symbolism, modern and past psychology

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Re: symbolism, modern and past psychology

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:10 am

Hi bdw000,
Plasmatic put me on to Atwill last year but I wasn't overly impressed. To me it is history for people who don't read history. I lurked about his forum for a while but wasn't too impressed with the intellectual calibre of the members.
If I have the least bit of knowledge
I will follow the great Way alone
and fear nothing but being sidetracked.
The great Way is simple
but people delight in complexity.
Tao Te Ching, 53.
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Re: symbolism, modern and past psychology

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:53 am

Hi Stefan,
I wasn't trying to suggest that Pan is the highest level of mind, just that the relationship to Hermes would provide a connection.
I am surprised that you view it as connected with soul. Surely, soul is represented as female and Water rather than male and Earth(y)?

I see Pan and the rest of Dionysus' entourage as representing the natural world which 'follows' Dionysus' lead. Zeus I see as Universal Mind (Air). (This applies to Mague's comment also) The sexual energy of Pan and the rest is creative energy -the energy which creates the spark
of life. It is in this sense related to the Tantra/Kundalini thing.

I would have to do some more digging but off the top of my head, I would say that Silenus may represent original knowledge or universal truth or objective truth. Knowledge that is not dependent on the state of the knower (he knows, drunk or sober). The Narcissus story is
similar to that of Dionysus and the mirror given to him by the Titans. Both are bamboozled by the image of things. Depending on which version of the Echo tale one uses, I would suggest that Echo is something to do with emanations of the divine or a similar concept. The echo becomes fainter though it retains its integrity.

Musical instruments are a sub-genre which I don't really understand. There are subtle differences between pipes with different numbers of reeds similar to the subtleties with the lyre and the strings.

Telestes was obviously a scholar and a gentleman.
If I have the least bit of knowledge
I will follow the great Way alone
and fear nothing but being sidetracked.
The great Way is simple
but people delight in complexity.
Tao Te Ching, 53.
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Re: symbolism, modern and past psychology

Unread postby StefanR » Sun Apr 12, 2009 6:20 am

GreyCloud wrote:I wasn't trying to suggest that Pan is the highest level of mind, just that the relationship to Hermes would provide a connection.
I am surprised that you view it as connected with soul. Surely, soul is represented as female and Water rather than male and Earth(y)?


You will most probably be right in a certain sense, but maybe the following (a little prolix for sure) can lift the veil a little
further, I could give some more out of Thomas Taylor, pertaining to this subject of Dionysius' fable relating to soul and intellect, and I could also point out the Symposium of Plato, with it's flute-playing girl, drinking and the comparing of Socrates with Marsyas and Silenus, or I could also point out the Phaedo of Plato, with the whole dialogue pertaining to the soul (and more of course), almost right at the beginning of the dialogue Socrates mentiones pleasure and pain, the nailing of the soul to matter and of course it's situation in prison could make it very obvious, a prison like Boethius or Monte Christo in some Shawshank Redemption ;)

There is a lot more to be said about creativity/vitality/sexual energy/chi/kundalini etc, or other things about water or seperately things can be said about being drunk on wine or nectar and Mague had some good points too, but then it would be getting one very long post, where to start?


I shall present the reader, therefore, with the following interesting division of fables, from the elegant book of the Platonic philosopher Sallust, on the gods and the universe.
" Of fables," says he, " some are theological, others physical, others animastic (or relating to soul), others material, and lastly, others mixed from these.
Fables are theological which relate to nothing corporeal, but contemplate the very essences of the gods ; such as the fable which asserts that Saturn devoured his children : for it insinuates nothing more than the nature of an intellectual (or intuitional) god ; since every such intellect returns into itself. We regard fables physically when we speak concerning the operations of the gods about the world ; as when considering Saturn the same as Time, and calling the parts of time the children of the universe, we assert that the children are devoured by their parent. But we utter fables in a spiritual mode, when we contemplate the operations of the soul ; because the intellections of our souls, though by a discursive energy they go forth into other things, yet abide in their parents. Lastly, fables are material, such as the Egyptians ignorantly employ, consider ing and calling corporeal natures divinities : such as Isis, earth, Osiris, humidity, Typhon, heat or, again, denominating Saturn water, Adonis, fruits, and Bacchus, wine. And, in deed, to assert that these are dedicated to the gods, in the same manner as herbs, stones, and animals, is the part of wise men ; but to call them gods is alone the province of fools and madmen ; unless we speak in the same manner as when, from established custom, we call the orb of the sun and its rays the sun itself.
But we may perceive the mixed kind of fables, as well in many other particulars, as when they relate that Discord, at a banquet of the gods, threw a golden apple, and that a dispute about it arising among the goddesses, they were sent by Jupiter to take the judgment of Paris, who, charmed with the beauty of Venus, gave her the apple in preference to the rest. For in this fable the banquet denotes the super-mundane powers of the gods ; and on this account they subsist in conjunction with each other : but the golden apple denotes the world, which, on account of its composition from contrary natures, is not improperly said to be thrown by Discord, or strife. But again, since different gifts are imparted to the world by different gods, they appear to contest with each other for the apple. And a soul living according to sense (for this is Paris), not perceiving other powers in the universe, asserts that the apple is alone the beauty of Venus.
But of these species of fables, such as are theological belong to philosophers ; the physical and spiritual to poets ; but the mixed to the first of the initiatory rites ; since the intention of all mystic ceremonies is to conjoin us with the world and the gods"

THE Dionysiacal sacred rites instituted by Orpheus,* depended on the following arcane narration, part of which has been already related in the preceding section, and the rest may be found in a variety of authors. " Dionysus, or Bacchus [Zagreus], while he was yet a boy, was engaged by the Titans, through the stratagems of Juno, in a variety of sports, with which that period of life is so vehemently allured ; and among the rest, he was particularly captivated with beholding his image in a mirror ; during his admiration of which, he was miserably torn in pieces by the Titans; who, not content with this cruelty, first boiled his members in water, and afterwards roasted them by the fire. But while they were tasting his flesh thus dressed, Jupiter, roused by the odor, and perceiving the cruelty of the deed, hurled his thunder at the Titans ; but committed the members of Bacchus to Apollo, his brother, that they might be properly interred. And this being performed, Dionysus (whose heart during his laceration was snatched away by Pallas and preserved), by a new regeneration again emerged, and being restored to his pristine life and integrity, lie afterwards filled up the number of the gods. But in the mean time, from the exhalations arising from the ashes of the burning bodies of the Titans, mankind were produced.
Now, in order to understand properly the secret of this narration, it is necessary to repeat the observation already made in the preceding chapter, that all fables belonging to mystic ceremonies are of the mixed kind": and consequently the present fable, as well as that of Proserpina, must in one part have reference to the gods, and in the other to the human soul, as the following exposition will abundantly evince :

