Whitley Strieber, Jesus Stuff |498|

#2
Hmm. While we're on the subject of historical accuracy, or otherwise, why would Jesus have been a Rabbi? Both you and Whitley used the term, but it's an anachronism as far as the period said to be depicted in the Gospels was concerned. Rabbinical Judaism came into its own only after the return from Babylon of the remnants of the tribes Judah and Benjamin in the 6th century CE. Its direct predecessor was Pharisaic Judaism, which was where Josephus' religio-political allegiances lay, and it was set against other Jewish sects in Judea and Galilee in the first century CE. Among these were the Sadducees, the Essenes and the Nasoreans, or Nazorites. There is a distinct sense of Jesus' opposition to the Pharisees, which occurs throughout the three synoptic Gospels. There is also circumstantial evidence to suggest that he may have been a Nasorean. This is a dynamic that, with respect, neither you nor Whitley seem to have had any appreciation of.
 
#3
Jesus! This discussion was like herdin' cats! Multiple aborted attempts to argue a point that was not even contended by the guest.

The analogy to dogs was mentioned so here's the image that comes to mind: Alex in form of a Blue Heeler comes panting up with his slobbery half-chewed, recently-buried-and-dug-up, muddy tennis ball, (historicity of J.C.) and drops it at the feet of his guest who says, "I certainly have no interest in touching that thing.. how about we play fetch this stick?" but Alex persists, nudging the muddy ball closer with his nose. The guest says, no thank you. So Alex drops the muddy ball into his guest's lap and the guest jumps up irritated and brushing himself off. Finally Alex tosses his favorite toy out for himself and then comes trotting back again and again, but the guest is still not picking up the muddy ball. Alex, gives a good shake unintentionally dapping his guest with mud and slobber and the guest politely bids him good day.
 
#4
Jesus! This discussion was like herdin' cats! Multiple aborted attempts to argue a point that was not even contended by the guest.
This is exactly what I would want to do if I had the opportunity to interview Whitley while somehow magically channeling an inner-Alex. And I was stoked to hear it unfolding.
Until we learn how to interpret Whitley, we only have His explanation of his experience to compare against our own individual nuts & bolts realities.
By giving Whitley something to battle other than his personal life experiences (not downplaying them), we get to understand how his passion for our our shared reality lines up with that of his own reality. What other metric do we have to measure his experiences and furthermore his perspectives.
 
#5
Alex, if you ever need a throw-away filler episode, call me up! I have no credentials, BUT... as part of my day job I often talk to ideas guys (salesmen) and try to wrangle their somewhat nebulous ideas into well defined bullet point engineering specs and as I was listening to this episode I felt like I could provide this service here. Anyway, I can also promote my book that I will write someday if I ever get the time: "An Engineer's Guide to Spirituality". I think I have worked out a philosophy in which Evil and consciousness and Jesus all make perfect sense!
 
#6
I'm at 56:39 and I still can't understand the point Alex is trying to make because Strieber won't allow Alex to finish.

Strieber's assertion that Alex can't add anything to the conversation by way of Josephus while granting that he doesn't actually understand where Alex is going is leading me to believe that he doesn't want to know. Or maybe it's his expressed expectation that the book would've been discussed more (which if I'm understanding Alex, is what he's trying to do at a high level).

From someone who doesn't know Strieber well, I'm getting the sense that his ego is being threatened and that doesn't bode well for psy-experiencer credibility.
 
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Alex

Administrator
#7
Hmm. While we're on the subject of historical accuracy, or otherwise, why would Jesus have been a Rabbi? Both you and Whitley used the term, but it's an anachronism as far as the period said to be depicted in the Gospels was concerned. Rabbinical Judaism came into its own only after the return from Babylon of the remnants of the tribes Judah and Benjamin in the 6th century CE. Its direct predecessor was Pharisaic Judaism, which was where Josephus' religio-political allegiances lay, and it was set against other Jewish sects in Judea and Galilee in the first century CE. Among these were the Sadducees, the Essenes and the Nasoreans, or Nazorites. There is a distinct sense of Jesus' opposition to the Pharisees, which occurs throughout the three synoptic Gospels. There is also circumstantial evidence to suggest that he may have been a Nasorean. This is a dynamic that, with respect, neither you nor Whitley seem to have had any appreciation of.
thx for the correction. I will stop using the term Rabbi when ref Josephus (I don't think I did re Jesus).

