The Risen God

Jesus ascends - illustration by La Vista Church.
Jesus ascends - illustration by La Vista Church.

The idea of a god who died and then rose from the dead in order to give life to his people did not suddenly appear for the first time in the Middle East 2000 years ago.

On the contrary, it is an idea shared by many cultures, including Australian Aboriginal and pre-Columbian Native American cultures, which suggests that either the notion was developed before the arrival of humans in Australia (approximately 50,000 years BC) and the Americas (approximately 15,000 years BC), or that the idea is actually an archetype embedded in the psyche of every human being.

Joseph Campbell's book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, explains the idea of archetypes and draws parallels between many different mythologies. George Lucas credits Campbell for some of the structure of his classic Star Wars movies. See the Hub, The Spiritual Journey, for parallels between the hero's journey in literature and religious mythology, and the individual's spiritual and psychological journeys.

There are two schools of thought as to the underlying symbolism of the death-and-resurrection motif. It may be a response to the natural cycle of the seasons, particularly in the temperate and northern realms, in which winter brings a very clear apparent "death" of most vegetation, and spring is an almost miraculous resurrection of green. Alternatively, it could be a subconscious representation of the process of "ego death", which is a necessary first step in personal psychological transformation, and the subsequent upwelling of newly-released life energy once the transformation is complete.

Either way, the concept is not the exclusive preserve of "the people of the book" - it is a truly global notion.

Australian Aboriginal Risen Gods

Much of the culture and myth of the over 850 different Aboriginal cultures which existed in Australia prior to the arrival of Europeans has been lost.

Some elements, however have been documented, and there are at least two deities who died and were reborn, both of whom are known to be assciated with the initiation rituals which transformed boys into men.

Julunggul (the Rainbow Serpent), of the Arnhem Land area, was associated with rebirth and initiation. The Wawala, twin daughters of Djanggawul, were devoured by a copper snake, Yurlungur. He was later ordered to regurgitate them, and they were restored to life. This symbolism is used in the initiation ceremony.

A carving of the Mayan maize god, who was sacrificed by the gods of the underworld, and subsequently became the World Tree, source of Life.
A carving of the Mayan maize god, who was sacrificed by the gods of the underworld, and subsequently became the World Tree, source of Life.

The Mayan Maize God, Hun Hunahpu

Hun Hunahpu, likely a manifestation of the Precolumbian Maya god of maize, descended beneath a great mountain into the underworld realm of Xibalba, there to confront the twin lords of death. Hun Hunahpu was ultimately defeated and sacrificed.

The victorious underworld lords then took his head and placed it in the branches of a dead tree. The instant the head touched the tree, it miraculously came to life with abundant foliage and fruits which resembled the god's skull. In ancient Maya art, this was the sacred World Tree which represented the ability of life to spring forth from the realm of the dead.

The planting of apparently dead corn husks and the subsequent growth of new life, and thence food for the tribe, was part of the worship of Hun Hunahpu.

A carving of the winged Tammuz. Photo: B. Tamimi
A carving of the winged Tammuz. Photo: B. Tamimi

The Babylonian God Tammuz (aka Damazi, Hedammu, Adonis)

Tammuz loved Ishtar, and because Goddesses of Love were generally capricous and dangerous, this love (according to Gilgamesh) brought about his death. Ishtar went into the underworld to release him, but after seeing his ingratitude, she threw him back. His sister volunteered to take his place for six months of each year.

The annual mourning for the loss of Tammuz took place after the summer solstice, and was observed by Ezekiel taking place on the very steps of the Jewish temple.

"Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord's house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. Then said he unto to me, 'Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these." - Ezekiel 8.14-15

The celebration of the rebirth of Tammuz took place after the winter solstice - later religio-political events made that festival into a celebration of the birth of Jesus.

Tammuz was known as "The Shepherd", like Jesus, and images of the Queen with the baby Tammuz on her lap were popular, leading to the "Madonna and Child" school of iconography in Christianity.

Nabatean Arabs also worshipped Tammuz as the God of Life, depicting him with wings.

The phoenix - detail from the Aberdeen Bestiary.
The phoenix - detail from the Aberdeen Bestiary.

The Phoenician Phoenix

The phoenix is an immortal bird, which at the end of each life-cycle builds a next of cinnamon twigs and ignites it, burning itself to ashes. From the ashes, a new, young phoenix arises.

The phoenix was worshipped under various names in the area around Lebanon, where people consider themselves to be the descendents of the Phoenicians.