In the first place, then, by Dionysus, or Bacchus, according to the highest conception of this deity, we understand the spiritual part of the mundane soul; for there are various processions or avatars of this god, or Bacchuses, derived from his essence. But by the Titans we must understand the mundane gods, of whom Bacchus is the highest ; by Jupiter, the Demiurgus,* or artificer of the universe; by Apollo, the deity of the Sun, who has both a mundane and supermundane establishment, and by whom the universe is bound in symmetry and consent, through splendid reasons and harmonizing power ; and, lastly, by Minerva we must understand that original, intellectual, ruling, and providential deity, who guards and preserves all middle lives * in an immutable condition, through intelligence and a selfsupporting life, and by this means sustains them from the depredations and inroads of matter.
Again, by the infancy of Bacchus at the period of his laceration, the condition of the intellectual nature is implied; since, according to the Orphic theology, souls, under the government of Saturn, or Kronos, who is pure intellect or spirituality, instead of proceeding, as now, from youth to age, advance in a retrograde progression from age to youth, of The arts employed by the Titans, in order to ensnare Dionysus, are symbolical of those apparent and divisible operations of the mundane gods, through which the participated intellect of Bacchus becomes, as it were, torn in pieces ; and by the mirror we must understand, in the language of Proclus, the inaptitude of the universe to receive the plenitude of intellectual or spiritual perfection ; but the symbolical meaning of his laceration, through the stratagems of Juno, and the consequent punishment of the Titans, is thus beautifully unfolded by Olympiodorus, in his manuscript Commentary on the Phcedo of Plato : " The form," says he, " of that which is universal is plucked off, torn in pieces, and scattered into generation; and Dionysus is the monad of the Titans. But his laceration is said to take place through the stratagems of Juno,because this goddess is the supervising guardian of motion and progression ; * and on this account, in the Iliad, she perpetually rouses and excites Jupiter to providential action about secondary concerns ; and, in another respect, Dionysus is the ephorus or supervising guardian of generation, because he presides over life and death ; for he is the guardian or ephorus of life because of generation, and also of death because wine produces an enthusiastic condition. We become more enthusiastic at the period of dying, as Proclus indicates in the example of Homer who became prophetic at the time of his death, They likewise assert, that tragedy and comedy are assigned to Dionysus : comedy being the play or ludicrous representation of life; and tragedy having relation to the passions and death. The comic writers, therefore, do not rightly call in question the tragedians as not rightly representing Bacchus, saying that such things did not happen to Bacchus. But Jupiter is said to have hurled his thunder at the Titans ; the thunder signifying a conversion or changing : for fire naturally ascends ; and hence Jupiter, by this means, converts the Titans to his own essence."

But by the members of Dionysus being first boiled in water by the Titans, and afterward roasted by the fire, the outgoing or distribution of intellect into matter, and its subsequent returning from thence, is evidently implied : for water was considered by the Egyptians, as we have already observed, as the symbol of matter ; and fire is the natural symbol of ascending. The heart of Dionysus too, is, with the greatest propriety, said to be preserved by Minerva; for this goddess is the guardian of life, of which the heart is a symbol. So that this part of the fable plainly signifies, that while intellectual or spiritual life is distributed into the universe, its principle is preserved entire by the guardian power and providence of the Divine intelligence. And as Apollo is the source of all union and harmony, and as he is called by Proclus, "the key-keeper of the fountain of life," * the reason is obvious why the members of Dionysus, which were buried by this deity, again emerged by a new generation, and were restored to their pristine integrity and life. But let it here be carefully observed, that renovation, when applied to the gods, is to be considered as secretly implying the rising of their proper light, and its consequent appearance to subordinate natures. And that punishment, when considered as taking place about beings of a nature superior to mankind, signifies nothing more than a secondary providence over such beings which is of a punishing character, and which subsists about souls that deteriorate.
Hence, then, from what has been said, we may easily collect the ultimate design of the first part of this mystic fable ; for it appears to be no other than to represent the manner in which the form of the mundane intellect is divided through the universe ; that such an intellect (and every one which is total) remains entire during its division into parts, and that the divided parts themselves are continually turned again to their source, with which they become finally united. So that illumination from the higher reason, while it proceeds into the dark and rebounding receptacle of matter, and invests its obscurity with the supervening ornaments of divine light, returns at the same time without interruption to the source or principle of its descent.

Let us now consider the latter part of the fable, in which it is said that our souls were formed from the vapors emanating from the ashes of the burning bodies of the Titans; at the same time connecting it with the former part of the fable, which is also applicable in a certain degree to the condition of a partial intellect* like ours. In the first place, then, we are made up from fragments (says Olympiodoms), because, through falling into generation, our life has proceeded into the most distant and extreme division ; and from Titanic fragments, because the Titans are the ultimate artificers of things,* and stand immediately next to whatever is constituted from them. But further, our irrational life is Titanic, by which the rational and higher life is torn in pieces. Hence, when we disperse the Dionysus, or intuitive intellect contained in the secret recesses of our nature, breaking in pieces the kindred and divine form of our essence, and which communicates, as it were, both with things subordinate and supreme, then we become Titans (or apostates) ; but when we establish ourselves in union with this Dionysiacal or kindred form, then we become Bacchuses, or perfect guardians and keepers of our irrational life : for Dionysus, whom in this respect we resemble, is himself an ephorus or guardian deity, dissolving at his pleasure the bonds by which the soul is united to the body, since he is the cause of a parted life.
But it is necessary that the passive or feminine nature of our irrational part, through which we are bound in body, and which is nothing more than the resounding echo, as it were, of soul, should suffer the punishment incurred by descent ; for when the soul casts aside the [divine] peculiarity of her nature, she requires her own, but at the same time a multiform body, that she may again become in need of a common form, which she has lost through Titanic dispersion into matter.

But in order to see the perfect resemblance between the manner in which our souls descend and the dividing of the intuitive intellect by mundane natures, let the reader attend to the following admirable citation from the manuscript Commentary of Olympiodorus on the Phcedo .of Plato :
"It is necessary, first of all, for the soul to place a likeness of herself in the body. This is to ensoul the body. Secondly, it is necessary for her to sympathize with the image, as being of like idea. For every external form or substance is wrought into an identity with its interior substance, through an ingenerated tendency thereto. In the third place, being situated in a divided nature, it is necessary that she should be torn in pieces, and fall into a last separation, till, through the action of a life of purification, she shall raise herself from the dispersion, loose the bond of sympathy, and act as of herself without the external image, having become established according to the first-created life. The like things are fabled in the example. For Dionysus or Bacchus because his image was formed in a mirror, pursued it, and thus became distributed into everything. But Apollo collected him and brought him up; being a deity of purification, and the true savior of Dionysus ; and on this account he is styled in the sacred hymns, Dionusites."

Hence, as the same author beautifully observes, the soul revolves according to a mystic and mundane revolution : for flying from an in divisible and Dionysiacal life, and operating according to a Titanic and revolting energy, she becomes bound in the body as in a prison. Hence, too, she abides in punishment and takes care of her partial and secondary concerns; and being purified from Titanic defilements, and collected into one, she becomes a Bacchus ; that is, she passes into the proper integrity of her nature according to the divine principle ruling on high. From all which it evidently follows, that he who lives Dionysiacally rests from labors and is freed from his bonds ; * that he leaves his prison, or rather his apostatizing life ; and that he who does this is a philosopher purifying himself from the contaminations of his earthly life. But farther from this account of Dionysus, we may perceive the truth of Plato's observation, " that the design of the Mysteries is to lead us back to the perfection from which, as our beginning, we first made our descent." For in this perfection Dionysus himself subsists, establishing perfect souls in the throne of his father ; that is, in the integrity of a life according to Jupiter. So that he who is perfect necessarily resides with the gods, according to the design of those deities, who are the sources of consummate perfection to the soul. And lastly, the Thyrsus itself, which was used in the Bacchic procession, as it was a reed full of knots, is an apt symbol of the diffusion of the higher nature into the sensible world. And agreeable to this, Olympiodorus on the Phcedo observes, " that the Thyrsus * is a symbol of a forming anew of the material and parted substance from its scattered condition ; and that on this account it is a Titanic plant. This it was customary to extend before Bacchus instead of his paternal scepter; and through this they called him down into our partial nature. Indeed, the Titans are Thyrsus-bearers ; and Prometheus concealed fire in a Thyrsus or reed ; after which he is considered as bringing celestial light into generation, or leading the soul into the body, or calling forth the divine illumination, the whole being ungenerated, into generated existence. Hence Socrates calls the multitude Thyrsus-bearers Orphically, as living according to a Titanic life."
http://www.archive.org/details/eleusinianbacch00tayluoft
The illusion from which we are seeking to extricate ourselves is not that constituted by the realm of space and time, but that which comes from failing to know that realm from the standpoint of a higher vision. -L.H.
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Re: symbolism, modern and past psychology

Unread postby bdw000 » Sun Apr 12, 2009 2:26 pm

Grey Cloud wrote:Hi bdw000,
Plasmatic put me on to Atwill last year but I wasn't overly impressed. To me it is history for people who don't read history. I lurked about his forum for a while but wasn't too impressed with the intellectual calibre of the members.


