Jesus the Taoist?

Discussion in 'Tao' started by theocritus, May 27, 2006.

  1. taolpha

    taolpha New Member

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    Just found this interesting article pertaining to our discussion here.

    theteachingsofjesus.blogspot.com/2006/09/tao-of-jesus.html
     
  2. soma

    soma New Member

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    Thanks that was a great blog. I left this comment.

    Jesus said, “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” because it provides an effective answer to the many problems of modern life. This call for love tells us that we are united and that no other person is separate or apart in God’s spiritual consciousness. Recognizing that we are all one in God’s consciousness gives us full protection in His unity by integrating our individual life with the world around us and providing a basic harmony and equilibrium in our hearts and minds.
    http://thinkunity
     
  3. taolpha

    taolpha New Member

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    soma,

    That is a great way to put. I sent a link to the Blog to a Christian friend of mine and he says there is a lot of information wrong in it. We are going to have lunch next week. I'll take notes and fill you guys in on what he thinks. My Islamic friend at work thought it was a great article.

    /taolpha
     
  4. jiii

    jiii ...

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    You know, inhumility, I will admit that I was very surprised by your summarization of Jesus' life in India. That you provided these claims so surely was enough to compel me to take a look for myself and see how much of what you say is supported by evidence.

    At first, I was most skeptical...not because I have some solid idea of Jesus' life, but because the ideas themselves seemed so contradictory to what is usually held as having actually happened. My curiosity was certainly stirred. I provide this most basic information to everyone on this thread, as well, that might also be equally curious as I am.

    I began to search the Internet slowly but surely. Amazingly, the first website I came across was Tomb of Jesus (http://www.tombofjesus.com). This site was most interesting, as it held quite plainly that Jesus had, of course, been to Asia and that his tomb is in Srinagar, Kashmir, India! But the most fascinating aspect was that the site offered images of documents that were purportedly evidence of this claim, and alongside were translations of each one, highlighting the pertinent sections. I read through these various offerings and I was most surprised. However, there was still quite a bit of skepticism left in me. Many bogus historical documents have surfaced over the years, and many documents have been broadly misinterpreted to support facts that simply aren't true. Thus, I decided to search further.

    What I found was not nearly so convincing.

    I first chose to see what various Christian websites had to say. What I found was pretty much what I expected. They dismissed the claims, but provided no real proof whatsoever that they were justified in doing so. I don't consider these resources in the least bit. However, one obscure example of these sites did note something worth mentioning. They offered that there have been innumerable opposing claims about the life of Jesus that have developed over the centuries...claims which, if they were all humored, would've made Jesus much more of a miracle worker than anyone has yet thought. Name any country on the continents of Asia and Europe, and there are a group of people that will tell you that Jesus was there in so-and-so date and that they know this because of so-and-so. That Jesus went on a transcontinental parade around all of Eurasia is completely ridiculous. Although this doesn't actually refute the claims that Jesus went to the East, it does show that people have been spinning tall tales about about him for a long, long time. Frankly, it wouldn't be too unbelievable that some of these myths could've been adopted as though fact in times of antiquity...and that it could've lead to so-called "historical proof" for people like us, long after the ability to discern myth from truth had passed.

    I found a few different websites that discussed the fact that many supposed references to 'Jesus' in different languages in old documents, including many of those found on the 'Tomb of Jesus' website, simply don't necessarily translate to Jesus, at all. Not that they couldn't possibly be talking about Jesus, but that it isn't nearly as cut and dry as some quite over-enthusiastic criers would like to believe.

