said...

This is the best blog-readin' I've done in a long time!

I've got a rendition of the Jerry Garcia Band doing "That Lucky Old Sun" (kind of a gospel-type song) rolling around in my mind.

I'm a Scorpio, and have had a fondness for Orion since writing a paper on Orion in gradeschool. I remember going to an observatory and seeing that one of the fuzzy "stars" that made up Orion's sword was actually a nebula.

Ah, the things that the primitives/ancients saw and imagined!
And, having been to a few Garcia concerts, I'm convinced that the Kaneh Bosm must have helped.
Ya know, seeing God, and all ;-)


Gavin said...

Actually Jorgheinz, your distant relative, Tycho de Brahe (1546-1601) appears several times in Tarnas' book. He bore the impressive title "imperial mathematician and astrologer to the Holy Roman Emperor." His successor was Kepler. In 1572 he witnessed a supernova, thereby himself becoming a star (boom, boom!) He also earns a dense paragraph in the notes at the back of the book.

Anonymous said...

"Actually yes he was :) Not only that, but he was a god that had not thought out how polar bears, penquins, kangaroos and platypusses would make the trek to board the ark."

Dennis. If your hatred of God hadn't blinded you, you would easily see the answer to your Satan-inspired commentary; that is, that God super-cooled certain portions of the water shell-atmosphere (Dr. Kent Hovind, PhD) that covered the earth so that migrating Artic animals actually traveled in a cold weather pattern that migrated along with them! The truth is there to see, if you will only accept it.

Formulating complex answers for simple questions,


Meharshalalhashbaz said...

Paul, I don't understand your comments to Dennis. Where do you get a sense of "hatred for God" from Dennis' writings?

Basically, Dennis has a different concept from your own, and you are apparently intolerant. Let's get one thing straight: None of us "knows" God. We just know what other humans have taught us about the Supreme Being, be they patriarchs, "apostles", or whatever. So, although we can hate certain teachers' concepts of God, the reality is that we really can't actually hate God himself.

Now, if you want to discuss teachers' teachings, I'd have to say that I personally hate Herbert W. Armstrong's concept of God. That "god" curiously resembles Satan the devil, in my opinion. And, as they say in the commercials, your mileage may vary on that.


Byker Bob said...

For those who don't know, Kent Hovind is the leading proponent of the "young earth" theory. He is currently serving a ten year sentence in federal prison for tax evasion.

One would certainly hope that AW bloggers could find better authorities to cite in support of their ideas and theories!

Kook alert! Kook, Kook, Kook.


Lyle said...

byker-bob said:
All of the Levitical festivals related to harvest, etc. are six months out of sync for folks down under! Was God Northern Hemisphere-centric?

Actually the Levitical festivals were land-of-Judah-centric. Travel about 1000 miles West or North and there are no longer three growing seasons. This doesn't mean that God only loved the land of Judah. God was doing something unique through the Israelites, so it made sense to set up that unique thing in their land. To take something given to Israel (like the various Sabbaths) and apply it to ourselves only creates confusion. God made it for them, NOT US. Does that mean God doesn't like us?

Imagine a parent with two kids. One kid is gifted at playing the piano and the other just likes playing in the front yard. If the parent takes the one kid to an expensive music school but doesn't do anything expensive for the other kid, does that make them a bad parent? No.

Dennis said...

"Dennis. If your hatred of God hadn't blinded you, you would easily see the answer to your Satan-inspired commentary; that is, that God super-cooled certain portions of the water shell-atmosphere (Dr. Kent Hovind, PhD) that covered the earth so that migrating Artic animals actually traveled in a cold weather pattern that migrated along with them! The truth is there to see, if you will only accept it."

From the top:
I don't hate God' I hate manipulative religious mythologies taken literally and misused by those who benefit greatly. Ideas have consequences and bad ideas..well you know. I just happen to feel closer to the God described in Conversations With God.

Actually I am going to assume you are spoofing me with your posting. However, I know people who would make such ridiculous claims and having recently been called a "High Priest of Marduk," you could be serious..:)

Libro said...

The book I mentioned about astro-theology Starlore by William Olcott.