The phoenix has been used a symbol for Jesus, representing his ability to rise from the dead, his divinity, and also (inadvertently) his connection with pagan sun gods.

Ishtar icon. Photo: Laura Gibbs
Ishtar icon. Photo: Laura Gibbs

The Akkadian Goddess Ishtar, The Sumerian Goddess Inanna, Also Known As Astarte, Anunit, Atarsamain, and Esther.

Ancient gods and goddesses did tend to wander about and change their names, with elements of their myths dropping off or being embellished as they went, which complicates this task a little, but here goes ...

Ishtar went into the underworld to retrieve her lover, Tammuz, from death.

Ishtar, the divine personification of the planet Venus, was associated with sexuality,and her temples were places of ritual prostitution. Note the parallels with Mary Magdalene, a former prostitute, who was the first to see Jesus after he rose from the dead.

As part of the rules for her descent into the underworld, Ishtar shed an article of clothing at each of the seven gates, arriving in the underworld completely naked. There, she was imprisoned, and all sexuality ceased on Earth.

Ea, the king of all the Gods, sent a eunuch to obtain the water of life and sprinkle it on Ishtar. She was revived, and returned to the surface, regaining her clothing on the way.

This legend is believed to be the basis for the famous Dance of The Seven Veils.

The eye of Horus and ankh symbols (fertility symbols - note the cross shape).
The eye of Horus and ankh symbols (fertility symbols - note the cross shape).

The Egyptian Horus

The Egyptian Goddess Isis gave miraculous birth to the god, Horus, conceiving him through magical means after his father, Osiris, had died. The god of the sky, he was known as Horus Two-Eyes, with the eyes being the sun and the moon. Stories of damage to one of his eyes and its subsequent miraculaous healing (because of the waxing and waning of the moon) have been used to parallel death and rebirth. Over time, Horus came to be equated with the other Egyptian sun-god, Ra.

The Egyptian sun-god Ra was also the product of a virgin birth, delivered of Neith, who was impregnated by Kneth, the breath of life, after a forewarning by the god Thoth. Anyone spot the parallels with Mary, mother of Christ's experiences?

Because Horus was the son of Osiris after his death, and because earlier tales identified the original Horus (before syncretism with Ra) as the husband of Isis, Horus came to be seen as the reincarnation of Osiris.

Thus, by Hellenic times, in many areas Horus was happily in existence for many worshipppers as being his own father. The elements of the trinity - father, son, and Holy Spirit, are all present in this story, hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus.

Osiris-Dionysus

The gods Osiris and Dionysus were equated in documents as early as the 5th century BC by Herodotus, a Greek historian, suggesting that strong parallels had been in place for quite some time by then.

Gnostic and Neo-Platonis thinkers extended the observation to include Aion, Adonis, Attis, Mithras and other gods of the "mystery religions" of the Middle East.

During the first century BC, the name Osiris-Dionysus was in widespread use.

Dionysus was the Greek God of wine and inspired madness. Almost all myths represented him as having foreign (non-Greek) origins. He was also known as Bacchus, and the frenzy he induces as bakcheia. He is the patron deity of agriculture and the theatre, and was known as the LIberator - freeing one from one's normal self. He presided over communication between the living and the dead.

He was the son of Zeus, and the "Dio" part of his name is also derived from Zeus (deus). Historians have traced his worship to Minoan Crete, a neighbour of the very early Greek city-states.

Dionysus died and was reborn before he was born in one version of the story, and as an infant in another. Zeus was a well-known philanderer, and his wife Hera, in fits of jealousy, was prone to trying to kill his bastard offspring.

In one story, Dionysus' mortal mother was incinerated by Hera while he was in utero, and Zeus rescued the foetus, sewing it into his thigh until Dionysus was ready to be born (or reborn). In the other version, Dionysus'mother was the goddess Persephone (who spends half of each year in the underworld), and Hera tore him apart. Zeus retrieved his heart, and used it to reincarnate him.

Interestingly, there is a similar story about Tammuz, and the "heart of Tammuz" is reputedly a powerful religio-magical artefact. It is inscribed with a cross, or possibly a T, with a semi-circle or crescent on top.

Unverified claims by Christian fundamentalists include the claim that the crucifix icon is an example of Satan's influence on Roman Catholicism, and that a cross is actually a symbol of Tammuz, who was known to the Canaanites as Baal.

Quetzalcoatl, from the Codex Telleriano-Remensis.
Quetzalcoatl, from the Codex Telleriano-Remensis.