Thanks for the reply Grey Cloud.

Have you ever checked out the Cliff Carrington page I linked to? He came to the same conclusion as Atwill, but from a totally different angle. And, by the way, Carrington I believe is a historian. Carrington's Flavian Hypothesis page is very good and will give you something to think about without having to buy any book (and there are no meaningless forum posts at his site).

The following is just for others who read this post.

The question is, DID YOU READ THE BOOK? Or, have you read the first review at amazon by Michael Turton (or some other review?)? If you have, well, I can't argue.

If you have not read the book, you simply do not know what the arguments are.

I agree, most of the posts at his forum other than Atwill's don't add up to much.

All I can say is, the book is pretty amazing to me (and others), though not everyone of course.

I have yet to read any sort of refutation that is worth more than two cents. Some of the arguments made by NT scholars are so pathetic I have to consider the possibility that they are simply lying to prevent people from reading the book. I am not saying that ALL of the arguments I have seen are "pathetic." But I have not seen ANY that are in any way refutations of Atwill. Most that I have read boil down to "it just can't have happened that way," in other words, they just plain don't like the idea, but they have no real concrete arguments against the idea. Many reviewers are, if not dishonest, simply not reading the book completely.

This is just someone you do not know, making a suggestion. I know that is not really worth anything at all in this world. But if you judge Caesar's Messiah by the forum posts, which are open to anyone on the planet, including idiots like me :) you are making a mistake. To be honest, I do not care who reads the book. People will find what is right for them. It is just sad to see people make decisions based on data that is totally irrelevant (looking at the forum to decide whether or not to read a book). Granted, there are times when such a strategy can be appropriate. I am telling you that in this case, it is not.

Anyway, I cannot know if you would like the book even if you read it. If you dont' feel interested, it's probably not for you.

For many people who read the book, it is one wild ride.
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Re: symbolism, modern and past psychology

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:22 am

Hi bdw000,
I have not read Attwill's book. However, I have read history for over 40 years; I have a good understanding of the history of early Christianity; I have a good understanding of the region involved; I have read various synopses/reviews of Attwill's book; I have read the first 2 chapters of Attwill's book; I have seen Atwill's replies to questions on hois forum and I remain unimpressed.

Attwill is not a scholar. He can't even read any of the languages involved here. Instead, he relies on an English translation of Josephus written in C18th and a concordance for his Greek. I should also add that the Catholic Encyclopedia is not an historical source. The book is not particularly well written and it is certainly poorly presented.

Attwill quotes authors, e.g. Cicero, without giving the source so it is impossible to check the context. I could go on.

Attwill's book is just another Christianity-bashing book written for an American audience. like the Christians he is attempting to bash, he reads everything literally and selectively. He is as fast and loose with his 'facts' as they are and appears as ignorant of anything outside modern America as they.

You wrote:
This is just someone you do not know, making a suggestion. I know that is not really worth anything at all in this world.
Here you are judging me by your standards. I often read books which I disagree with, precisely because I do disagree with them. I could just as easily suggest that you like the book because it supports your prejudices.

I can't speak for the rest of Europe but I can say that these sort of books generally don't do much in Britain because few people are bothered one way or the other about Christianity.
If I have the least bit of knowledge
I will follow the great Way alone
and fear nothing but being sidetracked.
The great Way is simple
but people delight in complexity.
Tao Te Ching, 53.
Grey Cloud
 
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Location: NW UK

Re: symbolism, modern and past psychology

Unread postby StefanR » Mon Apr 13, 2009 9:09 am

bdw000 wrote:Anyone who wants to see that "greater story" in more detail, with all the symbolism mapped out to known physical entities, I suggest trying to get ahold of the book CAESAR'S MESSIAH by Joseph Atwill:

I believe I have read about it some time ago, it's an interesting theory indeed, but personally I think it's the other way around and that physical entities or more the stories about them have been mapped out to resemble the symbolism, even to the point that there are no physical entities anymore but just the stories, as the case with the subject matter of mr Atwill, for me personally it is a little like Disney
Using ressemblances ;) and then being enforced by a strict and extended copyright law ;) With the consequences told in the copyright movie


GreyCloud wrote:I see Pan and the rest of Dionysus' entourage as representing the natural world which 'follows' Dionysus' lead. Zeus I see as Universal Mind (Air). (This applies to Mague's comment also) The sexual energy of Pan and the rest is creative energy -the energy which creates the spark
of life. It is in this sense related to the Tantra/Kundalini thing.

I would have to do some more digging but off the top of my head, I would say that Silenus may represent original knowledge or universal truth or objective truth. Knowledge that is not dependent on the state of the knower (he knows, drunk or sober). The Narcissus story is
similar to that of Dionysus and the mirror given to him by the Titans. Both are bamboozled by the image of things. Depending on which version of the Echo tale one uses, I would suggest that Echo is something to do with emanations of the divine or a similar concept. The echo becomes fainter though it retains its integrity.


Let me just for the fun of it post the following extra, because personally I still get confused with names sometimes, Taylor is quite helpfull in relating it very precise in how the psychology was in the past in relation to the mysteries

Having premised thus much, I now proceed to prove that the dramatic spectacles of the Lesser Mysteries were designed by the ancient theologists, their founders, to signify occultly the condition of the unpurified soul invested with an earthly body, and enveloped in a material and physical nature ; or, in other words, to signify that such a soul in the present life might be said to die, as far as it is possible for a soul to die, and that on the dissolution of the present body, while
in this state of impurity, it would experience a death still more permanent and profound.


But that the mysteries occultly signified this sublime truth, that the soul by being merged in matter resides among the dead both here and hereafter, though it follows by a necessary sequence from the preceding observations, yet it is indisputably confirmed, by the testimony of the great and truly divine Plotinus, in Ennead I., book viii. When the soul," says he, "has descended into generation (from its first divine condition) she partakes of evil, and is carried a great way into a state the opposite of her first purity and integrity, to be entirely merged in which, is nothing more than to fall into dark mire." And again, soon after : " The soul therefore dies as much as it is possible for the soul to die : and the death to her is, while baptized or immersed in the present

The reader may observe that the obscure doctrine of the Mysteries mentioned by Plato in the Phcedo, that the unpurified soul in a future state lies immerged in mire, is beautifully explained; at the same time that our assertion concerning their secret meaning is not less substantially confirmed.* ^In a similar manner the same divine philosopher, in his book on the Beautiful, Ennead, L, book vi., explains the fable of Narcissus as an emblem of one who rushes to the contemplation of sensible (phenomenal) forms as if they were perfect realities, when at the same time they are nothing more than like beautiful images appearing in water, fallacious and vain. " Hence," says he, " as Narcissus, by catching at the shadow, plunged himself in the stream and disappeared, so he who is captivated by beautiful bodies, and does not depart from their embrace, is precipitated, not with his body, but with

* Phceclo, 38. " Those who instituted the Mysteries for us appear to have intimated that whoever shall arrive in Hades unpurified and not initiated shall lie in mud ; but he who arrives there purified and initiated shall dwell with the gods. For there are many bearers of the wand or thyrsus, but few who are inspired." soul, into a darkness profound and repugnant to intellect (the higher soul),* through which, remaining blind both here and in Hades, he associates with shadows."

