This Week's Episode: THE MYTH OF PERSECUTION


April 19 & April 20: One of the great traditions in Christianity is that of martyrdom, where the believers of Jesus died heroic deaths for their faith while the Roman Empire viciously persecuted Christianity for centuries. But this is just not true. Most of these stories are exaggerations, many downright fictional, and the Romans basically held little interest in Christianity until the rise of Constantine. We break down this factory of fables and penetrate the psychology behind martyrdom. And understand why dispelling the concept of martyrdom is so important today, as the Abrahamic religions continue to kill or die for their faith in order to gain quick access to Paradise.

Astral Guest-- Candida Moss, author of The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom, as well as Professor of New Testament and Christianity at Notre Dame University.



More information on Candida and this week's show

ARTICLES:

What is Gnosticism?   What is Gnosis?    Do Gnostics Believe in Hell?   The Pagan Origins of the Gnostic Sophia   The Real Reason the Nag Hammadi was buried    John the Baptist & The Gnostics   The Complete Gospel of Mary   The Counterfeit Spirit   Jesus & Gnosticism in Islam   Should Gnostics be Political?   You Might be a Gnostic if...  The Gnostic Influence on the Founding of the USA     The Great Declaration by Simon Magus   An Ocean of God   Gnostic Women Leaders & Heroines   Should Gnostics Celebrate Easter?   Do Gnostics Believe in Reincarnation?   Why do Gnostics consider Mary Magdalene the greatest Apostle?   The Gnostic origins of Valentine's Day  Do Gnostics believe in charity and good works?



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The Myth of Persecution 04/19/2014


One of the great traditions in Christianity is that of martyrdom, where the believers of Jesus died heroic deaths for their faith while the Roman Empire viciously persecuted Christianity for centuries. But this is just not true. Most of these stories are exaggerations, many downright fictional, and the Romans basically held little interest in Christianity until the rise of Constantine. We break down this factory of fables and penetrate the psychology behind martyrdom. And understand why dispelling the concept of martyrdom is so important today, as the Abrahamic religions continue to kill or die for their faith in order to gain quick access to Paradise.

Astral Guest-- Candida Moss, author of The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom, as well as Professor of New Testament and Christianity at Notre Dame University.

More information on Candida
Candida's article The War on Easter at Huffington Post






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Theurgy & the Left-Hand Path in Kabbalah 04/12/2014

In all religions exists a left-hand path work that leads one to the darker arenas of divinity, as well as releases forbidden archetypes buried in forgotten hells. In Kabbalah, this form of theurgy is even more necessary, not just for attaining individual and cosmic wholeness, but in restoring a fallen God himself. We explore the left-hand path in various faiths, yet focus on its radical aspects in Gnosticism and Mystic Judaism. From Thomas to Jung, we go were ruling angels fear to tread in order to stir ancient shadows that hold the keys to ultimate Gnosis.

Astral Guest--Yakov-Leib HaKohain, author of Kabbalah and the Interpretation of Dreams, For the Sake of God: An Answer to Jung and To Die for the People: A Jewish Interpretation of the Crucifixion.

More information on Yakov
Yakov's homepage
Interview with Yakov on Ma'Ariv Magazine







LISTEN TO THIS WEEK'S SHOW AT THE MAIN PAGE
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True Education (Reason & Ignorance in the Desert of the Real)

My son, accept the education and the teaching. Do not flee from the education and the teaching, but when you are taught, accept (it) with joy. And if you are educated in any matter, do what is good. You will plait a crown of education by your guiding principle. Put on the holy teaching like a robe. Make yourself noble-minded through good conduct. Obtain the austerity of good discipline. Judge yourself like a wise judge. Do not go astray from my teaching, and do not acquire ignorance, lest you lead your people astray. Do not flee from the divine and the teaching which are within you, for he who is teaching you loves you very much. For he shall bequeath to you a worthy austerity. Cast out the animal nature which is within you, and do not allow base thought to enter you. For ... you know the way which I teach. – The Teachings of Silvanus

By Robert Wood

Part of living in the World of Forms; or as my friend, the Fox, likes to call it, the Place Where Things Happen; is that we are born ignorant. We have very crude reasoning abilities and it takes many years of trial and error before we actually learn anything. Fortunately, there is pressure to learn at the very least for just basic survival and most of us have less than a century to figure things out. The biggest hindrance to learning is not ignorance, but the willful ignorance, the pride to say “I know it all”; the arrogance to say that one do not need to examine one’s self. We all slip into this mindset at some point in our life. We all need reminders about how little we know about the world and ourselves. The lesson of Lent is showing us what need by understanding what we do not need.