The Aztec Quetzalcoatl

Quetzalcoatl, as a snake, was a representation of the fertility of the earth. Snake worship was practised from the dawn of history, and is recorded earlier than 1100 BC. By 150BC, Quetzalcoatl has taken on the classic "feathered snake" form in paintings and carvings.

He was a symbol of death and resurrection, and the patron god of priests. He was the giver of maize to the people, and the god of the morning star.

Quetzalcoatl allegedly went to Mictlan, the underworld, and created fifth-world (current world) mankind from the bones of the previous races (with the help of Chihuacoatl), using his own blood, from a wound in his penis, to imbue the bones with new life.

Oh, and guess what? He was the product of a virgin birth.

Statue of Baal currently in the Louvre.
Statue of Baal currently in the Louvre.

The Canaanite Baal, aka Hadad, Adad, and Melquart

Baal was actually an Ugaritic word meaning loosely "divine" or "Lord", and it was applied to many foreign deities througout the Bible, so only context can establish which entity is meant in any particular passage.

In this case, we focus on one particular case, the god worshiped in Tyre as Hadad or Melquart.

Lord of the sky, governor of rain, the germination of plants, and protector of life, Baal correlates well with the other pagan deities we have discussed already. He is the son of El, the father of all the gods, referred to by the Hebrews as "YhWh", or "Yahweh".

Baal hosts a victory foeast after defeating the Laviathan, and at the urging of another god, invites Mot, the god of death. Mot is offended by being offered wina and bread in place of blood and flesh, and threatens to tear Baal apart. Baal impregnates a heifer, dresses the resulting calf in his clothes, tricking Mot, who slaughters the calf, believing he has slaughtered Baal. This is the inspiration for the worship of the Biblical "Golden Calf".

Baal enters the underworld as a shade, while Anat, Baal's sister, conducts an elaborate funeral for the slain calf.

The world is cracked with drought until Shapsh, the sun goddess, goes to the underworld and brings Baal back.

So there we have, yet again, the death-and-rebirth, the sacrifice of the son, and the return to life through the agency of a woman.

Celtic Horned God, Cernnunos

Associated with fertility and animals, the Celtic Horned God was worshipped in remarkably consistent fashion across much or Europe and Great Britain from prehistoric times.

A spring ritual involved intercourse between a man representing Cernnunos, and a woman representing the Earth Goddess, particularly after the advent of agriculture. Some accounts suggest that the man playing the part of Cernnunos would then be sacrificed, either each year, or after seven years of "kingship". The death and "rebirth" of the horned god represented the cycle of seasons and the return of life after winter. The human sacrifice ensured the fertility of the fields for another year.

In later times an animal, often a stag, was substituted for the human sacrifice, as Abraham substituted the lamb for his son Isaac, and as Baal substituted a calf for himself.

Dacian Xalmoxis

Xalmoxis was credited with the power of immortality, or life after death. The Dacians Believed that when they died, they simply "went to Xalmoxis". He was originally a mortal man, who taught the idea of eternal life after death.

He travelled to Egypt and taught the Egyptians the notion, then lived in Hades for three years.

He returned to life and showed himslef once more to the Dacians, to prove he was speaking the truth about life after death.

Records are scant, and it is not clear whether he was a sky-god, a god of the dead, or a variant cult of a god like Dionysus or the Libyan Atlas.

Photo: Stuck In Customs
Photo: Stuck In Customs

Further Reading

T. W. Doane in his 1882 Bible Myths opined that "nothing now remains for the honest man to do but acknowledge the truth, which is that the history of Jesus of Nazareth as related in the books of the New Testament, is simply a copy of that of Buddha, with a mixture of mythology borrowed from other nations."

The 1875 book The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors by Kersey Graves lists over a dozen miraculously conceived, saviors who, he argues, died on a Cross or tree. Graves claims that this is true of Krishna, Buddha, Ixion, Hercules/Heracles, Hesus/Eros, Attis, Tammuz/Adonis, Mithra, Quexalcote, Odin, Horus, Prometheus, and others.

Pinchas Lapide in the 1970s and 1980s was a strong proponent of recovering historical, Jewish, Jesus from beneath the layers of Christian mythology. Lapide saw the historical Jesus as a rabbi in the Hasidean tradition of Hillel and Hanina Ben Dosa, and in the context of Jewish independence struggle against Roman occupation. In The Myth of God Incarnate (1977), edited by John Hick, a team of seven British theologians argued from a position within the Church that God's incarnation in Christ is mythical.

