Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Gods of Eden - Ch.16

Messiahs and Means

IN A GLOBAL civilization such as ours where spiritual knowledge and freedom appear to have been tampered with, there would obviously be a place for someone to develop a useful and understandable body of knowledge about the spirit and the spirit's relationship to the universe. Because verifiable spiritual phenomena seem to be consistent from person to person, and from time to time, it is probable that all spiritual realities are rooted in consistent laws and axioms, just like astronomy or physics. If someone were to discover and methodically outline those laws and axioms, he or she would be doing a great service. Such discoveries could open up a whole new science. Would a person who did this be a "messiah"?

Promises of a "messiah" have been put forth by a great many religions, both maverick and Custodial. The word "messiah" has had several meanings, from simply "teacher" to "liberator." A "messiah" could be anyone from a person who develops a successful science of the spirit to someone who is actually able to spiritually liberate the human race.

Throughout history, there have been thousands of people claiming to be a "messiah," or they have been given the label by others even if they did not claim it themselves. Such messianic claims are usually based upon prophecies recorded earlier in history, such as the Buddhist Mettaya legend, the "Second Coming" prophecy of the Book of Revelation, the apocalyptic teachings of Zoroaster, or the Hebrew prophecies. Many people look at all messianic claims with outright skepticism; others become avid followers of a leader whom they believe to be the fulfillment of a religious prophecy. This raises the question: has there ever been, or will there ever be, a genuine messiah? How would one identify such a person?

Anyone who successfully develops a functional science of the spirit would obviously have a legitimate claim to the title of "messiah" in the "teacher" sense. There is nothing mystical or apocalyptic about this: a person makes some discoveries and shares them. If this knowledge becomes widely known and results in widespread spiritual salvation, then we enter the realm of the "liberator" or "prophesized messiah." How do we identify such a liberator when there exist so many different prophecies with so many ways to interpret them?

The answer is simple: The would-be liberator must succeed. That person must earn the title; it is not God-given.

This is a terribly cold and uncompromising way of looking at it. It strips away the magic and mysticism normally associated with messianic prophecy. It forces any person who would claim the title of messiah to actually bring about peace and spiritual salvation, because such a prophecy is not going to be fulfilled unless someone causes it happen. This compels the would-be liberator to fully overcome the overwhelming obstacles which act against these universal goals. This is one of the most unenviable tasks that any person could ever hope to undertake. We need only look at past "liberators" to appreciate the long hard road that such a person must travel. To date, no one has succeeded, but it is certainly a challenge worthy of the best talent.

When most people envision a messiah, they see a person dressed in spotless white who thinks, speaks and behaves


- pages 168-171, The Gods of Eden, by William Bramley

No comments: