As rightly mentioned, it was only zakir hussain and co. What a sorry state out country has come to! Your review is very Influential I should Say! For the record, the original was not made by Doordarshan, it was aired on Doordarshan. People will suicide after watching this video. I already feel like puking. To be honest, I never liked the original despite being the right age. But, the sincerity in that came through in every frame. In this one, the insincerity comes through in every frame. Maybe this is how creative India sees itself — as a bunch of pseuds all wrapped up in their own importance to care about anything else.
Too much of criticism.
Its all because of more expectations. You have taken many flaws out of it, now with positive mind try to highlight as many as Points. One of the best reads in a long time.. I feel the post actually sums up the underlying meaning ot MSMT 2. Pure CRAP! It is indeed disgusting!! Who decided that the Bacchan family represent India? Or that drama-queen Shila shetty feature in this video?
And like you have very rightly said, the armed forces just came in for a meek few seconds, like they were celebrating the achievements of Bollywood. Makes me feel so sad, that the producers could screw up the old Mile Sur, so badly, as to make this crap out of it. I hope we, the people, have more sense to rip this apart, than to shower it with accolades. Er, can I give a link to your post, on my FB status? Am sure u wont mind, so am going ahead with it. This is it. Nailed it to the hilt! India is not Bollywood period, it is all but that!!!!
Thanks — I hope the makers read this excellent piece and mend the video. And laughing. Great breakdown of the tin-foil plated plastic monument authentic 21st century Bollywood to national integration. Absolutely enjoyed this post. Have shared it with a lot of my friends! I feel you totally! Musically, they lose it!! Who is L subramaniam to represent Karnataka?? And that too with his family. Utter mismatch.
This video is rubbish. L subramaniam of all the people and for Karnataka, LOL rolling all over the floor. Thanks for the post. It was like the legend is back. Then i did watch it. And I had goosebumps but of a different kind. I mean what was the great director thinking?. He and his wife had taken the onus of repeating history. The last time I saw him was on Page 3. I guess he should have stayed there. I had a feeling this entire exercise was carried in between their shopping expedition for their next Page 3 outfit. So next time he and his producer wife is seen wearing some mega mirror work, you know where it came from.
Its just that I am pissed. I think if they had an iota of doubt about pulling this off, they should have left MSMT alone. You forgot the ABX3 sequence. The Big AB is watchable, but the other 2 should be locked up in a showcase and the key fed to a whale. I am miffed. A lilttle too much. Guess mr Surendranath should hug Ramgopal Verma. They tie at the worst sequel ever made.. Brilliant post, although needs no mention. From my angle of things, it was rather painful to see that Prosenjit and Rituparna Ghosh were chosen to represent Bengal.
Quite shocking to those of us who feel proud to belong to that part of the country. They could have rather had a still of Jyoti Basu, with a garland on it! PS: But from some really old pictures I have seen of you courtesy: Sottai , you do look like Sonu Nigam from certain given angles. Awesome post Ashok.. Zakir H and Rashid khan excepted…. Also to one Mr. Anuj who said shut up if you cant do anything ur self. Last time I checked India was still a free country… so hey if you cant write a brilliant review shut up and let the people who can……Do!
First things first: Where it ees the NE? At least the last one had one 4 second hand-in-hand dance sequence showcasing at least the major ethnic groups in this area, this one just ignored all the other states and apparently that Hazarika oldie was supposed to make up for it! I prefer the single lined Assamese byooty from the old one anyday! Her full kudumbam aa? And where were they singing it? Some random grove or orchard… Pathetic! I can go on! Today I shall sleep in peace!
WOW, that was out burst was the only food that my soul was willing to take in and accept what was done to an epic national hymn!!! Even thought I love the idea to re make it, to think of new ways, music, people and locations!!! India — is not about celebs!!!! I mean, s English music sucked. The old Mile Sur was simply better. Ashok: Totally agree. Looks like they compensated this time around. It will scar my childhood.
Its only Mile Sur — Mera aur Tumhara.. You very bad, bad man. No respect for kalchaar. India is great, ok? Discount the odd Ganesh from Kannada cinema. Bollywood is great and therefore so is India, ok? Anyway, back to the point. How dare you insult the video, huh?
It is great and so is India, ok? And I love Salman Khan ganjee and have wet dreaming Deepika in rain dancin with mini outfit, ok? Unless you do the shame you not Indian, ok? And wear saffron as well from now on, it is Indian, ok? Very good analysis the icing on the burnt cake was bringing in Karan Johar… since when the hell did this guy become Icon of India. They should of closed this with shot of karan lip locking with Rakhi Sawant……. Idiots number one. Way to go! Mile Sur Mera Tumhara was developed to focus on national integration and unity but seems like they forgot about that in this video.
The only redeeming aspect was the incorporation of the song in sign language. Some people make a hyperbole of everything… You are a classic example…. Thumbs down Mukesh…. India is great much more than the video brought out! Hi… I must say reading your blog was more enjoyable than watching this video….. Very well written… nice style and yes, absolutely true comments.. Hey…I whole heartedly apologize for any copyright violations as I had shared your Dan Brown post link on facebook!