As I wrote in an earlier writing, we are living in the Desert of the Real and are going through the same trials that Jesus did in the wilderness. We are tempted to believe that life is all about pleasure and comfort; that we control reality; and that faith and recklessness are one and the same. These are the basic temptations that we are all confronted with as we learn what it means to be human. If you believe any of these temptations, then you still have a lot to learn about being human, which all of us do. As I mentioned, earlier the hardest part of learning is essentially un-learning what you have been taught that was false. It is accepting that you might have learned something wrong. We have a habit, as a human animal, to cling to information we like and reject information we do not like (conformation bias). When confronted with what is true, we will cling even more so to information that is false, if the true information conflicts with what we value (backfire effect). We treat information as if it was a friend and companion, and understandably so; that is how humans operate, being the social animals we are. We evolved to support and defend what we have accepted as the pack and as a part of ourselves.

The trial of being a person is accepting that we are not all knowing gods. It is learning that information we value and build our identity around can be wrong. So if everything we learn could be wrong, then how do we know what is right? We test it. If it holds up to scrutiny then it is worth believing until something proves it false. Everything that is true will hold up to testing; even Christ was tested, not only during his fast but up until his death. Understanding that we do not know everything and that we can be wrong is key to understand ourselves and sometimes others. We do not need to know everything but we do need to recognize when we need to rethink what we believe. We need to be able to recognize when something is a lie. We need to recognize where we can place our faith.


This is just one of the many lessons we have to learn as humans and we have less than a century to understand this. This lesson follows quite nicely after the First Mystery, the Mystery that we are mortal and will perish. The First Mystery, when properly understood, should help with putting into perspective of what is important in life. As we rank things that are important, education and understanding are essential tools in figuring out what is important and what we should value. We can know what we should keep and what we should just let go. The earlier we learn this lesson, the closer we are the Fullness of the Kingdom.

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Being Christ Without Christianity 04/05/2014


Christianity and the other Abrahamic religions have become increasingly hostile and destructive. They cling to outdated belief systems, constantly stricken by such pathological concepts as information bias and cognitive dissonance. Civilization is at the brink. However, through more allegorical and psychological lenses, one can still distill the great teachings of their past masters, as Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, and even the Gnostics illustrated. We throw the dirty bathwater of literalism out and keep the baby that is the inner Savior residing inside each one of us.

Astral Guest-- Michael Sherlock, author of I Am Christ.






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Being Biblical

Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? 2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
4 Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
 -  2nd Letter to the Corinthians, 3:1-6

By Robert Wood

If there is any term I loath it’s “Biblical”. I do not mean biblical as in it is found in the bible, but biblical as in biblical belief, biblical way of life, or “biblical” Christianity. You may be wondering: do I have a problem with the Bible? No, of course I do not. In fact I have a great respect for the book and the lessons contained in it, even the texts that I do not personally use. Because of this respect, I hate the term “biblical” because it shows a lack of understanding of the text and contempt for Christianity. For those not familiar or have not picked up on this yet: when a church says they are biblical, they are claiming that their church is more correct than other churches and that they can pick verses out of the Bible (often out of any context) to support their theology.

The concept of being biblical is nonsensical at best and a grab for power and authority at worst. I say it is nonsensical because the bible does not have a unified theology, nor does it share one Christian viewpoint. For those that do not know, the bible is a canon of Christian and Jewish literature that was selected to represent the standard of a catholic (universal) Christianity. You might be thinking, “ah ha there is a standard so why can’t there be a biblical”. You would have a point if it were not for the fact that certain texts were selected for the sake of representing the different Christianities that came together to make a universal Christianity.

