Jul 28, 2022Liked by John Carter

John, I normally eschew this kind of topic. But I started reading and now am anxious for part II. Certainly beyond anything to which I have been exposed -- and somewhere in my long-ago past I have a theology degree, too...

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Jul 28, 2022·edited Jul 28, 2022Liked by John Carter

This is incredibly tasty. I have a couple thoughts here:

1. There is a lot of resonance in this piece with Curtis Yarvin's theory that a monarchy is the solution to our current political woes. I'm less enthusiastic about that than he is, because I disagree with Yarvin on the reliability of a chief executive as a governor of a nation-state. He claims to believe the individual doesn't matter, to which I say "Nero."

2. Rob Henderson would (and, in fact, did) say Caesar, and by extension in this context, Christianity, held a prestige-oriented rather than a dominance-oriented world-view, a conceptualization of interpersonal relations I wholeheartedly support. Prestige-oriented world-views lead to Federalism. Dominance-orientation leads to imperialism. That's what we got now. Not a fan, for all kinds of reasons.

3. I'm digging the alternate history takes Substack is doing lately. History is understudied (the CIA funded French social scientists in the sixties in part because Marxist economics are based on history and social science was an alternative to history. From this I conclude the resistance of the Acronym Americans to anything that could be construed as sympathizing with communism was effective, but at the expense of using scorched earth tactics that cut off society's nose to spite its face; sociology in particular and most of the other social sciences are bankrupt disciplines). If you figure out how foundational concepts--first principles--work, you can apply the concept of modularization to them and actually fix things.

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master and margharita, Bulgakov

communism rules in the depths by questioning the existence of Jesus Christ

but as Dostoevsky said, even if it were proved to be all a fabrication, an amazing, unparalleled feat of poetic interpolation....(which by the way is far less likely than Jesus being a historical figure)...he would still believe in Jesus Christ as the highest, the redeeming saviour of mankind. why? because dostoevsky being a great writer understood that we are all fictions anyway....all figments of our own imagination. so if everything is a fiction, the best story has the highest value....

in any case, Jesus Christ lived and is a real figure to this day. He was prophesied as coming for centuries by hebrew prophets, and he came just as they (much maligned themselves) said he would.

that we are talking of Jesus Christ today - 2000 years later, the fact he is central to what is going on in the west, in the world....this is proof enough of his reality and immortality.

the key to all this well-intentioned sophistry being made redundant...ie true progress, true belief/faith/gnosis, is to ask for proof with a sincere heart. you will get it, i got without even asking!

once you have experienced God directly, theological tete a tetes are rather pointless, but they are, nevertheless, opportunities to train oneself to think better.

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Jul 29, 2022Liked by John Carter

To touch on Buddhism a bit since you brought it up,the version that exists across the west is diametrically opposed to the ascetic blood and soil type Buddhism that exists in the east.Listen to Myanmar monks speak of Islam as a parasitic and violent religion and then try to imagine any western ''Buddhist'' say something similar.

This is largely because western Buddhism in general (and American in particular) is just Judaism with a coat of paint.It's infiltrated and run entirely by jews who have the well known ethnical grievances and subversive tendencies we all adore.They have holocaust memorial visits and other philosemitic activities that would shame anyone who takes the faith seriously.Not only is the western model based on a fringe sect,it's also endlessly permissive with nothing like a moral core that one would find in the real deal.Eastern Buddhists don't look favourably on LGBT issues or the endless obsession with blacks or the obvious ethnic flagellation of whites as a whole.

The eastern model is ironically closer to how medieval Christian monks lived.Religious studies,simple food,prayer/meditation,manual labor.A far cry from the political kvetching one finds in the anglo lands.

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Manna from heaven. I'm going to retcon my inner motivations for including that bit about Cato's half-sister in my comment on Rolo's blog to be that I included it secretly wishing to have you describe it--as only you could. Not disappointed! LOL.