It covers the entire history of all the star groups and background.

Thanks, Dennis!

Dennis said...

Probably not going to get many comments on this topic as few have ever even considered it and those that have either say "that 'theory' has been disproved long ago," or "Isn't it amazing how God has told the story of Jesus in the stars." Both concepts are false, but not , of course to those that promote them.

The detailed astro-theological nature of the Bible stories were known in great detail in the 1700's and many good writings come from that period. The problem was that at the same time, "the Great Awakening" of Christian fundamentalism was occuring and pretty much put an end to it in favor of the more literal story, which is what we have as Gospel truth to this day.

Only in the past few years have new researchers come to the fore with the astro-theological content of the Bible and the fact that the major religons of the past 5000 years tell the same story with their god-men, with only the names being changed.

David Ulansey broke the code of the iconography of Mithraism and the fact that Mithraism celebrated the slaying of the Bull, Taurus as the procession of the equinoxes took place and the switch over to Aries from 2000 BC to 1 AD took place. Of course these things take time but the procession of the eqinoxes was probably one of the secrets of the mystery religions, understood by few.

At any rate, from my perspective and that of those that show this connection between "as above , so below" in terms of a story played out in the heavens is what we have today as literalized Christianity. I think many Church Fathers past and present understand behind closed doors that the story was never meant to be taken literally and things are not really as they have been made to appear to be. The early church admitted to the fact that many previous pagan religions very much resembled Christian teachings (That's because they were getting the story from the same place, UP) but it was "diabolical mimickry" as in Satan anticipating Jesus and throwing these fake similars in the way of people to confuse them. This of course is BS,but that's how apologists work when you can't explain the obvious fact that your religion looks just as pagan as the pagans.

When we used to sing, "Tell me the Old Old Story..of unseen things above," we didn't realize what we were saying and just how old the story really is. It is the story of the miraculous birth of the godman, his temptation by a Devil who is darkness personified not to fulfill his destiny. The Godman overcomes the darkness and goes on to his resurrection followed by 12 disciples (the Zodiac), 12 sons, 12 Tribes, 12 Apostles, 12 Foundations, 12 gates, or 12 anythings. The Godman (the Sun) is the savior, the provider, the sustainer, the life giver who like the sun, can change water (rain) into wine(grapes). The Son/sun eventually is betrayed by one of the 12 (Scorpio-Judas-betrayer) and is crucified in the heavens at the equinox and then dies out in winter to be born again of Virgo the Virgin which brings him forth on Dec 25th when the Sun starts heading north to summer again. ....Old old story that points to all the lives of the godmen of human history long before Jesus had the same story told about him.

Of course, the stars aren't really put in any form whatsoever but what humans see is what they expect to see based on their observations of how cycles of life work. The stars don't make the stories, the humans make the stories out of what they need to see in the stars. I am not convinced that "God" wrote the story in the stars to teach humans as they don't even understand the one he is alleged to have written down in black and white and put in every motel....

Byker Bob said...

Interesting, Dennis.

Also, I believe we would be very myopic, chauvinistic, and misguided if we arbitrarily decided that our earth is the only planet in all of the universe, capable of supporting life. The stars appear to have meaning only because they are viewed by us in their positions relative to earth. From any other solar system, they would appear totally differently.

The religions of the world seem to paint God as being earth-centric as well as Mesopotamian-centric.


Anonymous said...

For Pete's sake people, of course I was spoofing. I guess that means that there are people out there who would subscribe to such an idea.

I thought everyone would know that I was joking with this:

"Formulating complex answers for simple questions"

Kent Hovind provides me with hours of entertainment. Such imaginative thinking!


Dennis said...

Hey common sense, that which some feel I don't have any of, told me you were kidding. However, I have just been through a round of fundy apologist crazy unbelievable taunting from a loon for Jesus that sounded just like that, so who knew!

To me it's a given that there is more live "out there" as we are less than a bip on a very big screen of similar things in the whole universe. I'd love to live long enough to at least see fossils or something from Mars. I've told my boys that if they find it after I am gone to at least come out to my grave and say ," Dad, they found it"

On the other hand, maybe WE are the ET's the past and just forgot the story...I'm pretty sure thought I didn't come from a nice garden in the now marshes near Basra, Iraq.