It is this concept of being “biblical” that has many strings attached like infallible or that the bible is literally something that God told someone to write down and is “God’s Word”. This idea of calling the Bible “God’s Word”, leads to other confusions such as the Bible is some sort of idol that should be followed without question or is correct on any issue of any subject. This concept rejoices in rejecting scientific observations and discoveries we make as a culture and citizens of humanity. For those under the snares of being “biblical”, if something does not conform to a particular understanding of “biblical,” it is unnatural at best and evil at worst. It also means rather than reforming your worldview based on evidence, since your worldview is “biblical”, the evidence must be wrong since your worldview is biblical. How does that work. Well if your worldview is biblical and the Bible is infallible that must mean your worldview is infallible as well. It is madness but it is done unconsciously by those who claim to be biblical.

Now do understand I know this is not all Christians. I know that some Christians recognize that the Bible is a useful tool and that truth is present in the world we live. They do not set the Bible up as an idol. I am not addressing you. I am addressing those that worship the Bible as if it were a god on earth. Those that follow it like a magical tome that has just the right spell to make your struggles on this world in which we live just a little less struggling. And I am especially addressing those that prey on those who do not have the understanding or wisdom to recognize the Bible for what it is; those wicked individuals who take advantage of the confusion of being “Biblical” who grab for power, prestige, or wealth. These alleged teachers who either lack the faith to teach what is true or seek to milk the falsehood for all that they can are part of the problem. The root of the problem arises when good and learned individuals lack the faith to stand with what is true. Either because they fear that what they recognize to be an idol might actually be a god, or more likely, because they fear repercussions they do not speak up. I am not going to lie. There will be repercussions, there will be backlash because the archons do not like those who point out problems with their system but there is one thing that Christianity teaches that you should know in your hearts. Truth cannot be killed, it will resurrect. Or in simple terms life goes on. We learn to live with what we lose and we continue to grow, if we accept what we are losing and keep moving forward with truth. Our God is a living God, a God that grows with truth.

There are other examples of “biblical” that are not this word but other words that carry the same weight, baggage, and vermin. I know you know what those words are in your life and I hope you have the courage to point them out if are not already. I also hope if you do have the faith to point them out, that you continue to do so. Whatever point you are in your life, now is the time to recognize what is important and what is trash that needs to be thrown out. What is your God and what is an idol that you mindlessly worship? Recognizing this is what is essential to living life in the Fullness.



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The Dead Sea Scrolls & Origins of Christianity 03/29/2014


August scholarship proposes that the Dead Sea Scrolls do indeed indicate the origins of Christianity (contrary to the stance of Orthodoxy). This secret history is also hidden in the New Testament, as well as many other Christian and even Jewish texts. We uncover the startling reality of how Christianity came into being, and the echoes of Gnosticism found in this secret history. And the real possibility that Gnostic luminaries such as Paul of Tarsus, Simon Magus, and others were all along agents for Roman and Jewish powerbrokers.

Astral Guest-- Robert Eisenman, author of James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea ScrollsThe Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered, and The Gospel Code.

More information on Robert







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The Savior God Dionysus 03/22/2014



One of the most important and misunderstood gods in history is Dionysus. This supreme deity spanned many ages and empires, yet at his core was the primordial archetype of egalitarianism, self-expression, and unbound Gnosis. His worship not only informed Gnosticism and the Mystery Religions, it formed the foundation of Western Culture. We mine the history and theology of Dionysus, in order to realize that his dangerous secrets are more relevant than ever in a declining civilization mired in orthodoxy and lack of imagination.

Astral Guest-- Vikki Bramshaw, author of Dionysos: Exciter to Frenzy and Craft of the Wise: A Practical Guide to Paganism and Witchcraft.