According to expert Mary Boyce, "Zoroaster was thus the first to teach the doctrines of an individual judgment, Heaven and Hell, the future resurrection of the body, the general Last Judgment, and life everlasting for the reunited soul and body. These doctrines were to become familiar articles of faith to much of mankind, through borrowings by Judaism, Christianity and Islam." The historic Zoroaster lived more than 1000 years before Christ, and his ideas were gradually incorporated into the sermons of rabbis, prophets, and priests over the next 1500 years.

Isaiah, therefore, writing prophecies 600 years befofor the birth of Jesus, had plenty of raw material from which to craft the lines which remain the basis for the Jewish people's wait for their Messiah, and the Christians' conviction that he has been and gone and will come again.

Isaiah 53

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

More by this Author


Comments 66 comments

Leif profile image

Leif 8 years ago from East Coast USA

Wow, this was reeeally good! Thanks for sharing!

Leif


Inspirepub profile image

Inspirepub 8 years ago from Sydney, Australia Author

My pleasure, Leif ...


Marisa Wright profile image

Marisa Wright 8 years ago from Sydney

I was aware that the resurrection was a common theme over different civilisations, but have never seen it explained in detail before. Very informative!


jimmurdoch profile image

jimmurdoch 8 years ago from Switzerland

Great work. You've done your homework. Some of these facts are taught in Christian Seminaries, yet very few ask the big question, "What makes our story any different then the rest?"


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 8 years ago

Jenny - You are awesome. This is fantastic. It must have taken ages for you to do the research for this.


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

Thanks, Jenny, it's quite an interesting reading :)


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

Yes my dear very good and I agree with Misha....it is amazing to me that this has been going on for thousand's of years...even before Christ . so how can it be doubtful in anyone's mind? different strokes for different folks...but it all comes down to the same thing...There is a God..whatever word you choose to use...doesn't matter...Believing is what matters.Thanks for such a wonderful Hub and HAPPY EASTER...G-Ma :o) hugs


sandra rinck 8 years ago

Yes! Thanks Jenny. I did read a lot of this stuff as well, but you also included a lot of stuff I didn't know like Cernnunos and Xalmoxis. Your the best! x


robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey

Thanks for a wonderful article chock full of Easter goodies--I think I read somewhere that the English word Easter is related to the name of the godess Ishtar? Not sure how or where that piece of trivia came from--in contrast to your really well documented,excellent and far readhing information LOL-- Oh we,, great job Jenny. May the blessings of the Easter bunny be upon you:-)


Inspirepub profile image

Inspirepub 8 years ago from Sydney, Australia Author

Thanks all! And many happy bunnies to all as well.

It's great to have a bunch of people who are interested in these things and take the time to make comment - I wouldn't make the effort to pull this sort of info together if I didn't have you guys around to appreciate it.

Thanks all of you for giving this some of your precious Easter holiday time!

Jenny

P.S. Robie, there is a Germanic fertility goddess called Eostre who we think is the one Easter was named after, but who is to say that Eostre wasn't a Germanisation of Ishtar in the first place? Ishtar was around for at least thousand years before the Germanic tribes really came to the fore, after all.


Hope Alexander profile image

Hope Alexander 8 years ago

The great thing about reading about these seemingly "far out" gods, is that at one time, they were as run of the mill and "boring" as Christianity seems today. If only society as a whole could look back at our combined spiritual heritage, quit clinging to the latest myth story, and perhaps start to look at the deeper thread that unites them all.


Inspirepub profile image

Inspirepub 8 years ago from Sydney, Australia Author

Indeed, and stop making a fetish of whether or not any one of them is literal "Truth". And stop getting so distracted by the messenger that they completely miss the message ...


Hope Alexander profile image

Hope Alexander 8 years ago

And yet we still fight wars over, what is in the end, nothing more than the grown up version of "Would Batman or Superman win in a fight?" Its things like that that really make me despair for humanity. We've been doing this long enough to know better, and there are those of us who know better, yet for some reason, the 'enlightened' ones are never the ones in charge.

I suppose the reason for that was rather well summarized in a Dilbert cartoon that went something like this:

Dogbert: I wish the whole world was peaceful, and nobody was violent...

Dilbert: What a beautiful sentiment, Dogbert!

Dogbert: ... then I could take over the whole freakin' planet with a butter knife.


Inspirepub profile image

Inspirepub 8 years ago from Sydney, Australia Author

LOL, indeed ...

Or a pair of nail scissors, if airport security regulations are anything to go by.