Olympiodorus, then, a most learned and excellent commentator on Plato, in his commentary of that part of the Phcedo where Plato speaks of the prohibition of suicide in the aporrheta, observes as follows : " The argument which Plato employs in this place against suicide is derived from the Orphic mythology, in which four kingdoms are celebrated ; the first of Uranus [Ouranos](Heaven), whom Kronos or Saturn as saulted, cutting off the genitals of his father.* But after Saturn, Zeus or Jupiter succeeded to the government of the world, having hurled his father into Tartarus. And after Jupiter, Dionysus or Bacchus rose to light, who, according to report, was, through the insidious treachery of Hera or Juno, torn in pieces by the Titans, by whom he was surrounded, and who afterwards tasted his flesh : but Jupiter, enraged at the deed, hurled his thunder at the guilty offenders and consumed them to ashes. Hence a certain matter being formed from the ashes or sooty vapor of the smoke ascending from their burning bodies, out of this mankind were produced.
It is unlawful, therefore, to destroy ourselves, not as the words of Plato seem to import, because we are in the body, as in prison, secured by a guard (for this is evident, and Plato would not have called such an assertion arcane), but because our body is Dioiiysiacal,* or of the nature of Bacchus: for we are a part of him, since we are composed from the ashes, or sooty vapor of the Titans who tasted his flesh. Socrates, therefore, as if fearful of disclosing the arcane part of this narration, relates nothing more of the fable than that we are placed as in a prison secured by a guard : but the interpreters relate the fable openly."


That these four governments signify the different gradations of virtues, according to which our soul contains the symbols of all the qualities, both contemplative and purifying, social and ethical; for it either operates according to the theoretic or contemplative virtues, the model of which is the government of Uranus or Heaven, that we may begin from on high; and on this account Uranus (Heaven) is so called -----, from beholding the things above : Or it lives purely, the exemplar of which is the Kronian or Saturnian kingdom ; and on this account Kronos is named as Koro-nous, one who perceives through him self. Hence he is said to devour his own offspring, signifying the conversion of him self into his own substance : or it operates according to the social virtues, the symbol of which is the government of Jupiter. Hence, Jupiter is styled the Demiurgus, as operating about secondary things: or it operates according to both the ethical and physical virtues, the symbol of which is the kingdom of Bacchus; and on this account is fabled to be torn in pieces by the Titans, because the virtues are not cut off by each other.
And thus far Olympiodorus ; in which passages it is necessary to observe, that as the Titans are the artificers of things, and stand next in order to their creations, men are said to be composed from their fragments, because the human soul has a partial life capable of proceeding to the most extreme division united with its proper nature. And while the soul is in a state of servitude to the body, she lives confined, as it were, in bonds, through the dominion of this Titanical life. "We may observe farther concerning these dramatic shows of the Lesser Mysteries, that as they were intended to represent the condition of the soul while subservient to the body, we shall find that a liberation from this servitude, through the purifying disciplines, potencies that separate from evil, was what the wisdom of the ancients intended to signify by the descent of Hercules, Ulysses, etc., into Hades, and their speedy return from its dark abodes.

But let us now proceed to the doctrine of the Greater Mysteries : and here I shall endeavor to prove that as the dramatic shows of the Lesser Mysteries occultly signified the miseries of the soul while in subjection to body, so those of the Greater obscurely intimated, by mystic and splendid visions, the felicity of the soul both here and hereafter, when purified from the defilements of a material nature, and constantly elevated to the realities of intellectual [spiritual] vision. Hence, as the ultimate design of the Mysteries, according to Plato, was to lead us back to the principles from which we descended, that is, to a perfect enjoyment of intellectual [spiritual] good, the imparting of these principles was doubtless one part of the doctrine

In the first place, then, that the shows of the Greater Mysteries occultly signified the felicity of the soul both here and hereafter, when separated from the contact and influence of the body, is evident from what has been demonstrated in the former part of this discourse : for if he who in the present life is in subjection to his irrational part is truly in Hades, he who is superior to its dominion is likewise an Inhabitant of a place totally different from Hades.

For the sources of the souls existence are also the principles from which it fell; and these, as we may learn from the Timmaeus of Plato, are the Demiurgus, the mundane soul, and the junior or mundane gods. Now, of these, the mundane intellect, which, according to the ancient theology, is represented by Bacchus, is principally celebrated by the poet, and this because the soul is particularly distributed into generation, after the manner of Dionysus or Bacchus, as is evident from the preceding extracts from Olympiodorus : and is still more abundantly confirmed by the following curious passage from the same author, in his comment on the Phcedo of Plato. " The soul," says he, " descends Corically [or after the manner of Proserpine] into generation,* but is distributed into generation Dionysiacally, and she is bound in body Prometheiacally and Titanically : she frees herself therefore from its bonds by exercising the strength of Hercules; but she is collected into one through the assistance of Apollo and the savior Minerva, by philosophical discipline of mind and heart purifying the nature."

Nor is it without reason that lacchus, or Bacchus, is celebrated by Orpheus as the companion of her search : for Bacchus is the evident symbol of the imperfect energies of intellect, and its scattering into the obscure and lamentable dominions of sense.

http://www.archive.org/details/eleusinianbacch00tayluoft
The illusion from which we are seeking to extricate ourselves is not that constituted by the realm of space and time, but that which comes from failing to know that realm from the standpoint of a higher vision. -L.H.
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Re: symbolism, modern and past psychology

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:10 pm

Hi Stefan,
Very interesting passage from TT.
I have read ON THE GODS AND THE WORLD by Sallustius. It is really interesting, although a bit too Stoic influenced for my philosophical tastes. One of my favourite parts is where he discusses animal sacrifice and argues it pro and con.
http://www.goddess-athena.org/Encyclope ... /index.htm [Note the excellent site name :D ]
(There is another 'Sallust': http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sallust ).

I loved this bit from TT:
the thunder signifying a conversion or changing:

That is exactly what is going on in Nonnus' Dionysiaca. The experts would disagree with me but I maintain that Nonnus knew exactly what he was writing, i.e. he sacrificed the exoteric telling for the esoteric gem that it is.

TT wrote:
But by the members of Dionysus being first boiled in water by the Titans, and afterward roasted by the fire, the outgoing or distribution of intellect into matter, and its subsequent returning from thence, is evidently implied : for water was considered by the Egyptians, as we have already observed, as the symbol of matter ; and fire is the natural symbol of ascending.
I disagree with this part in that I think my interpretation is more accurate. I'm not convinced about the Egyptians considering Water as matter but according to the Greek view, as I understand it, Water is not matter. Matter comes from Water; Fire decides/dictates what form the matter takes. Womb/Sperm; Dao/One. What then does Earth represent in Taylor's scheme?
Air is the natural symbol of rising. Like attracts like, so, earth falls to Earth, water gathers in low spots but also attempts to rise (evaporation). Water is the middle element (a medium) so it cannot rise all the way. It absorbs matter on its ascent and must perforce return to Earth (not so much yin-yang as ping-pong). Air is mind. Air is the highest element, therefore it rises the highest. Fire is different to the other elements: Fire is in all the other three. Everything contains a piece of Fire, even dead things (that's part of the symbolism of
carion-eaters (various)). In the mundane world, fire is the only element in which nothing grows. Earthly fire consumes, celestial Fire produces (metaphysics for capitalists?).
In one account of Achilles' birth, his mother bathes him in fire and also Demeter bathes a boy in fire while she is in exile following the disappearance of Persephone. Both of these are done to give immortality to the recipient. Demeter and Persephone being, of course, closely
associated with the Eleusinian Mysteries.

