Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘sect

Who is Jesus of Nazareth?  (December 6, 2008)

 

Over a hundred of different manuscripts (Bibles) have been written on Jesus and his message in the early days of Christianity and before the four New Testaments (that were written by Mathew, Luc, Mark and John) that the Council of Nicee in 325 decided to select as the official representatives of the story of Jesus. (Ironically, the selected Bibles were written in Greek; maybe the language was one of the main factors for retaining them).  There are evidences that the Bible of Mathew was originally written in Aramaic before being translated into Greek. Many of these early manuscripts were written by the disciples of Jesus and close companions like Barnaby (the spiritual guide of Paul and who accompanied Paul in his first apostolic trip in the interior of Turkey), Thomas (not necessarily the twin brother of Jesus who established the first Christian community in the port of Deb on the Indus River), Philip, Barthelemy, and others. There are many folk tales that are to be considered as more valid than the canonical “truths or facts”.

Jesus had his Bar Mitzvah in Jerusalem and in between this event and his preaching adventure the Church has nothing to offer us.  It is said that Jesus was 33-year old when he was crucified; that is the minimum age because Jesus was older and probably close to be forty.  How Jesus spent the time in between (a span of at least 20 years) and where did he spent them?

As is the custom in Judaism, boys were married at 13 and Jesus was not to be an exception.  As it turned out, Nazareth was a hotbed for the Essenien Jewish sect located in Qumran (not far from the western side of the Dead Sea).  The Essenien sect, or more to the point caste, lived in a closed community, women were not included, and the members vowed celibacy; they were vegetarians, ate together, distributed wealth to the whole community, and each member worked according to his skills.  The members wore a unique white dress code in summer and another outfit in winter. The members of this community were known to be excellent healers. This sect was also labeled the “Baptist”, the “Nazoreen” and “Ossene” (the Strong). The teachings of Buddhism had reached this community two centuries ago because King Ashoka of India had dispatched Buddhist monks to this region. It is very plausible that Jesus opted to join the Qumran community to avoid being wed.

The Essenien caste had branches in Alexandria (in Egypt and called Therapeutic or healers) and in Syria.  The first Christian communities emulated the monastic and ascetic life of the Essenien sect. A few early Christian sects went beyond the ascetic of the Essenians; for example, the author Amine Maaluf, in his book on Mani, mentions a community called in Aramaic “Halle Haware” or white garment clad people; this caste did not eat meat or drink wine or leavened bread; the disciples wore white garments from top to bottom, were scared of fire (symbol of evil), and thus would eat only raw fruits and vegetables grown by the community.  Outside food was prohibited and considered “female” food because women were banished from the community and the female names in the scriptures were not mentioned unless the names represented calamities and bad augurs.  Travelers of this community carried with them the unleavened bread and produce of their home grown community because outside food was not pure.

Many monophysist Christian sects (Jesus is only divine) like the Nazarene or Nastourian (a name originated from the name Nazareth) had reached China before Islam (around 600 AC); they translated their Bible into Chinese and were permitted to preach their brand of religion and build churches.  The Nastourians built churches all along the Silk Road and many of these edifices can still be found in Tibet, Mongolia, China, Afghanistan, and Persia. It is also believed that the Prophet Mohammad learned about Christianity from these sects that were marginalized by the official Byzantine Church.

John the Baptist was Essenien.  The fact that the canonic testaments reveal that John the Baptist didn’t recognize Jesus at the first sight might suggests that the two men didn’t meet in the community of Qumran at the same periods.  There are evidences that Jesus was a wide traveler, knew many languages and was highly versed in religions and other legal aspects of the land.  It is very plausible that Jesus visited Alexandria, Syria, and even reached India; he lingered in India and Persia before returning to Syria and Galilee. 

A manuscript named “Himis” was discovered in Kashmir, close to the city of Leh, which described the “Lost years of Jesus”. In that manuscript it is referred to Jesus as Issa (an Aramaic name that the Arabs adopted) who traveled to most of the Holy Cities in India such as Djagguernat, Radjagriha, and Benares, and was frequently chased out by the clergies (sacerdoce).  The manuscript relates multitudes of pronouncements and teachings by Issa that are compatible to the canonic Bibles. Issa fled to Kashmir, Afghanistan, and Persia.  It is plausible that a Christian sect in the vicinities of Kashmir wrote that narrative. It is also plausible that Jesus survived his wounds and headed eastward: the shroud of Milan have marks of a body still hot and not of a cadaver.  I frankly cannot see why this story should be thrown out; countless adolescents tour the world nowadays; it was even more common in those times for young people trekking to learn and attend renowned schools.