I doubt bringing India together on Republic Day.. Luvly point that hands wide open in the air thingy.. Too many characters I suppose. His son? Awesome post.. It was the only other song that matched up the number of star appearances. Loved your write up. Added your link here for more people to read. Thank you for giving us a good laugh. I felt exactly the same after seeing this 2. All these actors should be locked in one windowless room and this video should be played again and again and again….
I totally agree with each and every minute detail of your review!! Must say … it was a nice read. This one had me looking out for celebrities. The same old music, in a bigger, brighter, newer bottle but the old wine tasted or rather sounded much finer. The man who created the piece put in his heart and we all watched amazed… this is a pale shadow of the original, a shallow copy! Good review.
Good one! I have not yet seen the video, but have been hearing reviews. Heard it is a total disaster. Great analysis. The new version makes me angry and heartbroken. Its an insult to the old one. I think your post should be aired to public at large. I especially like the code at the end….
Dear Krishnashok, Your article has made my day and hopefully for millions of other Indians. You should have a dedicated column on Page 3. I have been reading all over blogs about this video and yours is the best…sobs!! Regretted watching the entire video until I read this. Kalakitara Da! This is the best answer to the horrible remix of the classic MSMT. I hope these idiots wake and stop messing with Indian classic items. The Gabbar module for excessive use of hands was awesome!
Oh come on! Cheer up, it was cliche yes, but it wasnt as bad as it could have been! What a posting! Enjoyed reading the critics throughout. Coming to this topic, Old is gold. This album is a 18 minute disaster. And the most disgusting part is Ms. APJ, Narayanmoorthy and many other legends were replaced with skinny actresses and bollywood debutants. Way we go India!! That one was unparalleled…. Nalla Thanni adikkireenga. Apasruthi Personificationaya. Sonu Nigam looks mental with that hair. And the R Kelly bit is giving me nightmares ever since I witnessed that tragedy.
But forget all that, what struck me as most annoying was the incredible lack of co-ordination. How could anyone release something so disjointed and bad-sounding and a sequel to THAT original? Well, it was a complete let down and they need to understand that there are other areas of achievement that represent India as well. And whats with the film stars?
There is a war going on but the only thing given importance in the media is that Brangelina may have split or that Paris Hilton the classic example of being too rich and too thin has done some appropriately Paris Hiltonian thing. What can I say, that was the best of times; this is the worst of times. All you need is one look at either video and you have your answer to the depth, thought, creativity, effort and insight then — and now. Now look at the kinda resentment it has evoked!
Well… out of 99 ppl are throwing eggs, brickbats …what not…. Lets try and find something appreciative about this song…. I guess everyone related to this song have done a fantastic job by giving an overdose of Bollywood. So the scathing remarks are restricted to blogs, internet reviews and tv channels. Just imagine if the video is made with political heroes, sportspersons etc..
First, there would be an uproar in Maharashtra saying, non-Marathi ppl were shown singing in Mumbai, Railway Minister would say there is no representation of railways. And the icing on the cake would be somebody filing a case saying so and so line humiliated my community…. Now sports.. Definitely cricketers will be part of it..
Ok lets rope in a hockey player.. If someone popular from Andhra is shown, ppl will fight on streets saying Telangana is neglected… I believe one can fill a book….. Infact, I always thought this song can never never never be re-made.. Kudos to the guts of producers…but ya..
It is easier to comment and harass. But difficult to create! I agree its filmy. But you ridiculing musicians is unacceptable. The continuum fingerboard is one of the most difficult instruments to play and do respect talent! This is the first blog of yours that i read, and i immediately became a fan of yours esp. Awesome job Krish!!!! The entertainment industry is getting shallower with every passing year. Completely agree with Krish.
The video completely lacked the essence of rural and cultural India. One of biggest flop remakes ever. The money that had gone into the making of this video, could probably have rehabilitated a whole village. Awesome actually. I actually liked the Salman Khan bit, though he could have certainly done with some clothes. That was the only soulful part in the whole video. Very well written, saar… respect! Great post. And to think that TOI was hyping it for the last 4 days like it was the best thing since sliced bread. I wonder who gave these guys the right to futz around with the original?
You missed mentioning Rakhi Sawanth, Mallika Sherawath and others. Any possible additions? Typical of Times of India group. Kitschy upper class family promotion film touted as authentic secular make India proud film. Thumbs up to DD. Boo ToI. A bad user interface to that. That line just about sums it up. This is hilarious! I thought I was the only one who felt that way. But you have nailed it! Hats off! Well…All i can say is i agree with most of what you said.
Thanks for applying the much-needed salve; I was frothing at the mouth, my BP hitting the roof! Surya, being a tamilian should have known the lyrics. Big disgrace to the Tamil language.. Sorry if the fact has been mentioned already. Visit any of the sites below and look for the post your ad link. You can start with any of the sites that are in bold.
