Tracing the origins of Judaism and Christianity

“This stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will surely give a tenth to You.” ~ Genesis 28:22.

In examining our history and learning that the out of Africa theory is on shaky ground and some other theories in regard to indigenous regional origins of modern humans remain in contention. It also seems apparent that there was a considerable mixing of subspecies and modern humans so we may never trace our exact ancestry, but a closer examination of our past is revealing.

The first identified modern human remains were found at Jebel Irhoud, Morocco and dated to 300,000 BC. In contrast, “the find at the prehistoric site of Attirampakkam, India, has shown the potential of a Middle Palaeolithic culture at 385-172 thousand years ago (ka), much earlier than conventionally presumed for South Asia.” ~ Nature

At present there is no way of knowing if the people who lived at Attirampakkam were ‘modern humans’ and if they were, it’s argued by some that they migrated from Africa some 2 million years back. But a commonality between all human species, ancient or modern is they all developed tools and technologies for survival as we see in the much earlier settlements in the Sivalik region dated at two million BC.

After the end of the Younger Dryas – near 10,000 BC, a (new) sense of civilisation based on spiritual wisdom spread over the region of greater India. Perhaps this was in response to the tragedies of the Younger Dryas and/or the revelations on the technology of being human by Shiva the Adiyogi resulting in the establishment of a relatively stable civilisation of the Greater India.

Some say the Rig Veda and this knowledge dates to before this time and it is well possible, however a sense of Sanatana Dharma or living in accord with life while sustaining what is known and fruitful for all life was rooted in the minds of the people. Outwardly – physically, this sounds ideal but more importantly it was the clarification of what it was to be human and instruction on how to relate to oneself, on how to deal with the mind and imagination, to quell fears and to answer the proverbial questions, why and how?

Part of the solution was in education, of everyone knowing they were responsible for both their inner and outer worlds. The knowledge that the vagaries of nature, flood, drought, earthquakes etc caused suffering but they could be foreseen and planned for and the internal suffering caused by one’s own ignorance could also be managed by not identifying with body or mind. To this end, deities were bought into being as tools to be cherished and these quickly evolved beyond (just) the divine mother, the sun and elemental symbols which also must not be neglected.

This period at the end of the younger dryas would have been a physically challenging time, sea level rise, drought, forced migration into populated regions, a shift towards a patriarchal society and the evolution of laws, economics and conflict resulting in the expulsion of some from paradise perhaps culminating in the Kurukshetra war followed by more mass migration out of India.

The idea of (one) God or creative principal had been clarified as Shiv or Shiva and represented by a stone linga, but it is said, the first act of those migrating as to erect a stone linga as a point of devotion. Over time and being distanced from the homeland, concepts changed with the retelling and the idea of God moved from being an internal point of focus and devotion to become an objectified deity.

“He built an altar there, and called the place El-bethel,
because there God had revealed Himself to him
when he fled from his brother.” ~ Genesis 35:7

Mother India remained matriarchal, communal, inwardly happy, inclusive and celebrated knowledge while avoiding entrapment in beliefs. The people mostly prospered and danced with nature while to the west under patriarchy, societies became more hierarchical, exclusive, fixated on beliefs and outward looking in their search for material happiness as they sought to control nature.

The most significant movement or shift in belief was through Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and finally Islam. While Judaism has to some extent retained something of its pagan dress, Christianity was completely man made . There is a great deal of doubt if the legendary Jesus of Nazareth actually existed or if any of the legends about him (such as him studying in India) are true though the core of his teachings resonate with Vedanta.

At the time as India prospered, the ancient near East was embroiled in conflict – man against each other and against nature. The Gods of the region had failed, people were confused so when a new messiah was proclaimed and he was likeable in contrast to the heavy handed rule of Rome, Gnosticism emerged and likely gained wisdom due to the frequent trade with India and that not doubt troubled the Roman emperors.

So when Constantine came along and perhaps desperate to contain his empire, he was inspired to adopt/create a Christianity for his that purpose. The Christian God however was external and so mysterious the common people were excluded from any direct experience and they had to pay tribute to the clergy who would if paid enough share the concocted word of God.

The Christian church although fragmented and in decline remains as one the worlds oldest political institutions and may yet transform to serve human need instead of greed while Islam being almost too unworthy to give breath simply wants to engender a global suicide on behalf of impossible beliefs.

Further learning:
Constantine and his formulation of Christianity for empire – Timeline World video 11 mins
Constantine and his formulation of Christianity for empire – Henry H Davis video 45 mins
The emperor Constantine – text
Gospel of Shiva Blogspot
How Hinduism and other ancient mythologies connect to the Bible

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