TT wrote:
The heart of Dionysus too, is, with the greatest propriety, said to be preserved by Minerva; for this goddess is the guardian of life, of which the heart is a symbol.
Heart = essence, spark, kernel, seed. Mind sees the essence of things. Senses/brain gets you Titanic/Earthly/material images of things (reflections, dolls, toy animals etc). There are some interesting parallels between Athene//Minerva and Dionysus. Athene is a maiden dressed as a warrior; Dionysus is male but was brought up as a female (and is sometimes
depicted as an androgyne). They are both born of Zeus without a mother.

TT wrote:
They likewise assert, that tragedy and comedy are assigned to Dionysus : comedy being the play or ludicrous representation of life; and tragedy having relation to the passions and death.

Magic.
If I have the least bit of knowledge
I will follow the great Way alone
and fear nothing but being sidetracked.
The great Way is simple
but people delight in complexity.
Tao Te Ching, 53.
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Re: symbolism, modern and past psychology

Unread postby bdw000 » Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:15 pm

Thanks again for your reply Grey Cloud.

Well, sorry to have wasted your time.

After this post, I will not bother you anymore.

I know you are not interested in Atwill. You probably have "a life," and don't have the time, but someone like me would absolutely LOVE to hear a good, detailed, refutation of any or all of Atwill's ideas in Caesar's Messiah by someone such as yourself. Should you ever feel inclined to produce such a refutation, please post it here. I am being serious: I can not claim to "know" that Atwill is "right." If he is wrong, I want to know. I am not qualified to pick apart his work (hey, I'm just an electronic technician). What is really disappointing to me is that I cannot find anyone (qualified) who will take the time to refute Atwill's ideas. The few reviews I can find simply fail to refute the IDEAS that Atwill brings up. They either make arguments that obviously do not refute (maybe "bring into question," but do not refute outright), or they bring up many issues that have nothing to do with the IDEAS under discussion.

(The following comments are in a very lighthearted spirit: I am not trying to be meanspirited in any way. I know that your primary motivation is that you just aren't interested)

I am not asking for your reply here, my comments below are just to point out how unhelpful your comments are to someone like me, who cares not one whit for arguments from authority (or even proper procedure) and wants only to hear the ideas themselves attacked. I also understand that "providing examples" would have wasted more of your time, but still, I bring that up below because it is so important.

Attwill is not a scholar. He can't even read any of the languages involved here.


I cannot believe that someone here at Thunderbolts would actually bring that up. So, only the experts are allowed to say anything? Now, if you or anyone else wants to point out specific examples of language-related mistakes, I'd love to hear them. Until such examples are provided, vague, general comments like that concede defeat in any argument as long as the ideas remain untouched.

The book is not particularly well written and it is certainly poorly presented.


You are absolutely right about that. But if you think that is an argument against the ideas presented in the book you are mistaken :) Again, coming from someone at Thunderbolts ?

Christianity-bashing book written for an American audience.


I disagree totally. There is not one tiny bit of that in the whole book. Where you got that from I have no idea. Having read the book I have to consider the possibility that anyone who makes that comment cannot be taken seriously. Do you really mean that? And don't forget the Germans now have an edition.

he reads everything literally and selectively.


As far as the "selectively" part goes, any examples? Most NT scholarship has to be selective to some degree (due to the uncertainty of the subject matter). As far as the "literally" goes, how is he (or anyone else) supposed to "read" anything? Only as the "experts" say he is allowed to do? It seems to me that taking any text literally must be the first choice without compelling evidence otherwise. The point is that, in the absence of "gold standards" (there just is no certainty about "early Christianity"), opinions alone cannot be used to refute someone else's opinions and choices.

He is . . . fast and loose with his 'facts'


This more than anything else I would love to see examples of. I am being serious. Nothing would make me happier than to see Atwill proven a liar, because I do not want to be led around by the nose like a fool. But with no examples, Atwill wins.

I have read history for over 40 years


Which is why I would value a serious critique of Caesar's Messiah from you (and again, I understand that you probably will not have the time or interest to produce such a critique).

I will repeat that Cliff Carrington is a historian. He can't "prove" anything, but he sure does provide food for thought.

Anyway, comments like yours only make me more convinced that Atwill probably is on to something, even if he doesn't have it quite right. Perhaps one rainy day you will have the time to show someone like me where Atwill has failed. Until then, a thousand times better than The Da Vince Code!

One last thing:
I can't speak for the rest of Europe but I can say that these sort of books generally don't do much in Britain because few people are bothered one way or the other about Christianity.


I don't know where that came from. The topic is simply interesting, in the same way that this thread is interesting, in the same way that the entire Thunderbolts website is interesting. The point is not that Atwill's book is intersting because it's about Christianity. The point is that "it" is simply interesting! Well, not for everyone of course :)
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Re: symbolism, modern and past psychology

Unread postby Plasmatic » Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:37 am

BDW,GC is simply expressing his usual habits.

Attwill's book is just another Christianity-bashing book written for an American audience. like the Christians he is attempting to bash, he reads everything literally and selectively. He is as fast and loose with his 'facts' as they are and appears as ignorant of anything outside modern America as they.


This is actually hilarious to me. The ENTIRE thesis is based on the opposite of this assertion. A multi-textual typological comparative analysis! The other thing that is quite ironic is the fact that Joe grew up in Japan......

Amazing sophistry!
"Logic is the art of non-contradictory identification"......" I am therefore Ill think"
Ayn Rand
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
Aristotle
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Re: symbolism, modern and past psychology

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:50 am

Plasmatic wrote:BDW,GC is simply expressing his usual habits.

Attwill's book is just another Christianity-bashing book written for an American audience. like the Christians he is attempting to bash, he reads everything literally and selectively. He is as fast and loose with his 'facts' as they are and appears as ignorant of anything outside modern America as they.


This is actually hilarious to me. The ENTIRE thesis is based on the opposite of this assertion. A multi-textual typological comparative analysis! The other thing that is quite ironic is the fact that Joe grew up in Japan......

Amazing sophistry!

Hi Plasmatic,
So you don't see a book which states that the entire Jesus / New Testament thing is nothing more than a Roman satire, as Christian-bashing?
WTF is a 'multi-textual typological comparative analysis'?
Why is the fact that JA grew up in Japan ironic? Is he not a US citizen and was he not educated by Jesuits?
When we had this conversation last year, I seem to recall that you said I'd raised some good points/questions and that you recommended I asked them on JAs forum.
If I have the least bit of knowledge
I will follow the great Way alone
and fear nothing but being sidetracked.
The great Way is simple
but people delight in complexity.
Tao Te Ching, 53.
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Re: symbolism, modern and past psychology

Unread postby Plasmatic » Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:11 am

So you don't see a book which states that the entire Jesus / New Testament thing is nothing more than a Roman satire, as Christian-bashing?


Is the entire E.U. movement standard model "bashing"? Presenting factual evidence for a position is not "bashing" . Arbitrary assertions without a single shred of evidence while attacking a person is more like bashing.

WTF is a 'multi-textual typological comparative analysis'?


You might have a clue if you actually read what you are dismissing. particularly funny is how to see the comparisons one must "regard not the business of names" [Josephus]

Why is the fact that JA grew up in Japan that JA grew up in Japan ironic? Is he not a US citizen and was he not educated by Jesuits?