Jesus knew more than three language; Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek (the language of the educated of the time) and Latin since he spoke to Roman centurions and Pontus Pilate. It is also narrated that Jesus lived for a time in Sidon (a Lebanese port) teaching in its famous law school.  His mother Mary and part of her family moved to a town nearby when Jesus was a lecturer in the law school. It is no fluke incident that Jesus and Mary attended a wedding in Qana (a town close to Sidon); it is also very rational that Jesus decided to start his message after Qana when his mother removed the cover of secrecy and exposed his supernatural gifts of turning water to wine. Jesus was a high priest in the Essen sect and preached a message based in symbolism and fables and was highly spiritual and staunchly anti-Pharisee.  The Jewish cabala sect is a branch of the Essen sect and is founded on the Sumerian theology and myths. 

Albert Schweitzer, a theologian, physician, thinker, organ player and Nobel Peace laureate offered his version on Jesus.  He said, based on the first two Bibles of Mathew and Marc, that Jesus preached his message to the general public in the last year before his crucifixion.  Six months, all in all, was the period that Jesus was accompanied by the public; the remaining months he spent them among his close disciple around Caesarea of Philippi. 

In the beginning, Jesus accepted the label of a prophet among the prophets but then he reached the belief that he is the Messiah of the Jews.  Thus, he sent his disciples two by two to preach the message of the end of time.  Jesus was very surprised when all his disciples returned safe and sound; he expected his disciples to suffer terribly and be put to death if the “prophesy of end of time” was to be accomplished.  Jesus then decided that God would accept his sacrifice and save his close disciples from atrocious deaths before the first coming of the Messiah.

Juntas of theocratic castes: the under-developed States (November 15, 2008)

 

There is this general tendency of categorizing the under-developed States on the basis of their economical production of GNP or other criteria related to the economy such as infra-structure, mechanization, availability financial sources, mobility in transportation and others.  These kinds of categorizations are based on consequences and thus obliterate the need to investigate the sources of this under-developed condition.

I am inclined to believe that under-development is fundamentally a socio-political structure.  All the under-developed States adopt to certain extent “junta of theocratic caste” systems in governing and running their States.  I insist on the term theocratic because whatever predominant religions they claim to legally recognize these religions are at best skin deep.  The true religions and sects in under-developed States are variations on “paganism” (I am not offering a bad connotation for the term pagan but a description for the fundamental differences with the religious monotheist system in developed States, including atheism as a right).  Thus, the various tribes are attached to ancestral system of beliefs that are not officially or publicly stated.  These tribes or castes are closed autonomous communities that tend to regard the other tribes as enemies to the survival of their autonomies. The frequent occurrences of genocides in Africa or in Central Europe are fundamentally based on deep rooted theocratic caste systems.  Governments in under-developed States are formed of select castes and the rebellions, revolutions and genocides are outlets to re-shape the institutions according to the victors and governing under a different set of theocratic castes.

The State of Lebanon has undergone several civil wars because its 19 recognized theocratic castes refused to change to a modern structure for governing the State.  Most of the under-developed States that are not predominantly dominated by one recognized religion or sect will be facing recurring civil disturbances and thus lost opportunities for economical stability and development regardless of the magnitude of foreign infusions of money.

Late Mai Ghoussoub mentioned the case of Ngoyambi, a 17-year old of the Hutu tribe in Rwanda, who is facing trial for mass genocide against the Tutsi tribe. Ngoyambi has no remorse and claimed that he won’t be afraid “if the judge is from the Hutu tribe because then he would not be wrongly found guilty”

Before the colonial mandates in Africa or the Soviet hegemony in Eastern and Central Europe there was many skirmishes among the “tribes” but they were governed by social rules and very localized and of countable casualties.  Nowadays, these frequent skirmishes have acquired large scale magnitude in horrors and efficiency because of the despotism of theocratic juntas of castes after the “independence” of these States and the availability of efficient killing equipments sold by arm merchant connections that are themselves subsidized and managed by the superpower central States.