    I also discovered that the claim that Jesus went to Tibet is anything but verified. That claim arose in 1894 when Nicolas Notovitch published a book explaining Christ's travels to the Asian country. Notovitch, while travelling in Tibet, claimed to have found the Hemis monastery, which he said housed an old book detailing the life of Jesus, who was in that context called 'Saint Issa'. He came back with surprising 'translations' which stirred up many curious minds. However, when famous Orientalist, Max Muller, went to this temple to verify the claims, he was told that it was blatantly untrue, and the lama he spoke with was outraged at the falsehood of Notovitch's nonsense. Intimidated by Mullers refutations, Notovitch began rehashing his story...no longer was it a book, but a series of fragments. This further exposed his tale as one of the tall and fictional variety. Following Muller's investigation, some others claimed to have gone to the same temple and seen the manuscript, but most of them couldn't have read whatever document they were shown, as they didn't know the language. Furthermore, they didn't know that Notovitch had changed his story. They returned fraudulently claiming that they saw the very book that Notovitch spoke of, only to find that Notovitch had already admitted that no such book existed. The conclusion: "It remains quite clear that Notovitch's Unknown Life of Jesus was a hoax. It is proof enough of this that Notovitch, intimidated by Max Müller's attack, backed down and changed his story, pulling the rug out from under his subsequent defenders, who were apparently ignorant of his revisionism. And the vehement denials of the original Hemis abbot echo loud and clear." Notovitch lied...plain and simple. (Here is a link to the site where this information came from: Jesus in Tibet)

    While looking into other sites about the Tomb of Jesus, I was startled to see that Japan, too, had laid claim to having the Tomb of Jesus! In 1935, it was claimed that the tomb of Jesus was in Shingo, Aomori, Japan. To back this claim up, a document surfaced that claimed that Jesus hadn't died on the cross, and instead, made his way to Japan...somehow. Needless to say, the document was eventually discovered to be a hoax. Again, it doesn't prove that Jesus didn't travel to the East...but it does show that a very intentional effort was made to fabricate evidence to back up a story that just wasn't actually true. Furthermore, and I found this quite funny, this link to Tomb of Jesus in Japan seems to leave the validity of the document 'up in the air' while discoursing as if it is genuine. Yet, in this article, Shingo, Aomori, in Wikipedia, it is stated that: "These documents unsurprisingly turned out to be a forgery, and even in Shingo itself few people truly believe the legend."

    To summarize, I found that the name, "Jesus", has been pre-emptively read into many ancient documents. Furthermore, on two seperate occasions, both in Tibet and Japan, utterly false claims of Jesus' presence were fabricated, distributed, and believed for a good deal of time. And indeed, there are still people that insist on believing both of these myths even though modern knowledge shows that they are little more than clever hoaxes.

    However, the most unfortunate part of my search, by far, was that the 'Tomb of Jesus' website was the best, if not the only, submissible supporting evidence I could find on all of the Internet for Jesus' travels to India. You would think that an amazing theory like Jesus' being in India, which supposedly could be backed up by 'incontrovertible' evidence, would be all over the Internet. And, indeed, you can find a mess of personal or quasi-professional websites that speak of his supposed travels to India. The uncanny aspect to all them, though, is that they tend to run over the exact same information again and again and again. It's as if they all got their information from the same newspaper article and independently set to making their own website to spread the news. One might've expected to find a plethora of articles by college professors, historians, comparative philosophers, theologians...all of them hailing from different universities and organizations...but, no...in that respect the Internet is pretty much barren.

    There is not much depth to the whole hypothesis of Jesus being in India...what the 'Tomb of Jesus' website shows its viewers is, by and large, the best that the world has to offer. There are a small selection of books published (of which I may still read one) that argue the 'Jesus in India' theory probably very convincingly as if it were ludicrous to suppose otherwise (don't buy into Notovitch's book, by the way...it is still available). A few of these books press the idea to ludicrous extremes, claiming that Moses, too, is buried in India and other outlandish ideas. Most advocates of the theory seem to think that European imperialism and reluctance to new ideas are somehow suppressing the blatant truth to the story...which I find plainly ridiculous, as many people would be interested if it weren't for the fact that the only resources for learning about "Jesus in India" are relegated to a website or two and a handful of books. There are undoubtedly a tangle of obscure references that occur elsewhere, but most are of such limited validity or are such a stretch of the possible facts, that they are mostly ignored even by those that support the theory.

    I finish my very brief exploration feeling as if the hypothesis about Jesus living out his years in the East is, well, still just a hypothesis. I didn't find anything that could actually prove the theory to be untrue, though I did find that similar ideas have surfaced in the past and been exposed as hoaxes. Furthermore, I definitely did not find anything that proved that the claim was true.