but the point about his unreliability remains:

was born in Jerusalem in 37 CE as the son of Matthias, a man from priestly descent, and a mother who claimed royal blood. Stated differently, he was born as a Sadducee and an aristocrat. The boy must have been a real know-it-all, because he excelled in all his studies and at the age of sixteen, he decided to find out for himself what philosophy was best - that of the Sadducees, that of the Essenes or that of the Pharisees. Although he studied all three systems, he was not content, and for three years, he lived in the desert with a hermit named Bannus. Returning to Jerusalem at the age of nineteen, he choose to become a Pharisee.

At least, this is what he writes in his Autobiography. The problem is that it cannot be true. To become an Essene, one had to study three years and we may assume that one did not understand the essentials of the teachings of other Jewish sects within a few weeks either. It was simply impossible to study the three disciplines and live three years in the desert before one's nineteenth year. Worse, the Jewish War and Jewish Antiquities show a profound dislike of the Pharisees. Hence, we may conclude that Josephus only says that he became a Pharisee because he knew from where the wind was blowing, and Phariseism was very popular at the moment he was writing his Autobiography.
 

Alex

Administrator
#8
...we get to understand how his passion for our our shared reality lines up with that of his own reality.
wow... scary... you're looking into my soul :)

seriously though, this is exactly the kind of thing that interests me about Whitley.

Whatever the answer is it certainly nonlinear. I'm grateful that Whitley constantly reminds us of this fact.
 

Alex

Administrator
#9
I'm at 56:39 and I still can't understand the point Alex is trying to make because Strieber won't allow Alex to finish.

Strieber's assertion that Alex can't add anything to the conversation by way of Josephus while granting that he doesn't actually understand where Alex is going is leading me to believe that he doesn't want to know. Or maybe it's his expressed expectation that the book would've been discussed more (which if I'm understanding Alex, is what he's trying to do at a high level).

From someone who doesn't know Strieber well, I'm getting the sense that his ego is being threatened and that doesn't bode well for psy-experiencer credibility.
here's the gist of it:

I've always assumed that Whitley's groundbreaking book, Communion was his own true account of what occurred. I presume that it was not crafted/ scripted/ influenced/ propagandized by dark forces within the intelligence apparatus. If it was have to re-evaluate my understanding of his experience.

In this case, before I can accept some of the broad claims he's making in, Jesus: A New Vision (e.g. Jesus's radical teaching of love and forgiveness led to Christianity under Constantine and the fall of the Roman Empire), I need to determine how much of the story he's leaning on was crafted/ scripted/ influenced/ propagandized by the Romans.

It seems to me that this should be the first order of business for a book like this.
 
#10
Ah so then your question to Strieber boils down to how much power the light has here (to literally topple empires or not)? I don't think you would discount the ability for light to exert some influence so you must be taking issue with his path and/or you wish to temper his conclusions with the existance of evil?
 
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#11
I'm sure alert listeners will have noticed the parallels between Josephus' back story/self-mythologizing and both the Jesus of the Synoptic Gospels and Paul. I am referring of course to Jesus pwning and out-Jewing the Jewish scholars in the Temple after going missing from his family (Luke 2:41-52). If Josephus is involved, is this perhaps the earliest known Mary Sue story?

As for Paul there are his claims to be a "Hebrew of Hebrews," or as Alex would say, a super-Jew. Also like Josephus, Paul displays an astonishing ignorance/misunderstanding of Jewish law and lore for someone making such lofty claims. This is laid out in detail in Hyam Maccoby's The Mythmaker.

By the way, I am curious what Strieber had to say in his book, but I guess I will have to go elsewhere for that or actually read it.
 
#12
here's the gist of it:

I've always assumed that Whitley's groundbreaking book, Communion was his own true account of what occurred. I presume that it was not crafted/ scripted/ influenced/ propagandized by dark forces within the intelligence apparatus. If it was have to re-evaluate my understanding of his experience.

In this case, before I can accept some of the broad claims he's making in, Jesus: A New Vision (e.g. Jesus's radical teaching of love and forgiveness led to Christianity under Constantine and the fall of the Roman Empire), I need to determine how much of the story he's leaning on was crafted/ scripted/ influenced/ propagandized by the Romans.