I suspect the "enlightened" ones are not the ones "in charge" because they know that "being in charge" is mere farce, and that political power is a dangerous drug almost entirely inimical to true spiritual practice.

The Dalai Lama is as close as it comes, and even he struggles sometimes.


funride profile image

funride 8 years ago from Portugal

Great hub! Thank you Jenny, as always you made us all become better knowers.


sandra rinck 8 years ago

I remember Jenny when you said: they are just scared. What an awful place to be considering that when you actually hear the message intended you become free and full of courage, not like I could tackle a bear, but those who break free and heard the message know exactly what it implies.

One day I wanna talk to the Dalai Lama, all I want to ask him is, are you happy? Of course that is the same thing I would ask of all dieties and humans alike.


debrakcarey profile image

debrakcarey 8 years ago from West Plains, Missouri

I think the reason behind the idea of blood sacrifice and resurrection from the dead by a savior/god archetype is so prominent in cultures around the world...is the echo of the promise spoken in the garden by God to Adam and Eve....and carried by their decendents to all parts of the world. The killing of an innocent animal and using it's skins to cover their shame after the fall...was a very important lesson to our first parents. Up until then, death is not mentioned in the scriptures. Also the story of Cain and Abel shows that even back that far in our history...people understood that to be accepted by God you had to approach God through faith in the promise of a redeemer who would shed His blood for the remission of sin....Abel understood this and was accepted...Cain on the other hand refused to acknowledge the need for atonement by blood and brought the fruits of HIS labors...which can never make us acceptable to God....God was teaching using an object lesson....the wages of sin (rebellion) is death (separation from God).... but the gift of God is eternal life....through the death and resurrection of God Himself....Jesus.

This simple lesson of atonement has been with the human race from the beginning. Bits and pieces of it showing up in all cultures around the globe. It really that simple....and many cultures have added or subtracted from it...in an attempt to understand it....


Hope Alexander profile image

Hope Alexander 8 years ago

Actually debra, if you read Inspirepub's lovely hub here, and perhaps do a little research on other world religions for yourself, you'll find that the Judeo-Christian story with God and Jesus is just a later incarnation of much older stories and myths that have been around since man grew a brain.

In fact, the entire point of the hub is that the Jesus story is not unique, and neither is the Christian God. People have always believed in various Gods. The "one true" God lie is a travesty that prevents people from really understanding the spiritual yearnings they have.

Your post seems to indicate that you believe that the Christian God predates all others, and that other religions simply play with the Christian God in various ways, which is unfortunately, false. Re-read the hub and you'll discover that there were several other God theories around long before the Christian God came along and people jumped on that bandwagon.

Give it another thousand or two years and I am sure we'll have yet another "one true God", and it won't be the one so many people are worshipping now.


Inspirepub profile image

Inspirepub 8 years ago from Sydney, Australia Author

Thanks for the thoughtful comment, debra.

Hope, if you overlook the possibly exclusionary language, and read debra's post from the point of view that "god" is whatever we all yearn for, you may well find points of agreement on the fundamentals:

All human beings resonate to the death-rebirth myth.

All human beings experience separation from "god", whatever that may be, and yearn for reunion.

The path from separateness to reunion is ego-death, which is why we all resonate to stories of death and rebirth.

Any embellishments to the story are personal choice and their variations do not impact the universal motif.

One thing I would add, though, is that exclusionary beliefs "we are the Chosen people - others are not" in any form re-create separateness immediately, which is why religion is so often inimical to true spirituality.


singpec476 profile image

singpec476 8 years ago from Not Too Far Away

Great hub and great reading it, it is not suprising that so many religions have similar themes and festivals, no matter what our faith or beliefs there must have been some common point way back.


Inspirepub profile image

Inspirepub 8 years ago from Sydney, Australia Author

And, regardless of the development of our cultures, there is a common point in our common humanity and the common struggle to find peace and joy from a starting point - at birth - of separateness and fear.


sandra rinck 8 years ago

Can I call you a diety? Just wondering because everytime I read one of your post or comments and stuff I cant help but listen to what you have to say. Happy Bunnies!


Inspirepub profile image

Inspirepub 8 years ago from Sydney, Australia Author

Well, Sandra, we ARE all God, after all. You can call me a deity as long as you remember that you are one, too. :)


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

Sure you both are :D


Inspirepub profile image

Inspirepub 8 years ago from Sydney, Australia Author

So sayeth the HubPages MetaGod, Sandra, so shall it be .... :D


sdorrian profile image

sdorrian 8 years ago from Chicago

Wow! This is an amazing Hub! Very interesting and well-written. Excellent job!