    Of course, this is just Internet research...I know. I don't expect that this post is taken as solid truth...it's just the results of brief exploration by someone that was genuinely curious and willing to find out either way whether Jesus really did live in India in his later life.

    A quick note for those that are scratching their heads, saying," But what about Jesus' tomb in Srinagar, Kashmir, India?" Well, I can't say, and neither can anyone really, whether or not it is actually his tomb. Let me illustrate my misgivings this way....
    Want to find the Ark of the Covenant? Here it is:

    "The Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Axum, Ethiopia is the only one in the world which claims to still possess the Ark of the Covenant. Local tradition maintains that it was brought to Ethiopia by Menelik I following a visit to his father King Solomon. Although it was once paraded before the town once each year, it is now kept under constant guard in a 'treasury' near the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion, and only the head priest of the church is allowed to view it. Most Western historians are skeptical of this claim."
     
  5. flowperson

    flowperson Oannes

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    jiii:

    Very interesting post. Look at post #9 earlier in this thread. The website I posted is a very extensive scholarly book covering the travels of the Apostle Thomas in India. I found it to be well researched and written. Of course Thomas' name in the Greek, Didymus, which means "Twin-Twin", is very appropriate to your post regarding Jesus' visit to Kashmir.

    The other purported brother of Jesus, James, perhaps the second twin, supposedly founded the Christian Church in Jerusalem and was subsequently killed by the Romans also. There is an excellent book regarding his life written by Robert Eisenman titled, James The Brother of Jesus. Well worth reading IMHO.

    Thomas' travels took him to Kerala in the south of India, where to this day there is a vibrant Christian culture. Thomas was said to have been slain by a mob with swords on a hill in Madras. Isn't it strange that these two beings, Jesus and Thomas, were said by some to be twins and further are said by some to have lived out their final meanings in India, North and South. In ancient times the word "twin" also referred to the umbilical for some strange reason.

    In the worlds that I inhabit these days, and have for about the past twenty years, I have come to believe more and more that there are no coincidences when it comes to G-d's plans for the Creation.

    flow....:cool:
     
  6. inhumility

    inhumility New Member

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    Thank you for doing some internet surfacing / research on Jesus in India. I would like the members of this CR forum to view these websites personally to make their observations personally and formulate their own opinion. My purpose of writing that post and this one is not necessarily that the members should subscribe to my view. The incident of Crucifixion of Jesus happened two thousand years ago and under intriguing circumstances. There were myths made and unmade at that time and several accounts written, not the only one described in the four gospels or books bound and included by the church named New Testament, arbitrarily. Rationality demands that instead of succumbing to the one-sided superstition of “Inspired Writers” or so called “Eye-Witnesses” the books left over by the church at that time (some estimate those accounts consisting on forty Gospels) should also be read to know the truth. Now after two thousand years a lot of data from many nations of the world has surfaced; why that data should not be treated parallel or equal of status to that data which was selected by Church and its affiliates. Why myths created at Rome or Jerusalem should be given blind-folded preference over legends and traditions of Iran/Afghanistan/Pushtun/ Kashmir /Tibet/Kerala/India/Japan or Eastern Europe. These are now common treasure of the whole world, not necessarily confined to those people, world having been transformed into a Global Village. What does rationality or Justice demand?
    If there are many nations witnessing that Jesus came to their countries, why this should not be accepted ; men of reason just tell me? There are scientific tools available to verify such claims i.e. carbon dating of the historical artifacts as also the DNA records of the people.
    When Jesus along-with Mary the Mother, departed from Galilee he went on a path that went up the mountains, and it was cloudy, so people could see him going up the clouds to the mountains and beyond to the lost tribes of Israel ,dispersed to the countries where people saw him and his mother. The so called “eye-witnesses” of the NT could see Jesus only to the clouds, which are sometimes formed not too distant from the ground (as is common in the hilly lands), that is the truth about their eye-witnessing and seating Jesus on the right hand of God.
    Thanks
     
  7. jiii

    jiii ...