It seems to me that this should be the first order of business for a book like this.
As I understand it, Whitley gave a brilliant & brief account of the co-opting of Jesus's message by Constantine. This was his answer to the failure of polytheism & it led to a destructive religious empire that has begun to fade away, finally! This is what I think Alex needs Whitley to recognize: Christianity is dead as a thinking person's religion b/c people are finally free of its threats of torture, murder, & extortion to believe as they wish. We see its dying gasps as it asserts that women can't choose to abort children; its roots in misogyny are revealed in the revelation that white supremacy is first & foremost a male dominated, twisted fantasy of how humanity ought to live. For instance, I think most everyone knows that the catholic church was forced to add J.C.'s mom to those figures revered by its followers. The Bible, its scholars, the whole reliance on J.C. as a historical figure reveals the shallow, exoteric level of all of Abraham's legacy. I ask you how many people can honestly respect a god that demands that its creation murder his son to show his allegiance to it??
 
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#13
The spoiled little boy who bullies and seeks to control, these carateristics amplified in a adult what havoc can such individuals create in a household. Given a little power unleased with a little crisma in a society. And if the society is full of such indiviuals? If such indivuals had no breaks, no one to stop them does power-hungry greedy people need the evil forces to urge them on?
And if The Aztecs believed the Gods charge, eat and must be fed the human soul is the the universe scipted to such a extant that we can not believe such things? Does the universe limit stupidity , pig headed-ness?
If there's a devil it is the ego who says i am all and there is no more then me.
 

Alex

Administrator
#14
Ah so then your question to Strieber boils down to how much power the light has here (to literally topple empires or not)? I don't think you would discount the ability for light to exert some influence so you must be taking issue with his path and/or you wish to temper his conclusions with the existance of evil?
not exactly how I would say it, but in any case we would still need to begin with facts about the historical jesus... and facts about roman social engineering by way of religion.
 

Alex

Administrator
#15
I'm sure alert listeners will have noticed the parallels between Josephus' back story/self-mythologizing and both the Jesus of the Synoptic Gospels and Paul. I am referring of course to Jesus pwning and out-Jewing the Jewish scholars in the Temple after going missing from his family (Luke 2:41-52). If Josephus is involved, is this perhaps the earliest known Mary Sue story?

As for Paul there are his claims to be a "Hebrew of Hebrews," or as Alex would say, a super-Jew. Also like Josephus, Paul displays an astonishing ignorance/misunderstanding of Jewish law and lore for someone making such lofty claims. This is laid out in detail in Hyam Maccoby's The Mythmaker.

By the way, I am curious what Strieber had to say in his book, but I guess I will have to go elsewhere for that or actually read it.
great stuff. I had not made this connection... but now that you pointed it out it does seem rather obvious. this is very joe atwill-esque :)

==
What does Philippians 3:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]
Verses 5 and 6 provide a list of seven important traits found in Paul's life as a devout Jew. His reason for listing these is to prove that he, of all people, has the right to comment on the futility of works. Paul is not claiming salvation by faith as an escape attempt. His message is not an excuse for personal failure—that he cannot, or will not, meet some requirement of the Old Testament law. On the contrary, Paul has fulfilled it better than those who criticize him for preaching saving faith!

Paul's birth and ancestry were impeccable, according to Jewish standards. Paul had been circumcised on the eighth day. His parents did this in accordance with God's command given to Abraham (Genesis 17:12). Paul was truly, naturally, of the "people of Israel." In other words, he was born Jewish rather than being a convert to Judaism. Specifically, he was from the tribe of Benjamin.
===
Philippians 3:5, NLT: "I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin--a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law."
==

also:

Maccoby considered Paul's claims to an orthodox Pharisaic Jewish education to be false, asserting that while many of Paul's writings sound authentic to the uninitiated, they actually betray an ignorance of the original Hebrew scripture and the subtleties of Jewish Law.[6] Maccoby claimed that an examination of the New Testament indicates that Paul knew no Hebrew at all, and relied entirely on Greek texts that no actual Pharisee would ever use because they were not properly translated from the Hebrew originals.

