In the interests of rational thought, and in the spirit of adding to “fake news” which is more reasonable than what some would regard as the Truth, I speculate below on what might have been the authentic happenings in a certain time in history, namely the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. To make it sound more authentic, I am posing a hypothetical situation. I am a reincarnation of Jesus of Nazareth, and one of my alter egos, Peggy, is a reincarnation of Mary of Magdala.
Before I begin the interesting part, I feel it imperative to assure you that I am an ordinary mortal, as is Meg. Peggy, I suspect, may have come to Earth trailing clouds of glory in a fashion no person ever has before. She has always insisted she is co-messiah with me. I maintain that, despite psychiatric observations that I/we have delusions of grandeur, I/we cannot be messiah unless and until I/we bring PEACE ON EARTH, as the messiah is supposed to do. There seems some likelihood of that at this stage. (Remember, this is all hypothetical).
I am not immortal; I am unable to walk on water; I am relatively sure I will not be able to raise myself from the dead once I have passed on; I am far from perfect (just check with Meg on that). The same goes for Meg, though I estimate Peggy is close to perfection, but I may be biased. Together, perhaps, we three make up the messiah. I would once have excluded Meg, but I now see the relevance of her existence in our trinity. Lumped together, I once fancied calling us AQUARIUS. We were born on the cusp of Pisces and Aquarius, and I fancied it the end of the Age of The Lord, Anno Domini, and the beginning of the Age of Aquarius. However, we are well past the dawning of Age of Aquarius now, with little to show for it but destruction. Perhaps the end of the old has to come before the beginning of a New World. If so it is a painful end.
Now to the task of rewriting history. Peggy is the one who has the memories of herself as Mary of Magdala, the wife of Jesu of Nazareth. I once thought she over-familiarly called Jesus “J.C.” and slurred the words, as Peggy is inclined to do, but it finally dawned on me that she refers to him as “Jesu”.
Peggy claims I am a reincarnation of Jesu. I remember nothing, which is probably just as well. I do not relish the idea of having the memory of being nailed to a cross, or, as Peggy would have it, a cross-beam, and then being hauled up onto a tree to hang there till I died.
It must have been rather awful for Peggy, too, or rather, Mary. At least at Calvary she had the comfort of the apostle James and a Roman legionnaire who took pity on her, guessing she was Jesu’s wife and not his sister, as she pretended to be. See, Mary was pregnant with Jesu’s child at the crucifixion, but the Jewish priests would have found some way to kill her if they’d known. Jesu had to disown the fact that he had fathered a child in order to preserve that child’s life. The priests accused him of claiming to be the messiah when he had no children, which the messiah had to have. They accused him of blasphemy.
But I am getting the cart before the horse. As I have previously stated, In ON MICE, MEN AND DEATH, Jesu was a political activist, not a religious one. He did not pretend to be perfect, though I suspect he made capital out of being thought a miracle worker. The miracles Peggy remembers, however, are all able to be explained away rationally. The water into wine miracle, for instance, was a practical joke Jesu and his mates played on his strait-laced, pretentious mother at his wedding to Mary. The feeding of the five thousand was a tribute to Jesu’s persuasive powers in talking folk with plenty into sharing with those who had nothing. Lazarus was not dead, but in a drunken stupor, and mistakenly placed in a sealed cave as dead. Jesu luckily opened the tomb to gaze on his body and found him alive.
Jesu was betrayed by Judas out of jealousy. Judas kissed him on the mouth to brand him homosexual, something the Jewish priests had a notion the messiah could not be. They could not imagine that a homosexual could father a child. Jesu let them go on believing that, because by now he knew that the priests would stop at nothing to destroy his lineage. Jesu virtually gave his life to save his wife and his unborn child. I am sure saving the rest of the world was not on his mind at that stage.
Pilate had sympathy with Jesu, and tried to get him off the hook by an exchange with a thug named Barrabas, but he made the mistake of using the priests as interpreters and they hoodwinked the crowd into believing they were calling for the execution of Barrabas, when in fact they were calling for his release and the condemnation of Jesu. When they realised they had been deceived, the crowd rioted and a number of people got hurt, including one Roman soldier who was killed.
Pilate couldn’t stand for that, and so the execution went ahead, under strict military protocol. Only Jesu’s immediate family were allowed to accompany him to Calvary, flanked and escorted front and rear by Roman soldiers. Outside the procession were the supporters of the Jewish priests, hurling abuse, and checking out any of Jesu’s supporters among them. Jesu’s supporters, apart from those who were pretending to be his immediate family, wisely stayed away. Jesu’s cousins, James and John, the sons of his mother’s brother-in-law, Zebidee, were somewhat similar to Jesu in appearance, and passed as his brothers. Mary of Magdala, his wife, posed as his sister, hiding her early pregnancy under layers of clothing. Simon of Cyrene, whom Jesu had nicknamed “Petro” – the rock – straggled along with the priests and their supporters, and finally was allowed in to the family by the legionnaire in charge of the procession, in order to carry the cross-beam up Calvary Hill.
As Jesu was dying, there was a wild storm with lightning and thunder, and the crowd rushed to nearby caves for shelter. The captain of the guard even allowed his men to leave for shelter, and he remained alone to guard the tree, along with Mary and James. It was Mary who cried out “My God, why have you forsaken me?” loudly enough for the people in the caves to hear. However they thought it was Jesu crying out and were amazed at the strength of a dying man to cry out so loudly.
The legionnaire took the body down from the tree and ran off with it, to save Mary the anguish of seeing what the priests planned to do to the body. I believe he then fell on his sword rather than be disgraced. There was then a huge cover-up, the priests, the disciples, and the soldiers all making up varying stories. Saul of Tarsus, a Jewish priest angling for power, twisted all the stories to suit his own narrative and thus was born Christianity, which wimped down the Roman way of life and in the end caused the fall of the Roman empire.
I might have made the last bit up, because of course I wasn’t there, but I’ll say it stems from a visit Simon made to Mary where she was in hiding in Britain, to tell her what had been happening. Joseph of Arimathea had taken her there for safety. (It has to sound authentic.)
I have come to believe I most probably am a reincarnation of Jesu of Nazareth. That doesn’t make me perfect, or a miracle worker, unfortunately. PEACE ON EARTH must come through our own efforts, through loving our neighbour. If we all did that, there would be peace on earth. Loving our neighbour means loving neighbours who we believe do not love us. That means showing tolerance and respect and understanding of others’ good intentions.
For instance, I understand that psychiatrists who confined me away from my family, gave me shock treatment, and numerous forms of medication with horrific side effects, and berated me, for close on fifty years, had the best of intentions. It is human to err, and they erred in believing that it was we who had delusions of grandeur and had the potential to lead people astray. I would not condemn them to the ridicule and disgrace I “feel” they deserve. It would serve no good purpose. I forgive their stupidity, and hope they will now co-operate with me in nursing Australian society back to health and wholesomeness, as a first step to creating a new world. Animosities aside, we can do it.
Western nations, take note. China, Russia and North Korea believe in their good intentions as you do in yours. Work together as much as possible without carping and judging. Be polite about letting them know there are things you cannot accept in your lives. There are things you believe and practice that Xi, Kim, Khameini and Putin cannot accept in their philosophies. In time, with tolerance, respect and understanding differences will fade. The tolerance must start with someone. Let it start with you.