Most beliefs systems will present reincarnation a fact. That it is no longer a part of today’s Christian beliefs is pretty much down to one woman. Theodora wife of emperor Justinian who did her best to remove all references to reincarnation from the early Bible. This is not her real name, it is a Greco Roman historical allusion to her self belief. It literally means Gods gift!
Early Church elders and theologians, like Origenes, Basilides and St Gregory, taught reincarnation of the soul as a matter of course—it was written in the Bible. Nowadays, most Christians suspect blasphemy if someone references reincarnation.
Reincarnation was one of the pillars of Christian belief. Without it (as has happened), Christianity would lose all logic. How can a benevolent, loving God give only one earthly life and one person gets a golden spoon and another a life of abject poverty or misery?
In the Western church Theodora deposed the Pope with the help of Flavius Belisarius’ armies, and replaced him with her puppet, Pope Virgilius. In the East the Patriarch Mennas, another of her accomplices convened the Synod of the Eastern Church of Constantinople (543 C.E.). which revoked the affirmation of reincarnation, codified in 451 C.E.
In 553 CE the Church officially declared the doctrine of reincarnation heresy they used devious tricks, bribery and violent persecution to systematically obliterate any hint at re-embodiment from common belief and the bible. Yet their attempts failed somewhat, as allusions to reincarnation still exist throughout both testaments of today’s Bible.
What most people now understand as Islam bears only fleeting resemblance to the practises before the crusades and the centuries of persecution of Moslem’s by Christians that followed. The saddest fact in the oppression and suppression of Islam by Christianity is that the forms of Islam now dominating, which so many Westerns take issue to, is much nearer and more similar to Christianity than it ever has been before.
Many of the ideas that are practised as Islam, Judaism and Christianity actually have a root in Zoroastrianism
The main problem with One Man God thinking is that is is based on an there is ‘only one way’ theory. This is so uncompromisingly, incompatible with humanity, I find it difficult to understand how anything other than fear, ignorge’ance, stupidity can be the central attributes in people who believe and follow the theory. I have been privileged in the last few years to meet believers who have a wider conception of their own religion and a wider base of acceptance of others.
What we actually hear now from fundamentalists are more or less the ideals, ideas and practises that were forced upon first pagans then later on Moslems. The benevolent, humanistic, humoristic forms of Islam that pervaded the teachings have now in the main been wiped out, those that Christians left have been decimated by other forms of Islam
Why am I beginning with this? Because before we explore beliefs and ideas around death I would like the listeners to try to be aware of when the cultural assumption of superior practice raises it’s ugly head. You will notice it when you feel disgusted or condemn or find stupid or primitive rather than being surprised, curious or even shocked by any of the practises and beliefs that will hopefully be talked about this month.
Your ways or ideas are not intrinsically better and certainly not superior to anyone else’s. Understand the ideas and practises that we have, have been indoctrinated, stamped into us, have been set there with repression and violence and generally in the West, against the wishes of the general population/ordinary people.
If you’re curious as to why and what was gained. Theodora wanted to be a living Goddess which wouldn’t work with the theory of reincarnation. The pope’s agreed and worked with her because the doctrine of only one life is the foundation upon which the church made the vast majority of it’s current great wealth.
Think how much a funeral costs and consider the fact that they are obligatory. Most of the costs now borne by the funeral directors were the province of the church. The church literally made a fortune praying for the forgiveness of ones so called sins. Having to be buried in consecrated (i.e. church owned) ground, having a service. One Man God burial systems, beliefs, practices are about glorifying and making money for the church/institution.
When you know you’re coming back, there’s room to take it easy, it’s fine to make a few mistakes and fall down occasionally along the way. But when doctrine says this is it, one chance only and at the end, its between eternal suffering and a nice place. Unless of course you have the money to pay to mitigate your sins. Which has been one of the main reasoning that kings and other murdering scum have used as an excuse to focus on making a fortune. They needed it, so when they died it would relieve some of their suffering by paying the church to intercede with God for them.
With enough money behind you, you could spend your whole life being evil and still end up in heaven!
Heli St. Luce