Its funny I met a new U.S citizen the other day ,lived in another country over 25 yrs. Been here in the states like 4 yrs....
"Logic is the art of non-contradictory identification"......" I am therefore Ill think"
Ayn Rand
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
Aristotle
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Re: symbolism, modern and past psychology

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:39 am

Hi Plasmatic,
You wrote:
Presenting factual evidence for a position is not "bashing" . Arbitrary assertions without a single shred of evidence while attacking a person is more like bashing.
The presentation of factual evidence or otherwise is irrelevant to the bashing part. The bashing comes from the intent. I am maintaining that Attwill wrote the book to cash in on the Christian-bashing bandwagon which is a major money-spinner in your country.
I thought I presented at least some evidence to you last year, hence my comments about your suggestions viz the Attwill forum. I have not presented any evidence as such in my correspondence with bdw000 as I do not particulalry want to get involved in this.

I asked:
WTF is a 'multi-textual typological comparative analysis'?

You replied:
You might have a clue if you actually read what you are dismissing. particularly funny is how to see the comparisons one must "regard not the business of names" [Josephus]
Are you suggesting that Attwill is the only person to have employed a
'multi-textual typological comparative analysis'? Is it on a par with the 'comaprative method'?
The comment by Josephus is incorrect. The meaning of names is one of the major tools for understanding mythology and biblical exegesis.

I asked:
Why is the fact that JA grew up in Japan that JA grew up in Japan ironic? Is he not a US citizen and was he not educated by Jesuits?

You replied:
Its funny I met a new U.S citizen the other day ,lived in another country over 25 yrs. Been here in the states like 4 yrs....
Apart from the fact that you didn't address the irony part of my question, my point was that Attwill was born of American parents and
educated in the Western manner. How long he has been domiciled in the US is irrelevant. I myself have never even visted the US but I recognise a bandwagon when I see one.
If I have the least bit of knowledge
I will follow the great Way alone
and fear nothing but being sidetracked.
The great Way is simple
but people delight in complexity.
Tao Te Ching, 53.
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Re: symbolism, modern and past psychology

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:30 am

Hi bdw000,
I did not say you were wasting my time and, for the record, I don't have a life nor do I particularly want one. Time is a different kettle of fish. Although I never consider knowledge a waste of time regardless of the subject, it is because I fail to see any knowledge in Atwill's
theory that I consider it to be a waste of time.

Why do you want a refutation by me or anyone else? Why not do some reading and make up your own mind if the subject interests you?
The following review raises many of the issues I have with Atwill's theory:
A Review of Caesar's Messiah by J. P. Holding
http://www.tektonics.org/books/csmessrvw.html
JA's response:
Joseph Atwill Responds to J. P. Holding on his Book, Caesar's Messiah
http://www.insmkt.com/atwillholding.htm
Many 'independent researchers' share at least some of these faults.
Incidentally, there was only one review of Atwill's book on amazon.co.uk which supports my assertion that this type of book has little appeal in the UK. Perhaps Stefan and/or Mague could provide a Dutch or German perspective.

As a compromise I will do a quick 'off the top of my head' run-through of the first two chapters, which can be found here:
https://insmkt.securesites.com/roman1_2 ... ristianity

A few general points. Jesus is mentioned in only two passages of Josephus ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus_on_Jesus ) the first is called the Testimonium Flavianum:
3.3 Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.
The second apparently just mentions a Jesus who had a brother called James the Just. It doesn't seem must to build a book around.
There is a related issue here of confounding Jesus with Christ. The fact that there may well have been an historical Jesus does not necessarily mean that he was a Christ. That there may have been a Christ knocking about back then but it does not necessarily mean it was this
Jesus.
I've seen the 'select bibliography' of Caeser's Messiah and am less than impressed. None of the entries are original sources and there are not any pertaining to Jewish writings. Even the Endnotes feature very few references to Jewish works and I'm guessing that many of the Roman works cited are from secondary or tertiary sources. I stand by my comment that this is a history book for people who don't read history books.
The majority of the population at this period were illiterate, so elaborate literary ruses were not needed or of much use. The standard method for controlling an illiterate populace is to control the priesthood, or whoever the literate class is. The Romans were well aware of how to control a population.
There is little, if anything, new or original in teachings of Jesus.
The book doesn't contain an index which is generally a sign that it is not up to scholarly standards.
What about the parallels between Joshua in the OT and Jesus in the NT?

The first paragraph (p3 of the pdf):
There were many gods who are now seen as fictitious that were worshipped during the era when Jesus purportedly performed his miracles. But while Jesus’ feats were no less supernatural than those of Hercules, the possibility that he was also mythological has seldom
been considered. One reason for this is that a first century historian, Flavius Josephus, recorded Jesus’ existence.
The second sentence is quite untrue. The 'mythological' aspect of the Jesus/Christ story has often been considered, especially over the last couple of hundred years. Atwill doesn't say what he means by mythological'. The third sentence follows on from the untrue second sentence.

Josephus’ histories are of great significance to Christianity. Virtually all that we know regarding the social context of the New Testament (NT) is derived from them. Without these works the very dating of the events of the NT would be impossible.
Atwill may well be correct about the social context of the NT but the import of the book lies in its religious significance; it isn't a social history of the Middle East. Dating of events does not rely
solely on the NT, there are Jewish and Roman writings for instance.

P4:
One example of the ‘foreknowledge’ that so impressed Eusebius was Jesus’ prediction that the ‘foes’ of Jerusalem would encircle it with a wall, demolish the city and its temple, and ‘level’ its inhabitants.
Building a wall around a beseiged town is standard military practice; it is called circumvallation. Levelling the town was also a common
practice to the Romans; they did it to Carthage in 149BCE including the 'no stone be left, one upon the other' trick. One didn't have to be a prophet to know what the outcome would be if you upset Rome and lost.
Nor was this a Roman thing, the Persians did it too and I would imagine that the OT is full of such references. I may be wrong here but I think that Jerusalem had been flatted on several previous occassions (according to the archaeological record). Prophets were ten-a-penny in
those days (the price had dropped from a dime a dozen).

p5:
While it has been universally believed that Jesus was referring to himself when he used the expression the ‘Son of Man,’ he always speaks of this individual in the third person and never
as himself. Jesus repeatedly warned the Jews that during the ‘Son of Man’s’ visitation various disasters, like those he foresaw above, would occur.

See the comments about Dionysus in this thread. See also the story of Osisris and Horus. I could also chuck in Quetzelcoatl and King Arthur.

p6:
What evidence was left, however, suggests that during the entire Middle-Ages Christians viewed Josephus’ depiction of the war between the Romans and the Jews as proof of Christ’s divinity.
What has that got to do with anything in period of Jesus and the Flavians? The same comment holds forthe rest of the padding which takes the reader up to today.

p7:
Before the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, the major literature describing first-hand the events of first century Judea were the NT and the works of Josephus. For two millennia only these two works illuminated an era so seminal to Western Civilization.
Even in Judea in this period (or any period) were not seminal to Western civilisation. Western Europe had its own civilisation before the Romans got here and Greece is generally regarded as the seminal region. Seminal comes from semen and seed so any later influence of the Christian church on W. Europe is not seminal.

Rome’s occupation of Judea spanned the entire first century.
And more, surely, given that Judea was now a part of the Roman Empire?

p8:
It is notable, however, that the NT also had a point of view positive to the Romans. The first century not being a time when one would expect a Judaic cult with a favorable viewpoint toward the Empire to have emerged.
Given the number of times the NT was edited over the next few centuries it is not too surprising.