According to Maccoby, Paul fused the historical story of Jesus' crucifixion with elements of contemporary mystery religions and Gnosticism, developing such new non-Judaic mythic ideas as the Trinity and the Last Supper. Paul also made an attempt to find prophetic justification for his newly created myth in the Old Testament. Paul came to present Jesus as a dying and rising saviour deity similar to those from the Hellenistic mystery cults, fused with the historical pedigree of Judaism, thus giving birth to a powerful new myth whose preaching gained him a large following. As the Jerusalem group of the original disciples of Jesus gradually became aware of Paul's teachings, bitter hostility ensued between them.

Maccoby interpreted certain New Testament passages (for example Paul's account of his quarrel with Peter in the Incident at Antioch) as remnants of authentic accounts of this hostility. However, the Jewish Rebellion of 66–70 soon brought a violent end to the Jerusalem sect, and the Gentile Church founded by Paul emerged as the winner by default. Maccoby viewed the Book of Acts as a later attempt by the Pauline Church to present the relations between Paul and the Jerusalem disciples as harmonious, thus presenting the Pauline Church as legitimised by the chain of apostolic succession reaching back to the original disciples of Jesus. Maccoby also conjectured that the Jewish-Christian sect of Ebionites may have been an authentic offshoot of the original Jerusalem community.
 

Alex

Administrator
#16
As I understand it, Whitley gave a brilliant & brief account of the co-opting of Jesus's message by Constantine.
I'm with you on most of your other points but have to slightly disagree on this one.

consider this possibility, jesus and his message were not this undeniably powerful spiritual force that was destined to rage through the empire ("world, what world?). instead, people then, like people now are inclined to coalesce around religious/cult ideas and practices. this doesn't have to explain the whole of early christianity, but a just a part of it. and this would bring us up to the co-opting... which probably started before long before constantine, and was put in place as the next logical step implementing the system of control.

as far as fading away... you could argue that it never happened :)

Christianity is dead as a thinking person's religion b/c people are finally free of its threats of torture, murder, & extortion to believe as they wish. We see its dying gasps as it asserts that women can't choose to abort children; its roots in misogyny are revealed in the revelation that white supremacy is first & foremost a male dominated, twisted fantasy of how humanity ought to live.
well said. its ability to continue to ensnare thinking people speaks to the power of cults... and our common psychological needs that they meet.

The Bible, its scholars, the whole reliance on J.C. as a historical figure reveals the shallow, exoteric level of all of Abraham's legacy.
great point. I never thought about it quite that way, but I definitely think you're onto something regarding "reliance"... like we need in-the-flesh super hero to sell the story.

I ask you how many people can honestly respect a god that demands that its creation murder his son to show his allegiance to it??
it is a bizarre cosmology. it's strange to see how christians reconcile this... then again, it's totally understandable... these beliefs/lies/programming/ indoctrination run really really deep for a lot of us. it's literally only been the last couple years or so that I could spit out the words " I'm not a christian" without doing a serious double clutch :)
 

Alex

Administrator
#17
The spoiled little boy who bullies and seeks to control, these carateristics amplified in a adult what havoc can such individuals create in a household. Given a little power unleased with a little crisma in a society. And if the society is full of such indiviuals? If such indivuals had no breaks, no one to stop them does power-hungry greedy people need the evil forces to urge them on?
And if The Aztecs believed the Gods charge, eat and must be fed the human soul is the the universe scipted to such a extant that we can not believe such things? Does the universe limit stupidity , pig headed-ness?
If there's a devil it is the ego who says i am all and there is no more then me.
http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threa...evil-pt-1-of-2-a-rose-by-any-other-name.4693/
 
#18
Whitley Strieber plays a strange roll in my life because of his book, Transformation. When I was thirteen years old, I had to find a novel for a book report at the local library. The cover of "Transformation" immediately caught my attention as I spun the chicken wire, book filled turnstile. I clearly recall the cover: the halved alien face with its huge black eye. Immediately, I wanted that book!

I brought it to my mother, and she said, "There is NO WAY you are doing a book report on this book!"

I replied, as innocently as I was awestruck, and afraid, "Why?"

She said, "OK, I will let you check this book out for your book report, but these things are not what you think they are, and I must talk to you at home before you read this book."

I agreed.

Now I was terrified on the way home. When we finally arrived, she told me to come into the bedroom with her and shut the door, because this discussion was not to be heard by my brothers and sisters. She told me that the thing on the cover the book was real, not fiction, and that she had seen it in her life.