Just one thing. My opinion on Caesar being a class traitor has been refined recently. I don't think he was. He actually exemplified all the Roman virtues--even as a politician. It's the pond scum optimates who were traitors to Rome and her history, and their own position. They didn't hate him because he betrayed his position. It was because he was 69x the Roman they could ever hope to be. Simply put, he was better than them, at pretty much everything. And they couldn't stand seeing him get exactly what he deserved because of it: everything.

If you haven't yet, you have to check out Robert Morstein-Marx's "Julius Caesar and the Roman People." Just came out last year, and it's mad good. He's a bit more sympathetic to Cicero (but never approaches gag-inducing levels of worship typical of many poser classicists), but he absolutely shreds Cato. So very pleasing, because Cato was the epitome of a sanctimonious little shit.

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Julius Caesar as the source of Jesus -- I'd never heard that before, but you make some interesting points, and now I can't wait to see how you develop it further. It is a fascinating possibility, and doesn't seem so crazy after reading your article.

I don't know if you've heard of or read Bart Ehrman. He wrote a book, Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium, and did a "Great Courses" series on the historical Jesus, in which he basically arrives at the conclusion that Jesus probably existed as as an apocalyptic religious figure who studied under and was baptized by John the Baptist, probably predicted the imminent end of the world and the coming of the "Son of Man" (from the Book of Daniel) but likely did not identify himself as the Son of Man and almost certainly never referred to himself as God, definitely got crucified by the Romans but probably was left on the cross to rot and/or was dumped in a mass grave with others who were crucified. His analysis largely relies on just the New Testament writings, and he makes a strong case there for which details are more credible than others. He dismisses the Josephus and pretty much all apocryphal writings as later forgeries, with the possible exception of the sayings in the Coptic gospel of Thomas. Anyway, his analysis seems strong to me (I have done a poor job summarizing here), but with so many New Testament details about Jesus being ahistorical, maybe Julius Caesar is a potential source for some of that legendary material. Looking forward to reading more of your thoughts on this!

Another historical figure that Bart Ehrman compares Jesus with is Appollonius of Tyana, which is very interesting.

Ehrman is interesting because he started out as a fundamentalist but his studies and analysis led him away from that, and he went where the evidence led.

His blog also has some fascinating stuff about early Christianity and the New Testament: https://ehrmanblog.org/

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Personally, the best answer to the question of “historical” Jesus or not was given by Monty Python’s “Life of Brian”. - Seriously, behind the comedy the Python crew were actually spot on with the historical background to events in the film.

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Jul 29, 2022Liked by John Carter

So does this tie into Michael Hudson's book. Where he argues it wasn't forgive them their sins, but instead forgive them their debts.

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Mythologies often receive this kind of treatment. That said, As we can smell the whiff of truth lurking in the background behind these myths while finding no calibration source other than our own experience to measure the stories against, and precious little science, we are left high and dry.

One frequent stumbling point are those pesky miracles. It does not really help to have staunch believers exhorting one to “have faith” when the reports cannot be cohered with our own epistomy.

Well, it turns out that there is evidence of “miracles,” acts which for most are not possible, which arise from ancient practices that were able to withstand the entropy of ages passing. I refer to the work of Dr. William Tiller, a professor at UCLA who arranged for a series of meditations populated with adepts.

The adepts were given specific directions as to the outcome desired and the rituals performed before, during, and after and were precise. Here are some of the projects on which they engaged:

1. Meditate on a jar of PH 7 purified water and lower the PH to 6.0. It was successful. Remember here that wine and vinegar are related.

2. Meditate on a group of juvenile fruit flies to promote their health and happiness. The result was that the flies grew faster and larger and more survived to adulthood.

There were several others with increasing wow factors. But you see the point. Since these conscious acts of “creation” were independently verified, let us take them at face value.

So it is possible to imagine a great adept who could return the sick to their healthy form, turn water into wine, even perhaps raise the dead. It all depends on the proper spiritual context for these skills and the clear mind and will to accomplish them. Most of the people who do not hold that these things are possible have not tried to develop them.