Sandy Dorrian


Inspirepub profile image

Inspirepub 8 years ago from Sydney, Australia Author

Thanks Sandy, glad you enjoyed it!

Jenny


RemixNova profile image

RemixNova 8 years ago from Boston

great hub! and very interesting.


RFox profile image

RFox 8 years ago

Excellent Hub as always Jenny. Amazing research!

I do have two points of clarification though in regards to the Graves comment.

The Buddha did not have a miraculous birth (I've read all the mystical interpretations but they are to be taken as metaphors only. His historical birth is documented.)

And he didn't die on a cross or a tree. He died of poisoned food. Some say it was a deliberate act by a devotee, many believe it was accidental. Some say it was tainted pork, other accounts say the devotee mistook poisonous mushrooms for edible ones.

Anyhow, my whole point is that the Buddha was human in every way, shape and form. He was born a human and died a normal human death. He was not a deity, should not be worshipped as a deity and he himself did not want an organized religion to spring from his teachings.

Kind of interesting that his teachings have now been incorporated into many religions and how in some places he is almost deified. :)

We humans just can't be satisified with an enlightened message coming from one of our own species can we?

If someone says anything profound then they must be the 'son of God'. Lol.

And you are so right. Resurrection and rebirth idealogy are as old as humanity itself. :D


Inspirepub profile image

Inspirepub 8 years ago from Sydney, Australia Author

Yes, indeed, RFox, it would be WAY too confronting for an average person to contemplate the level of responsibility that comes with being just the same as Buddha or Jesus. Much easier to pretend they are on some other plane of existence to which we can never aspire ...


RFox profile image

RFox 8 years ago

Too true, too true. People love to shirk personal resposibility. It particularly seems to be the mantra of the 21st century. :)


whoneversleeps 8 years ago

I've been researching the myth about Prometheus, founding him compared with Jesus, Buddha, Horus and other positive characters from different myths, but I've also found a lot of similarities between Prometheus and Lucifer (J.W.Goethe) who's in Christian religion also called Satan, evil itself. Prometheus is also called "Pyrophoros" (fire-bringer) which means in ancient Greek the same as "Lucifer" in Latin language. Both of them have stolen the fire from God and were punished for it, etc.


Inspirepub profile image

Inspirepub 8 years ago from Sydney, Australia Author

Indeed - myths and legends are fluid and transferable.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

Fantastic job. I'm glad Mark Knowles pointed this out. What a great piece of work. You got yerself a new fan!


Inspirepub profile image

Inspirepub 8 years ago from Sydney, Australia Author

Thanks, Shadesbreath - great to have you!


ToddieM profile image

ToddieM 8 years ago from Diamond Bar, CA

Two things:

1.) Wasn't Ishtar that horrible movie with Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty?

2.) A shop not far from my office (who heavily played on the Great

Organized

Dinners or "God"acronym as witnessed by their letterhead

went out of business. I guess even God loses His luster without another Resurrection Epic to spin.


Inspirepub profile image

Inspirepub 8 years ago from Sydney, Australia Author

LOL, Toddie M. I guess even GOD has to submit to the free market ...


SparklingJewel profile image

SparklingJewel 8 years ago from upper midwest

At this point in time, I see the reason Jesus came again (I believe in reincarnation of souls) to show his version, is because souls kept getting lost in their interpretations and couldn't hang onto the clear concept of purpose and "the way" to reunite with God/Source.


Inspirepub profile image

Inspirepub 8 years ago from Sydney, Australia Author

I think that's the human condition, Sparkling Jewel.


ann 7 years ago

thank you, thank you, thank you.


Inspirepub profile image

Inspirepub 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia Author

My pleasure, Ann!


anonymous 7 years ago

god bless


Ben Bush profile image

Ben Bush 7 years ago from Central Texas

Inspirepub,

With all the similar death and resurrection religious motifs, do you find a similar reason or purpose for them. Are they required? If so, why?

Thanks, Ben


Inspirepub profile image

Inspirepub 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia Author

My hypothesis is that these archetypes are embedded in the human psyche, probably as result of our common pre-verbal experiences.

Each of us experiences "death" every night and "rebirth" every morning, for example, and each of us has a subconscious memory of a time when we felt all-powerful, completely connected and at one with the Universe.


Ben Bush profile image

Ben Bush 7 years ago from Central Texas

So, do we have cultural differences in interpreting the reality and significance of the death and resurrection commonality?

