One of the most frustrating factors in research regarding belief systems and that which was before the current “regime”, is that whatever religion now “reigns supreme” takes it unto themselves to demonize all that came before. That is, perhaps, a large part of the fascination for me with the LOTR cast of characters. Tolkein and C. S. Lewis were quite good friends, and part of a group of literatti that met to encourage and critique each other’s works. Hence we have some excellent tales winding ancient lore into fantasy landscapes that satisfy as much because of the depth of understanding held by the author of the character types of which he was writing.
The Gandalf character is, of course, one of the most fascinating. He is an “Istari”, meaning he comes from the first circle of creation and is quite literally a “star” in the making. Was this how Tolkein saw the Christ? I am not sure, he most certainly never said, when asked such questions he would lower his pipe, like Gandalf above and smile, saying it is fantasy, enjoy it for what it is.
Yet, when you look most closely at the Carpenter from Nazareth, you find a gentle spoken man whose understanding of the principles on which the Universe was built, and the core of what humans are supposed to be to one another, are so immense that one has no difficulty twisting his teachings, and tweaking them in such a way as to make an entirely new religion out of them. That wasn’t his goal, you know. He had no intention of making Jews into Gentiles. His intent was to create an awareness of the very meaning behind every one of the more than 600 mitzvot. He wanted his own to be practicing their faith as loving and being loved by a most caring and present G-d.
I often wonder just which words were “judiciously” added by the bishops of Constantine. Which others were twisted? And why was it necessary in their eyes to make him hate the Jews, his own people? That is the perspective I dislike most about the Gospels that came from that meeting. How could you twist a man’s love for his own people into something so insidiously destructive? But they did. So it became acceptable to harrass those of Judaic descent. That is not acceptable in my book. Nor should it be in any one else’s.
But then, those of Jewish descent were not to mix with those who worshipped pagan gods, being told that Hashem was a jealous G-d. I accept that that is what Moshe understood from what he was shown, I simply have difficulty with that emotive expression belonging to the Most High. And yes, I suspect that much of the revelation Moshe received was visual. The words were most likely his own. He simply did not understand that jealousy stems from insecurity, and Hashem was not insecure, simply trying to show him that these that were being worshipped as high and “in charge” were lesser spirits.
But . . . . . . therein lies the rub, so to speak. A lesser spirit is not necessarily an evil spirit. I will put a caution here, generally the Most High’s servants and companions will point to the Most High and tell you that is where you center your worship, so if you find that they accept actual worship, they are not “good”. There are many spirits in the universe that are in what could loosely be called the “neutral zone”, being neither wholly evil, nor being totally dedicated to that which is high and holy. Their world is gray, and if you choose to deal with them, you must be very sure of where you are going and what you are doing.
During my search for a pic of Pan, I found a website that was entitled tvisnotforChristians. Oh dear, I suspect that this is authored by a group of ascetics, I did not check it out thoroughly enough to say that with any authority, but please be careful. Condemnation is something no true follower of either the Buddha or the Christ can afford. We are to walk our own path, measuring our strides not by the strides of others, but by our own faltering steps of yesterday. If we are doing better at following the teachings, then we are making progress. If we are not, we need to get back on track. Do not ever measure your progress by others. And do not call that which is good, evil, you will be committing a sin that cannot be forgiven.
Balance and Blessings,