She told me that these creatures are demons, and one night, she was reading the bible in bed, at our previous house. One of these creatures opened up the door, and she told it to "leave in the name of Jesus," and it left. I was so incredibly fascinated!

Next, she tells me that she had described the creature to my father, and he drew it. This was before Whitley's first book, Communion. After Communion was released, they realized that this was the same creature she had seen because it was on the cover of his book! I remember that time but did not understand it quite well. A lot of our toys were destroyed along with that drawing. Furthermore, we became EXTREMELY Christian.

Nevertheless, I loved that book and was completely drawn into it. I absolutely destroyed the book report, which was one part written and the other oral. I was answering the questions before the teacher could finish her sentences. It is strange how things work out, for sure.

Whitley Strieber is kind of like the Hulk Hogan of the paranormal universe.
 

Alex

Administrator
#19
Whitley Strieber plays a strange roll in my life because of his book, Transformation. When I was thirteen years old, I had to find a novel for a book report at the local library. The cover of "Transformation" immediately caught my attention as I spun the chicken wire, book filled turnstile. I clearly recall the cover: the halved alien face with its huge black eye. Immediately, I wanted that book!

I brought it to my mother, and she said, "There is NO WAY you are doing a book report on this book!"

I replied, as innocently as I was awestruck, and afraid, "Why?"

She said, "OK, I will let you check this book out for your book report, but these things are not what you think they are, and I must talk to you at home before you read this book."

I agreed.

Now I was terrified on the way home. When we finally arrived, she told me to come into the bedroom with her and shut the door, because this discussion was not to be heard by my brothers and sisters. She told me that the thing on the cover the book was real, not fiction, and that she had seen it in her life.

She told me that these creatures are demons, and one night, she was reading the bible in bed, at our previous house. One of these creatures opened up the door, and she told it to "leave in the name of Jesus," and it left. I was so incredibly fascinated!

Next, she tells me that she had described the creature to my father, and he drew it. This was before Whitley's first book, Communion. After Communion was released, they realized that this was the same creature she had seen because it was on the cover of his book! I remember that time but did not understand it quite well. A lot of our toys were destroyed along with that drawing. Furthermore, we became EXTREMELY Christian.

Nevertheless, I loved that book and was completely drawn into it. I absolutely destroyed the book report, which was one part written and the other oral. I was answering the questions before the teacher could finish her sentences. It is strange how things work out, for sure.

Whitley Strieber is kind of like the Hulk Hogan of the paranormal universe.
wow... great. so what do you make of it all today? demon? what would that even mean? Jesus as our spiritual bodyguard? maybe, but how would that actually work? ( not saying that you're saying just wanting to know what you think)

And what do you make of please personal/ spiritual transformation over the years?
 
#20
Whitley Strieber plays a strange roll in my life because of his book, Transformation. When I was thirteen years old, I had to find a novel for a book report at the local library. The cover of "Transformation" immediately caught my attention as I spun the chicken wire, book filled turnstile. I clearly recall the cover: the halved alien face with its huge black eye. Immediately, I wanted that book!

I brought it to my mother, and she said, "There is NO WAY you are doing a book report on this book!"

I replied, as innocently as I was awestruck, and afraid, "Why?"

She said, "OK, I will let you check this book out for your book report, but these things are not what you think they are, and I must talk to you at home before you read this book."

I agreed.

Now I was terrified on the way home. When we finally arrived, she told me to come into the bedroom with her and shut the door, because this discussion was not to be heard by my brothers and sisters. She told me that the thing on the cover the book was real, not fiction, and that she had seen it in her life.

She told me that these creatures are demons, and one night, she was reading the bible in bed, at our previous house. One of these creatures opened up the door, and she told it to "leave in the name of Jesus," and it left. I was so incredibly fascinated!

Next, she tells me that she had described the creature to my father, and he drew it. This was before Whitley's first book, Communion. After Communion was released, they realized that this was the same creature she had seen because it was on the cover of his book! I remember that time but did not understand it quite well. A lot of our toys were destroyed along with that drawing. Furthermore, we became EXTREMELY Christian.

Nevertheless, I loved that book and was completely drawn into it. I absolutely destroyed the book report, which was one part written and the other oral. I was answering the questions before the teacher could finish her sentences. It is strange how things work out, for sure.

Whitley Strieber is kind of like the Hulk Hogan of the paranormal universe.
Did it really leave or did her memory end at that point?
 
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