Or is there some type of objective standard to judge them by? If so, what?

Othewise, how do you know whether your hypothesis is correct. And how do you know our pre-verbal experiences are common with others? And how do you know that each of us has a subconcious memory? And that we have felt all powerful, completely connected and at one with the Universe?

My, My! I am full of questions tonight, aren't I?:)

I hope you don't mind. I've never seen you be anything but cordial and responsive to legitimate questions on Hubpages.

Your time and effort is appreciated!

Ben


Inspirepub profile image

Inspirepub 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia Author

What a lot of questions, Ben!

I have a degree in psychology, and there have been some interesting experiments which indicate that the developmental sequence is very much the same in every culture. Infants have no sense of their own boundaries - this develops gradually (given a carer who has their own healthy boundaries and is appropriate with the child).

I recently saw a video of a woman neuroanatomist who suffered a stroke in her left brain, and graphically described the subjective experience of timeless one-ness with the Universe which resulted from that stroke (the left brain is the seat of the verbal consciousness, which generally becomes dominant by around age 3). Of course, she had to recover her left brain functions in order to tell the story!

There is a developmental milestone when a child becomes able to envisage the world as being some other way than it is right now - around the same age, 2-4 years old. Up until that point, the child is in a state that adults can only reach by meditiation - completely present in the current moment without judgement. He or she is not yet able to judge.

As this ability emerges, the child's thoughts can and do diverge from the here-and-now present reality - and reality fails to follow the thoughts. Children are naturally self-centred at this age - the ability to see things from another's perspective develops later - so they interpret everything which happens as being the result of their own agency.

Up until this moment, their thoughts and the Universe have been as one.

The first time the child thinks "this shouldn't be happening" is a very traumatic moment in every child's life. It is when we get that sense of things being out of control which plagues all of us, and it's when we start to develop coping strategies.

If you think about the contrast between the peace of medititative contemplation without judgement, vs the stress of trying to make a reluctant Universe do our bidding, you can understand why that faint memory of perfection haunts us so.

We have each had our own personal Fall From Grace, lost our own personal Eden, and we all yearn to have it back.

I have written a lot more about this in http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/The-Spirit


Ronnie Maness 7 years ago from Tennessee

Undoubtedly there are numerous stories throughout history that the story of the Christian experience is parallel to. It seems the world is caught up in trying to convince Christians that they are fools for believing and the Christians are caught up in telling the world that they are fools for not believing. In the end however, everyone is foolish in their on right.In the true Christian tradition, the Christian is only responsible for sharing "the story," through the living out of their faith and personal sharing of the story as it is revealed to them by the Holy Spirit. Holiness of heart and life are the best witness to the world that there is a difference in the Christian story.In the true Christian belief, does being a Hindu or a Buddhist or a Muslim condemn in the eyes of God? Absolutely not, condemnation comes when one is confronted with the truth and knowing within their heart that they have seen and understand the truth they still refuse to accept it and believe.I was confronted with the story of Jesus Christ and Him crucified and resurrected at a very young age. Was it my religious upbringing? No, because even though my mother took us to church, religious instruction was not emphasized in my home. I actually had no true understanding of what it meant to be "lost." Yet deep inside of me there was a yearning to be close to my creator. Although making a profession at a very young age, I did not fully understand what was needed until I came to a point of personal crisis at the age of 34. It was then that everything came together for me. Was it a part of my psychology? Yes! It stands to reason that God would create us that way.Is my experience unique? By no means! Is my experience requisite for salvation? No! Was my experience personal? Most definitely! Ten men can look at one woman, warts and all. Nine will find her repulsive; one will find her to be irresistible. It is a matter of chemistry and perspective. He will not be able to convince the others to love her or even have anything to do with her. They will not be able to convince him to forsake her. She is like many others who have gone before her, yet she is unique.Jesus did not preach, as we know it today, trying to convince people to follow him. He only taught and allowed people to make their own decision. Was he common to the understanding of the people? By all means! My training is in Ancient Near Eastern religion and mythology. I know the stories and traditions. However, I still tend to see them as a foreshadowing of the final event, the birth of Christ. Am I right and everyone else wrong? From my perspective I am right, although others may see me as a fool. The only difference I do not see them as fools.


Kika Rose profile image

Kika Rose 7 years ago from Minnesota

Ah man, I better not let this link spill out around town. I could get my head blown off by the brainwashed sheep.