So with this in mind, if we review the ancient stories against the backdrop of modern physics, as Farrell shows in “the Cosmic War”, we can see that the hopelessly garbled ancient stories have a basis in science (which is repeatable and consistent measurements and results).

Lastly, as the Fall of Mankind has proceeded, his language has been reduced, and his powers have declined in pace with it. The ancients spoke languages that were analogical (a weak example is ancient Chinese), multiple level, using the full consciousness of expression. So, boiling down Logos to modern English results in a difficult to believe muddle.

So these are some of the challenges this kind of discussion faces. But let’s have it, as it is alot better than watching the creep state pretend everything is great while the columns fall around them like the final scene in the Fall of Atlantis.

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Another AI-inspired portrait, using just the Arles bust: https://www.reddit.com/r/ColorizedStatues/comments/i92t37/julius_caesar_arles_bust_using_artbreeder/

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Jul 31, 2022·edited Jul 31, 2022Liked by John Carter

Greetings John. I'm so happy I came upon your current series of articles , and it's a very intriguing, pertinent and relevant matter. Your writing skills are admirable. Our history has been muddied by lies and deceit that what you are doing to unravel it all is quite a herculean endeavor, but one the world sorely needs. Now this brings me to the dilemma I face and the kind request I'm attaching to it. These article will reach many an audience, of various nations and cultural backgrounds, I have no doubt about that. I'm from Africa, born and raised. The use of certain words, although are common in current normal, casual talk usage in the Western world, are very much felt as quite intrusive, embarrassing, unnecessary, uncomfortable and even rude. I was and still am hesitant to Tweet this first article of the series (although I did Tweet the second one) knowing the audience it will reach - Parents and their children, elderly, simple conservative humble people etc, because of the reaction they would have to the use of the *F* word, when describing Cato and Caesar's interaction. As I said, I believe these articles will reach a wide audience and should be considerate of their various backgrounds. So, a kind and humble request, and if you feel it's reasonable - Could you please use or restate that part of the article. Otherwise, eagerly looking forward to the rest of the series. Sincere Regards.

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Ho boy! Maybe you're a girl? You've got some brains reeling through the RAM!!! Thank you for your absolutely beautiful choice of words, and poignant explanations of stuff we never thought would come to fruition! Merci mec, même si tu es une nana! It is a delight to read your thoughts! Serious hugs from Québec.

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Jul 29, 2022·edited Jul 29, 2022Liked by John Carter

I initially promised myself not to comment until I've read the theory in its entirety. And I'll mostly keep to that.

First, I'm glad these comments haven't devolved into the explosive spike in popcorn futures I feared it might. If explorations and thought experiments alone count as heresy, then exposure to such heresy is preferable to the mechanical invocations of the faithful. In my understanding of the situation, the less we find ourselves grappling with the mysteries of God, the greater the likelihood that we've made a separate peace with something diabolical.

Second: Yes, Horatio; the story of Jesus Christ sure-as-fuck is "wondrous strange." I can think of no story more infuriating to wrestle with (and I've read a ton of infuriating bullshit over the years). The notion that a person (who I've seen some in these comments lament as a "street preacher", but a philosopher-artist in my own reckoning) could have manifested in anything like the form presented by the Gospels should rightly beggar belief.

Not just the miracles, mind you, but the entire arc of this person's story thus far, which extends well past the natural lives not just of any possible contemporary, but of whole empires, languages and architectures of thought. It would be like a Powerpoint business plan, at the start of which you show one of those public domain photos of a smiling office drone, and at the end a detailed schematic for a Dyson sphere factory. Some motherfucker tries to sell me on that shit, and I throw them right out of the building. How could any of it possibly be real?

And that's all I'll say for now. :)

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Jul 29, 2022Liked by John Carter

Jesus was a common name. There are several others in the Bible, even an OT character with a book named after him - Joshua. But the name does mean Savior, and generally all Hebrew names had meanings.