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    I would most certainly agree, inhumility, that the wide range of ideas about Jesus' travels are not part of most people's common sense, despite the fact that many of them really can't be disproven, and furthermore, are offered with compelling, albeit somewhat disputed, evidence. What I was quite surprised by was the fact that, well, Jesus actually might have been to India...it's pretty amazing. Although I would not be inclined to outwardly disagree with someone that says otherwise, I don't really think, based on what I've found, that anybody can really be certain. Whether or not there really is enough evidence out there to solidly prove or disprove such theories may simply require more time for writers and researchers to compile it and compare notes and do some investigations. Until then, I remain very much open to possibilities and new information.

    However, I do still feel that Jesus' teachings, as they are recorded in the Bible, do not really seem to echo the Taoist attitude, or the Buddhist attitude, for that matter. Nor do I feel that they represent an ancient Western interpretation of these Eastern traditions. The Bible is filled with many contradictory statements attributed to Jesus, and if they are taken individually, some of them seem Taoist or Buddhist in nature. However, collectively, I feel that they present a different viewpoint than you would find in the East. Frankly, I have found that most religions I have looked into have had many different religious writers over the centuries or millenia that have written very Taoist- or Buddhist-sounding ideas. However, I believe that this shows that religion, in its distinctly varying forms, is a product of many varied cultures delving into the same depths of their consciousness, not necessarily that all of these faiths were literally influenced by Buddhist or Taoist teachings.

    In fact, if the documents on the Tomb of Jesus website actually do refer to Jesus, it is clear that the cultures involved did not consider him a Buddhist or Taoist, in the least bit. If they actually do refer to Jesus, those documents seem to suggest that Jesus was most definitely hailed as a sage, as a revered holy man, but not as a Taoist or Buddhist whatsoever. They refer, variously, to a 'man from the West' and the ideas they attribute to that man are not congruous with major Eastern traditions. Whether or not those documents refer to Jesus or just missionaries, those Eastern writers accepted the travelers mostly because they appeared to be amazing people. That is, the kind of people that truly went beyond all preaching and exemplified the kind of transcendental love that all religions try to help their followers access. If that were the case, even ideas that aren't Taoist or Buddhist at all would be just as relevant for Taoists and Buddhists...because the 'thing', really, is that unexplainable love that all sages of the world have exhibited regardless of religion.

    "We know from time to time that there arise amongst human beings people who seem to exude love as naturally as the sun gives out heat. And, by and large, man's religions are attempts to cultivate this power in ordinary men."
    -Watts

    If it was Jesus that those ancient records speak of, I don't think there was anything Buddhist or Taoist about him...he was, however, the kind of man that lent a certain realism to abstract ideas like love, and so in that he was considered a sage by even those that may have known nothing of his particular faith.

    -jiii
     
  8. soma

    soma New Member

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    A true image of God though will always be puzzling to our limited mind. We are not only inundated with the images and misconceptions of our senses, but we are also compromised with the misunderstandings of our mind. To counteract our minds limitations we have developed some analytical and logical paradigms to examine God, the world we live in and the ideas that surround us. However, the characteristics of creation created out of one God have become unimaginable and paradoxical because of the many theories created by scientists and theologians with their commandments, processes, beliefs and experiences. To compensate for these imbalances in explaining this one world, an integration of philosophical and scientific principles, enlightening and uplifting terms are needed from many sources. A study of Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Torah, Islam, science, Christianity and psychology can help one see and understand this vast consciousness we call God. The teachers are different, but the message is the same, this convergence happens very close to the concept of truth.
    http://thinkunity.com
     
  9. Eclectic Mystic

    Eclectic Mystic Member

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    Perhaps, as a mystic, Jesus was a de facto Taoist?

    [​IMG]
     
  10. soma

    soma New Member

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    I can accept Jesus was a Taoist, but he used different terms because he was talking to people in a different culture.

    http://thinkunity.com
     
  11. Eclectic Mystic

    Eclectic Mystic Member

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    The very first line of the Tao Te Ching is: "The Tao that can be followed is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal name.

    I think Theocritus hit the nail on the head when he posted:

     
  12. soma

    soma New Member

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    As Einstein put it:
    "Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts."

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