This search after truth leads us, indeed, into devious ways. Many are the obstacles that ecclesiastical cunning has placed in the way of our finding the primal source of religious ideas. Christianity is on trial, and has been, ever since science felt strong enough to act as Public Prosecutor. A portion of the case we are drafting in this book. What of truth is there in this Theology? Through what sects has it been transmitted? Whence was it primarily derived? To answer, we must trace the history of the World Religion, alike through the secret Christian sects as through those of other great religious subdivisions of the race; for the Secret Doctrine is the truth, and that religion is nearest divine that has contained it with least adulteration.
[Based on: H.P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, reprint (1998, Vol. 2) of the 1877 edition, p. 292]
*Trivia: "Ancient Myths and Modern man," by Joseph Henderson:
We read the myths of the ancient Greeks or the folk stories of American Indians, but we fail to see any connection between them and our attitudes to the "heroes" or dramatic events of today. Yet the connections are there. And the symbols that represent them have not lost their relevance for mankind. [A] striking example should be familiar to anyone who has grown up in a Christian society. At Christmas we may express our inner feeling for the mythological birth of a semidivine child, even though we may not believe in the doctrine of the virgin birth of Christ or have any kind of conscious religious faith. Unknowingly, we have fallen in with the symbolism of rebirth. This is a relic of an immensely older solstice festival, which carries the hope that the fading winter landscape of the northern hemisphere will be renewed. For all our sophistication we find satisfaction in this symbolic festival, just as we join with our children at Easter in the pleasant ritual of Easter eggs and Easter rabbits.
But do we understand what we do, or see the connection between the story of Christ's birth, death, and resurrection and the folk symbolism of Easter? Usually we do not even care to consider such things intellectually. Yet they complement each other. Christ's crucifixion on Good Friday seems at first sight to belong to the same ... symbolism that one finds in the rituals of such other "saviors" as Osiris, Tammuz, Orpheus, and Balder. They, too, were of divine or semidivine birth, they flourished, were killed, and were reborn. They belonged, in fact, to cyclic religions in which the death and rebirth of the god-king was an eternally recurring myth.
[Based on: New York: Doubleday, 1964, pp. 106-108] Also: [Based on: Reincarnation The Phoenix Fire Mystery, by Joseph Head & C.L. Cranston, Third Printing, December, 1978, pp. 28-29]
[....] The pagan Easter was a sun reincarnating festival, coinciding with the vernal equinox when nature gloriously reawakens; the word easter itself being derived from Ostara, the Scandinavian goddess of spring. Easter eggs were called eggs of Ostara.
Was it for a similar reason that the Church of the fifth century settled on the anciently honored solstice cycle for the birth of Jesus - when most of the sun gods were believed to be reborn? Jesus now shares his birth time with the Persian Mithra, Egyptian Osiris, Greek Bacchus, the Roman and Greek Apollo, and the Phoenician Adonis. Previous to the fifth century a wide variety of dates had been used for "Christmas."
[Based on: Reincarnation The Phoenix Fire Mystery, by Joseph Head & C.L. Cranston, Third Printing, December, 1978, p. 29]
*Trivia: "Although the Qumran community existed during the time of the ministry of Jesus, none of the Scrolls [Dead Sea Scrolls] refer to Him, nor do they mention any of His follower's described in the New Testament."
[Based on: http://www.centuryone.com/25dssfacts.html]
*Trivia: "[....] Long before the alleged time of Christ, the word Jesus, meaning Savior, was used by the ancients - Joshua, Jonah, Jason, Ionnes, etc. There was a Jesus cult among the Nazarites long prior to 1 A.D. It was also this symbolic Jesus that the Essenes referred to as 'the teacher of righteousness.' The authorities for the pre-Christian Jesus are Epiphanius and the modern scholar, W.B. Smith. [....] "[Based on: Deceptions And Myths of the Bible, Lloyd M. Graham, p. 280, 1997 edition]
*Trivia: "[....] No less an authority than Saint Augustine, 'Founder of Christian Theology,' made this statement: 'That which is known as the Christian religion existed among the ancients, and never did not exist; from the very beginning of the human race until the time when Christ came in the flesh at which time the true religion, which already existed, began to be called Christianity.' On the same subject Eusebius had this to say: 'That the religion published by Jesus Christ to all nations is neither new nor strange. For though, without controversy, we are of late and the name of Christians is indeed new; yet our manner of life and the principles of our religion have not lately been devised by us, but were instituted and observed, if I may say so, from the beginning of the world.' And speaking of the Essenes, sometimes called Therapeutae, he makes this astonishing remark: 'The ancient Therapeutae were Christians and their writings are our Gospels and Epistles.' This, we think, should prove our point, namely, that not only the Gospels and Epistles but the entire New Testament is but a priestly rewrite of the Ancient Wisdom. [....]" [Based on: Deceptions And Myths of the Bible, Lloyd M. Graham, pp. 280-281, 1997 edition]
*Trivia: "[....] In 1869 Kuenen's The Religion of Israel established Bible criticism as a valid field of investigation. He was followed by many others in Holland, Germany, and France. In 1889 the book of biblical essays called Lux Mundi gave up all pretense of the scriptures' historicity or divine inspiration, admitting that the Bible is a confused mass of myth, legend, and garbled history, often contradicting provable facts. [....] After David Straus's Leben Jesu disposed of the historicity of the Gospel stories, and Renan's Vie de Jesus showed that the Gospels cannot be taken as literal truth but only as romantic symbolism, the Rev. Maurice Jones exclaimed, 'If the Christ-Myth theory is true, and if Jesus never lived, the whole civilized world has for close upon two thousand years lain under the spell of a lie.' The Archbishop of Canterbury found it impossible to deny the Bible's apparent lies, and began to backtrack with his plaintive question, 'May not the Holy Spirit make use of myth and legend?' [....]" [See: Barbara G. Walker, The Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, pp. 98-99]
*Trivia: "Ages before the time of Jesus or Buddha, every single precept taught by either one of them was well known in the world and formed a part of the fundamental code. If you live up to those teachings, you are not thereby following that particular Master or any one Master. If a given precept has been taught by seven Masters during different ages of the world, are you thereby a disciple of all seven of them? You are simply walking in the light of universal ethical principles, regardless of individual Masters." [Based on: Julian P. Johnson, The Path of the Masters, Sixteenth Edition 1997, p. 192; 1st published: 1939]
*Trivia: "[....] More than one great scholar has stated that there never was a religious founder, whether Aryan, Semitic or Turanian, who had invented a new religion, or revealed a new truth. These founders were all transmitters, not original teachers. They were the authors of new forms and interpretations, while the truths upon which the latter were based were as old as mankind. Selecting one or more of those grand verities - actualities visible only to the eye of the real Sage and Seer - out of the many orally revealed to man in the beginning, preserved and perpetuated in the adyta of the temples through initiation, during the MYSTERIES and by personal transmission - they revealed these truths to the masses. Thus every nation received in its turn some of the said truths, under the veil of its own local and special symbolism; which, as time went on, developed into a more or less philosophical cultus, a Pantheon in mythical disguise. [....]" [Based on: The Secret Doctrine by H. P. Blavatsky, Vol. 1, p. 36, Introductory]
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