Your discussion doesn’t (yet) address the biblical complications of having been written in at least three languages, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, in that chronological order. Greek was the English of its time, and it’s quite understandable that Hebrews would have used it among themselves. The point being that “christos” is merely the Greek translation of “mâšiyaḥ” into Greek both referring to anointing, (smearing) with oil.

Nothing to see here as far as an invented title of a fictional person.

Your discussion doesn’t (yet) deal with the substantial Hebrew background of the historical claim. You even leave Judaism out of your list of world religions. But this has to be addressed, right?

I admit finding the theory you present as pretty far fetched, but I’m attracted by dissonant voices - it’s probably how I ended up here. So from as deep a place of skepticism of your view as is possible — say on, young man, say on.

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Jul 29, 2022·edited Jul 29, 2022Liked by John Carter

John, you are certainly keeping the newsletter fresh with new topics. There are several points that may be worth considering.

Firstly, the Jesus of the Gospels is a composite figure. There were most likely several figures named Jesus with disparate, even contradictory political and theological characteristics that inevitably confused those who are looking for a single person from which to spin a consistent or stable religious agenda. In this, the history of the New Testament repeats that of the Old, in which an understanding of god is developed from contrasting sources and traditions within the Israelite amphictyony (portions of which were of Canaanite origin, others Mesopotamian and some possibly Egyptian).

Secondly, the geopolitics of the Near East needs to be taken into account. The hostility of the Gospels towards the Pharisees is difficult to account for, given the fact that the ethical teachings of Jesus were identical to those of the Pharisees themselves, until you remember that the expression Pharisee derives from a Hebrew/Aramaic expression for 'Persianizer'. The Pharisees were following the lead of the Jewish community in Mesopotamia (where around 40% of the population was Jewish) and historically the Judean temple-state had been an enthusiastic client/ally of successive Persian dynasties. At one stage of their empire the Persians even garrisoned parts of Egypt with Jewish troops. Later, at the time of the Gospels the Jewish community inside the western rim of the Persian empire were wealthier, freer and more content than their counterparts in Judea. The authors of the Gospels were also clearly hostile to the Temple hierarchy, the Sadducees who led the priestly caste. The Sadducees were likely also secretly pro-Persian (though for purely political reasons, rather than religious ones).

Rome was in almost non-stop rivalry with both Arsacid and later Sassanid Iran and stigmatising those with real or potential loyalties or interests towards Persia/Iran would have been a priority for anyone pushing a pro-Roman agenda.

Thirdly, we know absolutely nothing about the Zealots except from their enemies, above all Flavius Josephus (a Judean aristocrat who switched sides and ended up living in Rome). The Jewish rebellions against Rome were not so much religious movements, but uprisings against land-owners and officials that escalated into wider upheavals. The only remotely comparable phenomenon in the classical world were the slave uprisings in peninsular Italy and Sicily in late Republican times (the so-called Servile Wars). Comparisons with the Taliban are misleading. In general, analogical thinking will very quickly lead anyone astray on subjects as remote or complex like this.

Finally, given your interest in heterodox or controversial approaches, you may be interested in the work of Morton Smith (https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/gospel-secrets-biblical-controversies-morton-smith/) or Joseph Atwill (http://www.caesarsmessiah.com/).

If you ever have the time or opportunity, Carl Gustav Jung apparently wrote some rarely-read stuff on Christ the man (as opposed to his widely read stuff on Christ the archetype) which explained the psychic significance of the Virgin Birth narrative in historical context. This was presumably informed by Jung's understanding of fertility rites, the cult of Isis and and the somatic-cognitive experience of ritual spirit possession and ego-inflation.

For what it is worth, I suspect that the historical Jesus was born into something like a mystery-cult that drew on heterodox, Egyptianising, interpretations of the Old Testament and the garbled details got written up as a polemic for the edification of Greek-speaking Jews living through the upheavals of the late first and early second century. Successive generations of readers then spun it all into dogma. Good luck sorting out the confusion.

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Jul 29, 2022Liked by John Carter

Fascinating— thanks for writing about it.

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