I have spoken at length on taxes. It now seems fitting to speak on the other certainty – Death.
With first the bush-fires taking a toll of lives, and then Covid 19, we are more painfully aware of the certainty of death. We grieve the loss of family and friends before their time, and puzzle at the point of it all. Those of us with religious or spiritual beliefs might find some consolation, but even we may think “God” or Whoever, is unkind. We wonder about an after-life.
Kerry Packer’s failure to announce one notwithstanding, the majority on the planet believe in some sort of after-life. For what it is worth, my opinion is that we can reincarnate. I would say it is a genetic property. That would leave childless people out in the cold, except that I also believe that we have a ‘soul’ which consists of all our conscious and unconscious thoughts and memories. It lives after our body dies. When we are brain-dead, or when we suffer Alzheimer’s and such, it is simply that our soul has escaped to the after-life before our body died.
This , of course, is only my opinion. I have on occasion been certified as insane and committed to a psychiatric institution for voicing this opinion in an Australia where there was room only for Christian beliefs. I am still being compulsorily medicated by injection and psychiatrically supervised for my beliefs, so don’t adopt them.
I believe there is some force for good in the universe, and for convenience I call It “God”, but I do not believe it is omnipotent. No rational person would. No loving being would willingly allow humanity to go through some of the tribulations we go through, either as punishment or as a test of our love and loyalty. Some theorists cite freewill, but that is a cop-out. Disease has nothing to do with free will.
I say God and evil are opposing forces. Perhaps “God” is really the sum of the virtue in our own souls, departed and alive on this earth. Some sage once said that we should keep our friends close, and our enemies even closer. I say the best way to conquer an enemy is to make him your friend. I don’t always follow that advice, but a wise friend of mine once pointed out that if one lowers the significance of the enemy in one’s mind, one is less likely to feel ill-will towards him. Evil, she claims, can be conquered by looking at it as not being evil. There is no evil among humanity, only ignorance and stupidity. Ignorance of what is morally right and what is morally wrong is a weakness that is very prevalent. We can combat that evil in ourselves by getting to know ourselves, becoming aware of our own ignorance and stupidity.
I believe in Karma. It is a little gentler than belief in Hell. At least one has a second chance, and even more, to redeem oneself after a wanton life.
I believe reincarnation is a genetic property because of people who claim to have memories of a past life. I myself claim to have memories of a past life.
I believe I recall that it was a Jewish priest named Saul who put a spanner in the works of the teachings of a man named Jesu of Nazareth and changed the course of history for the worse.
From what I recall, Jesu was not particularly religious, though he was of the Jewish religion and dabbled in Essene teachings. He was half-Roman.
His mother had been raped by a Roman soldier. She invented a story of having been impregnated by an angel or some such thing, because for a Jewish woman to be raped by a Roman was an intolerable shame.
Jesu was a political activist, not a religious one. He wanted representation of the ordinary Jews in the Roman council. The Jewish priests had the say at that time, and they used it to their advantage rather than to the advantage of the Jewish population. The governor, Pilate, and the Roman soldiers who occupied Judea were sympathetic to Jesu. They did not like or trust the Jewish priests, but the order had come from Rome itself to respect the Jewish religion and customs.
I believe Jesu was not the messiah. The messiah was supposed to bring a thousand years of peace on earth. We have not had peace in two thousand years.
Jesu’s crucifixion was a miscarriage of justice. His followers, with help from a Roman legionnaire, hid his body, spirited his pregnant wife Mary Magdalene away to Britain, and concocted the story of his resurrection. Saul, when he found he could not stamp out the enthusiastic and ever-growing movement, hi-jacked it by pretending to be converted to Jesu’s policies, and then discredited the leader, Simon Peter of Cyrene, by making up the story that Simon had rejected Jesu at his trial. This was patently a lie, as it was Simon whom the legionnaire in charge of the crucifixion procession permitted to carry the cross-beam up Calvary Hill, because Jesu was physically incapable of doing so after the blood-loss from his flogging.
Saul instigated a lot of false teachings, religious rather than political, and was fiercely homophobic. This was completely contrary to Jesu’s leanings. Jesu was homosexual. He married because of duty and social pressures.
All the rites and rituals and other trappings of Christianity are extraneous to what Jesu and his followers practiced and taught. Jesu left people free to their own religious beliefs, which were of no concern to him. He maintained only that one should treat others justly, kindly, and mercifully. However he himself did not treat hypocrites kindly or mercifully, which was the reason for his downfall.
I tend to agree with Jesu’s sentiments, but what I believe is unimportant in history. What is important that we consider is that the victors record history. From what I understand, the Roman Empire crumbled largely because of Saul’s teachings. Had Jesu’s democratic teachings survived and been adopted by Rome as he aimed for, Rome would have survived and as new worlds were discovered a Roman Peace would have enveloped the globe. It would have evolved into a modern type democracy, and the world would even now be enjoying a true Roman Peace, a thousand years of PEACE ON EARTH.