The citizenship that the works of Josephus and the NT each teach would also have been seen favorably by Rome. Each work proclaims the holiness of subservience. And each takes the position that, as it was God who had given the Romans their power and it was therefore against God’s will to resist them.
The first two sentences: Atwill appears not to know Stoic philosophy.
The divine right of kings is fairly universal, it is not peculiar to
the NT or the Romans.

p9:
Titus also had another more personal reason for creating the gospels. This being the Jewish Zealots’ refusal to worship him as a god. Though he was able to crush their rebellion Titus could not force the Zealots, even through torture or death, to call him ‘Lord.’
How does Atwill know this? Is it in Josephus? Even if it is true, why didn't he just have them killed rather than go through all this elaborate deception of writing the NT?

p9-10:
Titus created a version of Judaism that worshipped him without its followers knowing it.
This is the crux of Atwill's theory. The theory fails simply because the majority of converts to Christianity were gentiles and the Jewish religion is still alive today.

p10:
Christianity, a movement that encouraged pacifism and obedience to Roman rulers, claims to have emerged from a nation engaged in a century long struggle with Rome.
As far as I am aware, Christianity makes no such claim. I thought it claimed to been started by the Son of God. Following Atwill's logic, a similar statement could be made about Islam.

When one looks at the form of early Christianity one sees Rome, not Judea. The church’s structures of authority, its sacraments, its college of bishops, the title of the head of the religion – the Supreme Pontiff, were all based upon Roman, not Judaic, traditions.
That's because Christianity was predominantly religion of the gentiles.

On pages 12 and 13 Atwill's arguemnt appears to contradict itself. He begins by contrasting the violent, militaristic zealots with the peaceful Christian messiah. Then he states that Clement wanted the Christians to organise themselves along the lines of the Roman army. If
this new religion was the lapdog of the Emperor then the last thing said Emporer would want is an organisation which imitated the Roman military in any way, shape or form.

p13:
Josephus also believed that Vespasian was a divine person.
This is an easy belief to hold when you are writing from the property of one of Vespansian's relatives and eating his food. The result of disbelief could be a very slow and painful death. Josephus remained a
follower of Judaism all his life. Judaism is a monotheistic religion. Something has to give there.
Atwill fails to mention any of the views of the intelligent Romans on the subject of emperor as god, not all of them were as servile as Josephus.

p15:
Not only did the Flavians create religions, they performed miracles. In the following passage from Tacitus, Vespasian is recorded as curing one man’s blindness and another’s withered limb, miracles also performed by Jesus.
All sorts of kings and other worthies from around the world are said to have performed such acts. Nothing new or exceptional here.

p16:
Imperial cults that portrayed Roman emperors as gods and workers of miracles appear to have been created solely because they were politically useful.
Shock-horror revelation. Say it aint so, Joe.

p16:
Pliny commented upon the cynicism that the Flavians held toward the religions that they had created. Notice in the following quote Pliny’s understanding that Titus had made himself a ‘son of a god.’ "Titus deified Vespasian and Domitian Titus, but only so that one would
be the son of a god and the other a brother of a god".
That's evidence is it? Son of God and 'one the son of a god and the other a brother of a god'.

p17:
Sophisticated Romans like those Juvenal wrote about did not believe in the gods but rather in fortune and fate. The prevailing ethos of the upper class was that the world was either ruled by blind chance or immutable destiny.
Gross over-simplification. Apart from anything else, fortune (Fortuna) and fate are considered the same thing in Roman thinking. I would also suggest that the 'immutable destiny' is Stoic rather the cult of Fortuna.

Judging from the works of Juvenal, many Romans saw all religious belief as ridiculous, including their own.
Juvenal was a satirist not a sociologist.

p21:
In the following quote, which could well have been studied by the young Titus Flavius during his education at the imperial court, Cicero not only prefigures much of Christian theology but also actually advocates for the State to ‘persuade’ the masses into adapting the theology most appropriate for the empire.
Leaving aside Atwill's speculation, Cicero was a Platonist philosopher (among his many other talents). My point being that this notion was not
peculiar to the Romans. Atwill fails to give a source for the Cicero quote so it lacks context.

The Romans developed a specific technique for inducing the gods of their enemy to defect to Rome.
This is another common ancient notion not peculiar to the Romans.

p21-22:
One Roman imperial family was involved in the creation of a religion that appears to have been based upon Christianity. Julia Domna, the wife of the Emperor Septimius Severus, was recorded as having commissioned the sophist, Flavius Philostratus, to write the Life of
Apollonius of Tyana around 205 AD.
How does this constitute the founding of a religion?

p22:
The similarities between Philostratus’ ‘gospels’ and the NT seem to demonstrate that Apollonius was modeled upon Jesus. Apollonius’ birth was, like Jesus,’ proceeded by an Annunciation, his coming being announced to his mother by an Archangel. The messengers of Apollo sang at his birth, as the angels did at the birth of Jesus. Apollonius displayed precocity in religious matters, went through a period of preparation; followed by a period of public good works and miracles, then a passion and a resurrection; and finally an ascension. Apollonius
was even said to have been born in the year of the Census of Quirinus, the year the NT gives for the birth of Jesus.
Apollonius was a Neopythagorean. He followed the teachings of
Pythagoras (C6thBCE). Pythagoras' birth was accompanied by a prophetic announcemnt (hence his name as it involved the Python which is associated with Apollo). There are several other legends surrounding Pythagoras. Jesus is more likely to be based on Apollonius although
there are some who think that Paul is the one. Apollonius is the same name as Paul (and Tarsus/Tyana).

Apollonius was said to have developed his theology in India, not Judea, and was therefore not monotheistic. He was tolerant of the numerous Roman gods, as his very name ‘Apollonius’ proclaimed.
As I've just stated, Apollonius was a follower of Pythagoras, he didn't get his theology in India, he already had it before he went there (yes,
I've read the Life of Apollonius). Pythagorean theology is monotheistic, as in fact, is the Hindu religion.

p23:
Our suspicion regarding the cult of Apollonius is that it was created as an improvement of Christianity. In other words, the cult of Apollonius was created to be a mass religion like Christianity but one that allowed the worship of Roman emperors.
What cult of Apollonius? From the wiki article on Apollonius:
Around 300, Roman authorities used the fame of Apollonius in their struggle to wipe out Christianity. Hierocles, one of the main instigators of the persecution of Christians in 303, wrote a pamphlet where he argued that Apollonius exceeded Christ as a wonder-worker and yet wasn’t worshipped as a god, and that the cultured biographers of Apollonius were more trustworthy than the uneducated apostles.


p23.
In any event, the imperial family certainly did attempt to transform Judaism. As early as Julius Caesar, the Roman emperor claimed personal authority over the religion and was selecting its High Priests.
This would seem to undermine Atwill's 'it's all down to the Flavians' theory and the alleged threat of the Jewish zealots. Also this is common practice as I stated above, to rule the illiterate, rule the literate. Today it is called controlling the media.

p24:
The theory of a Roman invention of Christianity does not originate with this work. Bruno Bauer, a nineteenth century German scholar, believed that Christianity was an attempt by Rome to create a mass religion that encouraged slaves to accept their station in life.

Bauer's theory has the advantage of being based upon common-sense and an understanding of history. It also adds weight to my statement that the last thing Rome would want is an organisation modelled on the Roman army. No government in history has wanted its slaves, poor and disenfranchised to be organised at all, least of all militarily.

We shall show that the gospels were created to be understood on two levels.

Most ancient texts are created to be understood at two levels, the exoteric and the esoteric. The esoteric can have several levels itself.