Who was it that had said all the other gods came from God Himself when Adam and Eve left Eden? Anyway, if you think about that from a Christian standpoint, that does make sense. Stories get jumbled over time; names change; the main point of the story may stay in tact, but the characters and events are likely to differ from person to person, mouth to mouth. So if you think about it that way, God could've come first, and the others are just spin-offs of the original through years of storytelling. Then again, you have to think about straight up history and how the stories of God came after Zeus, Horus, Quetzalcoatl, and the like. It makes it hard to really believe God came first.

This was an awesome hub, and it really made me think. Thank you Jenny! ^_^


Inspirepub profile image

Inspirepub 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia Author

Thanks, Kika Rose, glad you enjoyed it. If the link does get loose, the comment section is likely to explode!

Ronnie, I think you have a healthy perspective, and I wish all believers in every religion were as tolerant, self aware and flexible as you appear to be.


Ronnie Maness 7 years ago from Tennessee

Thanks.

What was the name of the song in which the refrain was "We fall down and get up." Daily walk! None have reached perfection

Ronnie


Inspirepub profile image

Inspirepub 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia Author

Yes, Ronnie, that is a much better way to approach life than taking the attitude "I have attained Enlightenment/been Saved now, so you have to listen and agree with everything I say ..." lol

The truly Enlightened know more than anyone how far they have to go to reach "perfection" ...


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 7 years ago from United States of America

Great hub, great information, and all accurate. I have always been amazed at how the risen Christ of the middle east prevailed as the front runner to all religions when every culture before Christ had their savior. My only conclusion was perhaps the spread of the European Empire. It became a "My God is better than your god" mentality? Thanks for sharing.


Inspirepub profile image

Inspirepub 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia Author

Well, jxb7076, the Romans had a clear policy of syncretisation - absorbing the deities of conquered nations by identifying each of them with a similar Roman deity.

The Roman Catholic Church continued the policy, which is why the Irish Catholics have so many saints that the rest of the world has never heard of.

If you absorb your opponents instead of fighting them, it is much easier to prevail ...


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Jenny- Thumbs up for a great and well researched hub. I find the depth and coverage to be amazing but I still find it hard to digest that Jesus(and the Holy Bible) could be a made up story.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

Religiosity is hardwired, and is a part of us that needs attention if we are to gain real self knowledge. I enjoyed this well written and researched hub, thank you inspirepub.


THE SOUR MAN profile image

THE SOUR MAN 7 years ago from Belgium

Great Job ! Thanks.


mohitmisra profile image

mohitmisra 7 years ago from India

Excellent research inspirehub.


DennisBarker profile image

DennisBarker 7 years ago from Newcastle Upon Tyne,UK

A beautiful piece of work, well written and inspired.


Jewels profile image

Jewels 7 years ago from Australia

There was interesting work done by Rudolph Steiner in relation to the transformed subtle bodies. My understanding is that the resurrection which is  synonomous with these stories, is to do with attaining a transformed physical body.  He uses a fourfold model to explain levels of transformation required to get back to the state of consciousness prior to the fall (Adam/Eve myth).  Similar understanding is in Sri Aurobindo's work also.  I think The Mother (India) is said to have transformed part of her physical body before she died.  The resurrection shows a level of transformation that can be attained by anyone. However, the only way of attaining these levels is through major spiritual practices of involution, meditation and awareness, expanding consciousness etc.

My understanding of Heaven on Earth, is the attainment of higher levels of consciousness and the ability to "be as God is" while walking on terra firma. Don't think we are doing very well at this.

Great hub, thank you.


fatfist profile image

fatfist 6 years ago

Excellent research!

You have elucidated the fact that a god is a conception of the human mind. And just as concepts, gods are often derived from previous gods, with some extra "features" & "accessories" added to please the masses.


tom_caton profile image

tom_caton 5 years ago from The Desk

Great hub!


Baileybear 5 years ago

link to this hub was put up in a forum to answer my request about christianity being plagarised off other religions. I've been curious about the evolution of religion & how separated groups of people eg the aborigines all had similar mythologies


karatekidjmt profile image

karatekidjmt 5 years ago

lol u actually believe that the earth is over 50k years old


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa

I really enjoyed this well-researched and well-written Hub about an important subject - thank you.

Love and peace

Tony


peanutroaster profile image

peanutroaster 5 years ago from New England

Excellent. I'll link to this.


Karoline 4 years ago

Fantastic hub, looking forward to come back and see your new posts. Thank you.

My art gallery http://www.karoline-art.com

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working