More information on Vikki



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Prophecy & Mysticism in the 21st Century 03/15/2014


Both mainstream religion and scientific materialism have come short in informing the path of mankind, leaving human consciousness in a swamp in this new century. The hopeful prophecies of the late 20th century have failed, and civilization's future seems dangerously uncertain. We find out what went wrong with both traditional and esoteric dispensations; and how rejuvenating hopes can be found in the fringe movements of our culture. In the secret history of the world is where we might find new ideas for a positive direction, before it's too late.

Astral Guest-- Richard Smoley author of  Supernatural: Writings on an Unknown HistoryThe Dice Game of Shiva: How Consciousness Creates the Universe, Inner Christianity, and Forbidden Faith


More information on Richard

Review of Supernatural




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Buddhism's Relation to Christianity 03/08/2014


In recent times, the similarities between Buddhism and Christianity has been available to a more progressive society. Unfortunately, an ocean of sensationalism and faulty scholarship overlooks how these two traditions truly relate to one another (and why). We delve into the latest, most sober scholarship in comparative religion to fully grasp how Buddhism and Christianity connect in their origins and theology. And find out how their mythic resonance was corrupted by those seeking power.

Astral Guest-- Acharya S./D.M. Murdock, author of Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of the Christ, Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection, Suns of God & The Christ Conspiracy.


AeonByte - Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio Show




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Magic in Christianity 03/01/2014


Despite the arguments of Orthodoxy, the truth is that magic soaked early Christianity, even beyond the Gnostics. Before that, Judaism was also a vast landscape of sorcery that heavily copied Egyptian mysticism. We survey the magical cosmos of early Christianity, from their rituals that summoned dangerous angels and raised the dead, all the way to their magicians that included Jesus of Nazareth.

Astral Guest-- Robert Conner, author of Magic in the New Testament and Jesus The Sorcerer.





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Experiencing Mary Magdalene 02/22/2014


The Gospel of Mary and other Gnostic works reveal a system of mediation to reach higher states of consciousness. This system can be used with modern mysticism for soul-altering results, as much of the Gnostic wisdom remains incomplete because of historical censorship. We explore the techniques and the forbidden secrets of Mary Magdalene herself.

Astral Guest-- Adriana Attento, author of Creativity: It's Glory, It's Splendor & You.

More information on Adriana
Adriana's Homepage


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Making Gnosticism Approachable 02/15/2014


To many, Gnosticism is downright bizarre, with its intricate cosmology and radical ideology. A new book by a prominent scholar not only streamlines Gnostic theology and ideology but makes it accessible to anyone. It places Gnosticism in a clear context before the backdrop of the stormy Roman Empire. And it brings the latest on Gnostic scholarship while crystallizing old theories. We rediscover the Gnostics in the clearest possible way, at the same time getting closer to early Christianity and Classic Judaism.

Astral Guest-- Nicola Denzey Lewis, author of Introduction to "Gnosticism": Ancient Voices, Christian Worlds, as well as Professor of Religious Studies at Brown University.

More information on Nicola







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The Gnostic Paul 02/08/2014





Paul of Tarsus was a main force behind the astral speculations of the Gnostics, long before Orthodoxy sanitized him. He likely comes from a mystic tradition of mystery apostles and arcane magicians. He himself might be a cipher for Simon Magus, the Father of all Heresy and Gnosticism. We take an intimate view of the primordial Paul, his writings, and the many legends surrounding him. And his influence on the Gnostics and other forbidden movements that were suppressed by a victorious church.

Astral Guest-- Robert M. Price, author of The Amazing Colossal Apostle: The Search for the Historical PaulIncredible Shrinking Son of Man: How Reliable Is the Gospel Tradition?, and The Pre-Nicene New Testament.

Robert's Homepage
Bob's article, The Evolution of the Pauline Canon

  







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The Rise of the Gnostics in the 21st Century 02/01/2014


Beyond its impact on art and culture, and its rise of churches, Gnosticism has become a force for the betterment of the world. As it slices through enslaving politics and dogmas, the Gnostic revival continues to reveal the map to fully awakening civilization. We mine the Gnostic gospels and teachings to find how any individual can find the true Philosopher's Stone and become part of the healing of the universe.

Astral Guest-- Mark Cordova, author of The Secret and the Truth of the Ages.

more information on Mark













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