Enough. I can't do the second chapter.
If you are interested in reading more on the subject, here are some links to get you going:
In Search of the Historical Jesus
http://www.newdawnmagazine.com/Article/ ... Jesus.html

A Pagan Christ?
Reflections on the Real Christmas Story
http://www.newdawnmagazine.com/Article/ ... hrist.html

The Forged Origins of the New Testament
http://www.nexusmagazine.com/index.php? ... &Itemid=71

Main Article Page
http://www.nexusmagazine.com/index.php? ... &Itemid=71

Various flavours of early Christianity. Which is the Flavian?
Adoptianism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adoptionism

Arianism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arianism

Ebionites
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebionites

Marcionism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Chri ... heterodoxy

Montanism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montanism

Valentinus (Gnostic)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Chri ... heterodoxy

Nazarenes
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazarene_(sect)

Gnosticism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnosticism

You may also want to look at the 'cults' of Mithraism, Sol Invictus, Mars and Apollo.

A Rebirth for Christianity - Alvin Boyd Kuhn
http://www.scribd.com/doc/5586036/A-Reb ... -Boyd-Kuhn

Links to Alvin Boyd Kuhn and Gerald Massey archives
Alvin Boyd Kuhn and Gerald Massey have done a lot of research into the myths and religions of this world
http://m_euser.tripod.com/gmass/kmarchiv.htm

Paleographical Problems in Manuscripts of the Gospels
http://www-user.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/prob/index.html

The Problems of Four Gospels
http://ext.sagepub.com/cgi/pdf_extract/112/10/352


You wrote:
I cannot believe that someone here at Thunderbolts would actually bring that up. So, only the experts are allowed to say anything? Now, if you or anyone else wants to point out specific examples of language-related mistakes, I'd love to hear them. Until such examples are provided, vague, general comments like that concede defeat in any argument as long as the ideas remain untouched.
What has my presence on the TB forum got to do with anything? Am I only allowed to think along official lines?
I did not say that only experts were allowed to say anything. but surely some amount of expertise in the subject is helpful?
Your comments about language reflect your standards, they are not mine.There was something in the two-chapter extract(?) where Atwill wittered on about word meanings and tenses. He was getting his info from a concordance. The interpretation of a language is somewhat more subtle than that. Scholars are forever debating the meaning of words in
ancient languages. On of the reasons why Stefan and myself like the Thomas Taylor translations of Plato is that he understands Plato and translates accordingly. Modern experts don't understand Plato and translate him literally according to their understanding of Greek
grammar.

I wrote:
The book is not particularly well written and it is certainly poorly presented.

And you replied:
You are absolutely right about that. But if you think that is an argument against the ideas presented in the book you are mistaken. Again, coming from someone at Thunderbolts ?
I take the view that if someone knows his subject then he will be able to write it well. Judging from the contents page and the lay-out of the first two chapters, it is designed to break up the flow of the read and instead present litle bite-sized morsels or factoids, rather than a flowing and coherent narrative. This is also one of my criticisms of Cardona's God Star. And, yes, I this is coming from someone on Thunderbolts.

In reply to my Christian-bashing comment, you wrote:
I disagree totally. There is not one tiny bit of that in the whole book. Where you got that from I have no idea. Having read the book I have to consider the possibility that anyone who makes that comment cannot be taken seriously. Do you really mean that? And don't forget
the Germans now have an edition.
I will ask you the same question that I asked Plasmatic: you don't think that a book advocating Christianity as a Roman created satire is
in anyway bashing Christianity?
Regardless of how many editions the Germans have, the main audience for this book is America.

You wrote:
As far as the "selectively" part goes, any examples? Most NT scholarship has to be selective to some degree (due to the uncertainty of the subject matter). As far as the "literally" goes, how is he (or anyone else) supposed to "read" anything? Only as the "experts" say he is allowed to do? It seems to me that taking any text literally must be the first choice without compelling evidence otherwise. The point is that, in the absence of "gold standards" (there just is no certainty about "early Christianity"), opinions alone cannot be used to refute someone else's opinions and choices.
Any examples? All of it - see my comments above.
As far as the "literally" goes, see the first word in the title of this thread. And how about allegory? Do you think Orwell's Animal Farm is really about a bunch of animals?

You wrote:
This more than anything else I would love to see examples of. I am being serious. Nothing would make me happier than to see Atwill proven a liar, because I do not want to be led around by the nose like a fool. But with no examples, Atwill wins.
See my comments above, read the links I provided.

you wrote:
I will repeat that Cliff Carrington is a historian. He can't "prove" anything, but he sure does provide food for thought.
CC is not an historian - he is a nutter. If he provides food for thought then you should seriously consider changing your diet.

You wrote:
Anyway, comments like yours only make me more convinced that Atwill probably is on to something, even if he doesn't have it quite right. Perhaps one rainy day you will have the time to show someone like me where Atwill has failed. Until then, a thousand times better than The Da Vince Code!
You are on your own with the first sentence. Why do you wish me to convince you? As I've already said, if the subject interests you read up on it and make up your own mind. I hope the comment about the Da Vinci Code was a joke.

One last thought: why have Jewish scholars no historical knowledge of this alleged conspiracy? Why haven't they discovered it? Why aren't Jews jumping on the Atwill bandwagon?
If I have the least bit of knowledge
I will follow the great Way alone
and fear nothing but being sidetracked.
The great Way is simple
but people delight in complexity.
Tao Te Ching, 53.
Grey Cloud
 
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Location: NW UK

Re: symbolism, modern and past psychology

Unread postby StefanR » Tue Apr 14, 2009 3:18 pm

GreyCloud wrote:Incidentally, there was only one review of Atwill's book on amazon.co.uk which supports my assertion that this type of book has little appeal in the UK. Perhaps Stefan and/or Mague could provide a Dutch or German perspective.

I think you are not far of in saying it would have limited appeal, as you say. it has a certain slant which makes it recognizable as you designate.
As a side note I have to concur totally with that bit about the Atwill book above, I appreciate the effort taken by you, having refreshed my memory now, I can say I have not read the book but heard of the theory and shallowly it certainly has an appeal, but if it comes down to it, it is just fiction itself.

but I don't want to go further into this, I think this whole Atwill stuff is most totally off topic and is totally derailing this thread as it was going per the first page and titel, this is not the thread about christianity/bible debunking or what ever odd theory of mr Atwill
http://www.rodephemet.org/welcome.html (bye bye Shakespeare :shock: :lol: )

This thread was about "symbolism, modern and past psychology", but thanks anyway for the recommendation of the book bdw000, your appreciation of it is duly noted 8-)
The illusion from which we are seeking to extricate ourselves is not that constituted by the realm of space and time, but that which comes from failing to know that realm from the standpoint of a higher vision. -L.H.
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StefanR
 
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Re: symbolism, modern and past psychology

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:33 pm

Hi Stefan,
Looks like Big Joe has teamed up with some lovey from the UK and is now going for the British market with a book about Shakespeare. Ordinary folk don't read Shakespeare and the chattering classes wont go for anything which makes them feel less important.

I've just had a quick look at the Jewish propaganda film and had a read of what the Sirbacon site says about the play. The guy at the Sirbacon site has a really whacky idea, he says it is an allegory. :shock: Apparently, the name 'Aaron' means illumined. I wonder what that can be about then.

Oh what tangled webs we weave, when first we practice to deceive.
If I have the least bit of knowledge
I will follow the great Way alone
and fear nothing but being sidetracked.
The great Way is simple
but people delight in complexity.
Tao Te Ching, 53.
Grey Cloud
 
Posts: 2477
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 5:47 am
Location: NW UK

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