I would like to know what your thoughts are on the following please. I would like to state that this in no way reflects my thoughts and is something I have put together quickly from other sources. Many thanks.
, Penguin, I forgot to ask a very important question!!! Forgive me ...
From what sources did you compile the account you provided, why
did you compile this information (since you say it "in no way reflects [your] thoughts"), and what do you think?
Clearly many at CR - both Christians and otherwise - are open to these possibilities. Others would say that these ideas are "unnecessary inventions" or even detract
from the story they've come to hold sacred. It's the how and the why of it that seems most important to me!
Dondi, to give at least a little
substance to my own belief, since you asked for evidence
- I would submit the following: Many scholars have shown a definite similarity between the Essene teachings & precepts for living, and those of Buddhism. It cannot be denied that Buddhist missionaries existed both in Egypt and in Asia Minor well over 2,000 years ago. Scholars who have maintained this view include Schilling, Schopenhauer, Higgins, King, Lassen and Millman. King writes, in The Gnostics and their Remains
, that most of Asia Minor's mystical sects were derived from India and have a Buddhist background. This is also true of the Therapeutae of Egypt.
What does this tell us by itself? Perhaps nothing that we didn't already know, or couldn't learn through a little research. But now let's combine this awareness with the possibility
that Jesus traveled first to Egypt
, and after studying the (already ancient) Mystery Traditions there (do you know much about these?), to the Orient. Why
would Jesus be seeking out these various traditions, and studying there? Answer: To go to the source!
If one regards the life of Jesus of Nazareth as a depiction of the Quest for Truth as undertaken by every yearning human soul
... (and no greater significance could it have for us, imho
) ... then we must accept that the life of Christ shows the stages
of this journey. Imo, the latter stages of the journey are depicted for us
in the main events of Birth, Baptism, Transfiguration, Renunciation, and Resurrection/Ascension. Yet there is an awfully long time
between the first stage and the second, and this corresponds to the greater portion of our own, individual quest for truth - the Hall of Learning,
leading to the Hall of Wisdom
I do not doubt for a moment that during these years of early adulthood and young manhood, Jesus learned through hard work
and through his intimacy with his Brethren, wherever he travelled.
Clearly this was so. But the notion that this, God's Son, would have been illiterate, simple-minded
, and in so many respects ordinary
... until magically, one day "down by the river" the Dove just descended out of nowhere (!)
... and BAM!
Errr, I don't dig. It's just not smooth & sequential, much less logical ... and I do not think it's meant to be swallowed whole. However, for Jesus to have gone to the best Universities,
the most ancient of Teachers
, and spent time with those who were renowned even in that time
as the Wisest of the Wise (Pythagoras, Plato, and many of the Greek philosophers again
, trace their lineage to Egypt, thence to India, Tibet, and the Himalayas) ... now that
makes good sense! He would have both learned and taught
, and all the while been preparing for the Greatest Mission
that any Divine Emissary has ever undertaken - or at least, so do Christians believe.
I will add one small anecdote as additional evidence
that Jesus could easily have traveled East to learn "from the source." There is a tradition among some, and the story has now reached the West such that literally millions
are familiar with it (research "Wesak Blessing/Legend"
), that the same Shakyamuni Buddha whom history knew as Siddharta Gautama, did not
enter highest Nirvana ~2500 years ago and float away
from the Earth altogether. The idea has always been preserved that the Buddha retained his Trikaya (spiritual bodies, which make Earthly
contact possible) and once each year reappeared to the faithful (the purest of heart) to give a tremendous Blessing
, bestowed gradually throughout the year to all the planet. And along with this tradition is the belief that in some rare cases, even as late as the 15th (or even 19th) Century ... the Lord Sangyas
(Buddha) was known to make brief appearances, under what we might describe as mystical
circumstances. Why then, should it be difficult for us to imagine that 2,000 years ago - when the need of the world was great, and the discipline & necessary sacrifice was to be found in Jesus of Nazareth
- that the latter travelled Eastward and actually "met" the Buddha himself?
My own interest is not to find a connection where none exists. Either Jesus did or did not
make these travels, and even if he did, he might or might not have actually learned from Shakyamuni Buddha. It's just one possibility. And if Jesus survived the Crucifixion, perhaps not even as an expectation - but rather, as a lucky twist of fate -
then why should this invalidate the least bit of his mission and accomplishment? I think we've been here before, but I try to raise the question this time purely in the light of speculation as to the role of Jesus of Nazareth in human psychology
(of the spirit
, if one prefers) - and whether that might not be Universal, rather than purely
It seems to me that some perceive such an idea as an effort to drag the Universal out of a religion which has too many particulars. And I may be guilty of that. Because I do believe
that the life and mission of Jesus of Nazareth had implications for us all
, and I think it was a labor of love for all of Humanity
, and not just the select few. Christ did not, however, unify the East and West once and for all. The traditions remain to a great extent disparate, and to ignore the differences is to slight both Buddhists/Hindus and Abrahamists. But believing in Jesus' travels Eastward as I do, I find it much easier
to accept that God has always
had a Plan for unifying all the Sons of Men
, who are also the (lost/forgotten) Sons of God. Jesus served a vital role in helping to plant some of the seeds of Unification even 2000 years ago, just as Appollonius of Tyana did after him, and Pythagoras even 500 years prior. The work continues to this day, as we so fortunately reap the Blessings those Great Ones sowed ...
, this is one of the great pieces of work for which the Christ descends into the world today - not the just the uniting of East & West, in terms of religion
, but all people everywhere, and through the stimulating of the One Spirit that dwells within us all
, no matter our ethnic background, religious experience, or articles of faith.
I know this is a bit much, and I'm thinking it actually belongs on a different forum ... yet it all proceeds from Penguin's question, and yours, Dondi - so here it is! Apologies if it's a little peripheral to the bulk of discussion on `Christianity.'