Dennis said... least this topic only produced one pity party for the past and actually contained good discussion! This has to be some kind of record! :)

Byker Bob said...

To Paul,

I am very glad you were spoofing! Others, in the past, on other forums were most definitely NOT, when they cited Hovind!

Sometimes the thing about blogs is that we don't see one another's facial expressions, and can't tell whether someone is a joker, or is deadly serious. That's one reason why I post under the same moniker on all the ACOG dissident sites. People have gotten to know me over a period of five years, and most know if I'm kidding or serious.


Dennis said...

Probably not much more comment on this phenomenon but one final point. What is portrayed in scripture as predictive prophecy of Jesus life and death is for the most part not. It is Midrash where an author looks back into the past to give meaning to the present AND to flesh out a story about which he knows little or nothing about in fact.

If early Christians had actually remembered the passion as a series of recent events, why does the earliest gospel crucifixion account spin out the whole terse narrative from quotes cribbed without acknowledgement from Psalm 22? Why does 1 Peter have nothing more detailed than Isaiah 53 to flesh out his account of the sufferings of Jesus? Why does Matthew supplement Mark's version, not with historical tradition or eyewitness memory, but with more quotes, this time from Zechariah and the Wisdom of Solomon? Matthew's entire birth narrative story is flesh out from OT scripture that he misquotes and misapplies to make mean what they do not mean. These are not eyewitness accounts of anything real about what they know of Jesus. They do this precisely because they know precious litte about his birth, life and death circumstances. Astro-theology shows the story is one played out in the heavens and not literally on earth. Even the NT writers show this reality, now overlooked by Evangelicals and literalist in their attempts to explain Jesus with the OT which is mistaken for prophecy about him. It is not, never was and not intended to ever be that in it's original context. Even the great Isaiah 53 is a dirge about Israel and not Jesus in the future.

The Skeptic said...

Let's face it, folks, stone age man looked up in the sky and imagined all sorts of things, trying to explain what they could not understand. Their imaginings became folklore, then became accepted wisdom of the ancients, then later still were written down and became religions and beliefs such as astrology. Later still, these ancient writings were looked upon as god-inspired. What an interesting species mankind is.

Religion? Astrology? Stone-age belief systems that adapted and persisted into the modern era? Buffalo Chips is all they mean to me.

Dennis said...

Hey Skeptic...I agree. I guess, in hindsite, my regret is the pain and "required behaviors" to keep the fear, guilt and shame in place that it has all evolved into....

Steve said...

So far, all of these points have been nothing short of BORING!

Steve K

Dennis said...

yes Steve, only all your input has been stellar.....on this topic. I can see why you might be bored.

Byker Bob said...

I like your wetsuit analogy, Dennis, although I've used the caterpillar-butterfly one myself, or the Jonathan Livingston Seagull model.

One thing I would hate to have as my "reward", and that would be to become some sort of amorphous ghost that wanders around with all my ghostly relatives, the Brethren, and Herbert W. Armstrong for all eternity. That never struck me as being a nice "forever".

What good is life if you can't enjoy long motorcycle rides, kickass rock n roll, outrageous sex, and good ice cold beer? Of course, I realize that others might cite Mozart, cruising around in one's Rolls, and digging on Grey Poupon Mustard, and that's ok too, because that would be what speaks to their souls. A one size fits all reward would kind of suck.


Steve said...

Dennis said...
yes Steve, only all your input has been stellar.....on this topic. I can see why you might be bored.

MY COMMENT: Ooooh! I hit a soft spot. :-)

Steve K

Dennis said...

BB..sounds good to me! We're all different and need to get over the idea that there is one way that the true people must squeeze everyone into before it's too late. hits a "sore" spot, not a "soft' spot, and you din't..hehe. Sorry the topic is boring though, it will change shortly I'm sure...hangeth in there.

Steve said...

I still maintain I hit a soft spot. Ok, we'll hangeth together. :-)

Steve K