reply to post by AfterInfinity
My spiritual quest didn't begin until I looked beyond the Bible. The Bible is 66 books, chosen by a council (Nicea), based on what was being
popularly taught to the Roman people of the time. The Roman people were, obviously, pagan in faith, as that was why Christianity was being forced on
them: a state religion. This being so, the books of the Bible contain a lot of myths, events, teachings, laws, and the like which actually originate
in older, pagan, mythology, religion, and spirituality. The Bible, and the institution of the Church, alongside Christ, were all political tools meant
to unify the pagan peoples' of the Roman empire under a single ruling belief system. At its core then, the Christian religion is a manipulative tool,
meant to masquerade as reality and spiritual truth, but not actually representing it. I found a more complete understanding of human spirituality by
studying the belief systems of the people which the Church, and the Bible, took their writings from.
For example, in the Biblical story of Noah and the flood, the Lord punishes His creations for their disobedience, and never atones for his own mistake
(being all-knowing, he knowingly created a race of men who would become something He did not like). The flood is penance for man becoming sinful. Man
is only sinful though, because God knowingly placed them in the same garden as the being who would make them sinful. The Lord knew they would eat from
the Tree, at the request of the serpent. He knew they would discover their own flaws, flaws which the Lord had created them with, but tried to hide
from them. When they learn of these things, the Lord does not admit His mistake, but instead punishes them for bringing to light His short-comings.
In the Babylonian version, called Atrahasis, the deity Enlil becomes upset with man for man's offensive ways toward the Annunaki (Great Gods). To
punish them, he decides to kill them all. The major difference being, the deity Enki steps in and says: "We made the mistake. We made man unruly and
aggressive. Let us not punish them for our mistakes, let us not wipe away all life because we have found a fault in it. Instead, let us accept that we
did wrong, and let us work to correct that which we corrupted." However, Enlil (a very Yahweh-like figure in Babylonia) ignores Enki and continues
with his plan to remove life from Earth.
Enki, seeing the error in Enlil's ways, locates a group of still-pure human beings, Ziusudra (sometimes called Utnapishtam) and his family. Enki
secretly helps them construct a vessel so they may survive Enlil's wrath. The mighty flood comes, and most of the life of the Earth is wiped away,
save for Ziusudra and his family. Upon discovering this, Enlil rages against Enki, damning Enki for his betrayal. This goes on until Enki comes forth
and says: "Look at us, we made man, and man's faults are our doing. We are blaming them for our mistakes. Life must be allowed to survive, so it may
grow and learn from the mistakes that we have made. Now, let us try again, this time to help steer man away from our mistakes."
Once Enki has said his piece, the Anunnaki realize he is right. Accepting their own short-comings, they begin to create new humans, who have the
capacity to rise above the previous humans mistakes. They also set in place forces which will help keep human beings from becoming as unruly and
aggressive as they were the first time. The Annunaki accept their faults, as do men, and both work together to make each other better. In the Biblical
version man is blamed for God's mistake, and God corrects His mistake by killing all His creations (save Noah and his family), and then declares that
He was right all along, and man must act better, so He won't have to do it again. In fact, God only promises not to use a flood again, but, He
continues to punish people for His mistakes, by making them suffer until they bare the burden of His short-comings.
A much more pure spiritual message can be found within the writings of the culture's who influenced the Bible, as the Bible itself is a tool meant to
make us feel unworthy of God's grace, or our purest form, unless we accept faults which we are not responsible for.
~ Wandering Scribe