Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Jesus on the Cross as Adam Kadmon

I have found perhaps the most brilliant article I have ever read - and it has very little to do with the study of early Christianity. I am talking about Nicoletta Isar's Undoing Forgetfulness: Chiasmus of Poetical Mind – a Cultural Paradigm of Archetypal Imagination in the European Journal of Psychology of all places.  I think everyone should read it.  It is the first steps toward redefining Christianity in light of its mystical roots.

I think there is a danger inherent in critical scholarship to just end up destroying everything for the sake of destroying everything.  I think a lot of the work trying to reduce Christianity down to 'myths' these days is utterly misguided.  Our purpose is not to believe or disbelieve but simply to understand. 

I am firmly convinced that the mystical core of Christianity couldn't have been stupid.  It's not that I am a believer - I am not.  It is just that Clement is too erudite to have wasted his time with something dumb.  The real challenge of Secret Mark isn't the question of its authenticity.  It is rather that the discovery exposes how limited our understanding of Christianity really is. 

All the experts who claim that it is a forgery do so because it exposes how little they really know.  Whereas someone like myself begins with the assumption that I don't know anything (as I wasn't brought up in a Christian home), the experts never gave up control over what Christianity is.  Someone like Bart Ehrman for instance might have gone from a believer to an atheist but he never relinquished his authority over the material.

I trust scholars that cautiously accept the authenticity of Secret Mark because it shows that they are honest souls.  All that we know about Christianity is what our historical masters back in the third and fourth centuries wanted us to know about Christianity.  The canon became limited to a set of falsified texts which together gave an unnatural (i.e. something which did not arise innocently) portrait of Jesus and the Church.   

To this end, the notion of a 'Jewish man' named Jesus 'preaching' a set of beliefs before being crucified at the instigation of the Jews should be understood to have been a convenient historical model for a group of white men in the third century.  It does not represent 'truth' or 'history' but rather a useful historical people imposed on the faithful from without. 

So it is that when we look up at our T-shaped cross with a morbid Jesus agonizing over his mistreatment we are only witnessing one rather late historical reinterpretation of the original paradigm.  For Justin clearly could not have imagined Jesus suffered when he came to embody Plato's World Soul on his chi-formed cross. 

Why on earth do such understandings escape the minds of these otherwise brilliant minds?  Like Ehrman most of them refuse to let go.  Even as many try and rewrite history and pretend that the gospel did not understand the Jews to be wicked, they too are merely imposing their needs and wants on history.  The purpose again is not to have our presuppositions guide our research as much as it is to have our suppositions grounded in truth. 

But alas, as Nietzsche noted at the end of the Genealogy of Morals - "man would rather will nothingness than not will at all."

Email stephan.h.huller@gmail.com with comments or questions.

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