            The liberal press and TV networks, in the Western “civilization”, loath to pinpoint the causes of these genocides; they claim that they don’t comprehend how human kind can reach such a low level of behavior.  What don’t you understand?!

The State of Lebanon: A string of exclamation and question marks (November 11, 2008)

 

I need to state my position on the socio-political structure of the State of Lebanon.  Isn’t it enough that the individual is living a lie that I have to swallow a bigger lie concerning my “nationality”?  Lebanon is a State recognized by the UN and it has endured for over 65 years after many civil wars and countless invasions by Israel and a long Syrian mandate for over 20 years.  Is not this fact legitimate enough for us Lebanese to unite and reach an understanding of common denominator that would protect us from further senseless divisions?

Let me recapitulate.  The Lebanese society is structured around 19 self-autonomous castes.  The various religious castes may be grouped around three larger religious tribes: the Christians, the Moslem Sunni and the Moslem Shiaa.  Let us expound on the smaller castes.

The small Druze caste is fundamentally in its inception a Shiaa “fatimide” sect but had found it more advantageous to obey the Sunni Caliphates for several reasons.  First, when the “Fatimide” dynasty in Egypt was replaced by the Sunni Ayyubide and then the Mamelouk dynasties then physical persecution of the Druze and the Shiaa was common place. Thus, to survive, the Druze had to pay allegiance to the Sunni monarchs; actually, the Sunni Ottoman Caliph empowered the Druze families of Maan and then the Chehab to dominate the political life in Mount Lebanon for over three centuries.  Second, in the State of Lebanon it was far lucrative for the Druze to take umbrage under the larger harmless militarily but powerful politically Sunni tribe since the Shiaa constituted a menacing immediate neighbor for their autonomy as a caste.

The Christian tribe encloses at least a dozen castes. The Maronite sect is presently barely more numerous than the Greek Orthodox. It is said that the State of Lebanon would not exist without its Christians; that might be true.  But to state that the State exists because of its Maronites then it is incorrect.  The Greek Orthodox are by far the most numerous Christian sect in the Near East region and spread throughout Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine (Syria has more than 5 millions).  If it was not for the heavy presence of Greek Orthodox (and supported by Imperial Russia) then the State of Lebanon could not be imposed no matter how and the Maronite caste would not have enjoyed the supremacy of its administration for over five decades.

All these civil wars in the State of Lebanon was basically the need of this caste system that viewed the establishing of a strong central government as anathema to survival of its petty interests: their respective free float interests would be jeopardized and those two dozens warlords, small feudal leaders, civilians as well as religious, would lose much of their powers over their subjects.  Sure, the various foreign State interests played a catalytic factor but the civil wars would not have been so frequent or so enduring without our caste system. Thus, Lebanon is meant to experience a civil war every 25 years or so in order to destroy and exhaust any accumulation of energy and good will for instituting a strong government.  All the foreign powers and regional powers know these facts except the Lebanese citizens who prefer to survive on chimerical dreams of a full fledged “nation”; sometime referred to as Phoenicia, or Canaan or Arabia or Nation of Islam, or even Switzerland of the East.

Lebanon is not a “Nation”; it is a State recognized by the UN. Can we live and unite within this definition?  Switzerland is not a nation: it is a State and its sovereignty is protected by an agreement among all its strong neighboring nations.  Among the over 190 recognized States in the UN maybe no more than a dozen could be legitimately considered as full fledged, self-autonomous and independent Nations.

The calls for defining our origins as a “Nation”, (be it Phoenicia, Canaan, Arab, Fertile Crescent, Islam or even Switzerland of the East), benefit only the regional leaders in their respective cantons; simply because they have no viable programs to entice their youthful “subjects” but to offering them chimerical fictitious national sentiments.

 

Tiny Lebanon needs to unite under a State strong central government in matters of defense, finance, foreign policies, national civil register, and general planning and control.  Tiny Lebanon needs decentralized administration and State economic incentives on performance. Tiny Lebanon needs a fair and equitable electoral law; variations on the proportional system should be seriously considered for a feasible and lasting electoral law; with minor reforms every now and then as the central government affirms its responsibilities for providing security and opportunities to all its citizens.  The State of Lebanon needs to vigorously obtain the long lasting support of its regional powers to securing its stability, sovereignty and neutrality.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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