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Step 3. Post your ads to the relevant categories. Some sites will allow you to enter a separate URL or webpage. This is where you paste your hoplink. Otherwise, the link can be included in the body of the ad. Good observations and i too agrree.. Completely a Bukwaaaaas mixture Old Mile sur is faaaar faaaar better than this. Why does everything have to be so brutally dissected? That was the original version, no doubt. This is being dissected to this level cos they used a song attached to a lot national sentiments and could not come up with something good..
And if they really wanted to just come up with a song for republic day, why did they use this one with their limited calibre to resist the bollywood lobbying? Mediocrity neednt be handled with care or respect … when pple bring out outright atrocity in the name of National integration , this is what they should have expected…. Brilliant … reading this helps a great deal to get over the agony of having watched that thing ….
Brilliant analysis on every detail… surprised u eevn noticed the rangoli instead of pookalam bit …. Whatever happened to the North East? Oh we must have already given them away to China. Mary Kom is the residual piece. Hrithik, who has been ignored here because he could only dance and not sing? Goa was immersed in the sands of time I think. Apart from this, my serious grudges are with the mass put-downing of all of south.
Or Chiranjeevi? Or Nagarjuna instead of mahesh who is just another small fish? Whatever happened to Mohanlal, or Sudeep? Revathi, Amala…Suhasini? A small peek at Mani Ratnam, or Rajinikanth…. And probably, some bands like Swaratma and Raghu Dixit and….. Indian Ocean, too. Man people forgot about Nagarjuna…The present generation likes mahesh and thats why he is in the video. But personally i think all bollywood,tollywood or some wood stars must be replaces by actual stars that brought prosper to our country.
Comments on Salman khan is wre i rolled on the floor laughing. Wonder if they cud bring a song for world Integration. Also kudos: Never seen namma oor aalu using phrases like all hat, no cattle. And the Petronas ad from so long ago! What other ghastly rape are the devious Kailash and co planning now? You ripped them royally, Ashok.
Awesome writing style and very keen eye to details. Keep it up. Hats off to you. That does it for me.. Awesome article. I hate all of those phoney smiling bollywood actors, especially Amitabh and SRK, to the core of my being. They are everywhere you look be it TV, newspaper,yahoo frontpage,bill boards..
The only thing this video proves that we still have a lot of talent for screwing up…. May be the producers of the video can put up a challenge… can you screw up better than this!!! National insult this is….. Why did Karan Johar come? It already seemed like an extension of that Om Shanti Om song where all the stars party, here they sang instead. And why oh why was Vikram dressed like that. Love the Petronas ad reference. All in all, well done thalaiva!! The old one was far better even when it would have been low budget.
Every time i watch it I feel patriotic, but definitely not with the NEW one. Btw, I never liked the original Mile Sur. Brilliant article.. PMSMT is an attempt at corrupting the collective childhood memories of a generation. The only good thing abt the new one is that it makes me watch the old one once more. I have a doubt abt the new video: Towards the end, in the segment where they show the army, the Jaya Hey music is interspersed with some other music. Is this allowed, I mean remixing the national anthem,even in bits? I also have similar complaints to what all you have with the new version but at this point of time what bothers me most is this..
And is this what we get in written?? Started following your posts recently! The post is humorous and quite entertaining. This post is hilarious! I saw this video yesterday and it was a blasphemy. No comparision to this at all. Nei Nei Nei …………… I insist it was you who was singing while standing amidst a crowd of clueless uncles and how dare you slander Sonu Nigam.
Brilliant stuff Krishashok — really cracked me up and made my day! And so very true — each and every one of your observations! I am the nephew of Suresh Mullick, the man who created the original Mile Sur my only claim to fame! Hi, Yes, I agree with you completely! Even I had written an article on this yesterday. Loved your post.
It is always easy to criticize others. Look for the reason y this video was made, dont find out the mistakes or rather the Personalities u wanted to see. Someone has commented salman is not wearing a shirt, i think u were the 1st one to observer it, u should have looked at the smile of the children around him how excited they were. So just dont comment because u r free. Oh God.. Oh what!!! Well the song seems to be composed the best way, and yes picturization is also equally justified…. Now you and I have equal rights to Padma Shree — The Hightest Civil honour in the great Nation… Now you dont need to struggle your whole life, show a real contribution, a valuable contribution towards the progress of your nation or Society and then be bestowed upon with such an honour.
And now see you and I can aim for Padhma Shree, just a few conditions — 1. U need to be a Bhachan Bahu Dont understand why Abhishek was dropped this year, but no disappointments next year for sure 2.
You should have Six packs Gajni — Padhma Vibushan applicable here. Yes the people shown in video are not worth…they heve done nothin for our country who r they we don even know them… Amitabh huuh…. This is the most hilarious analysis i have ever read…you are unbelievable. LMAO ……….. Awesome dude!! Loved the way you did postmortem of each scene!! Had to de-lurk. But this is the real face of India now. We idolise these bunch of jokers. A majority does and wastes time. We only blog about such issues but never get to do anything about the cinematization of India. Every tv channel has shows based on cinema.
We gossip about stars. If all this is not enough we give them all the National and Padma awards. We want six pack abs like them. We want clothes like them. We want to be them. Then this video is reflective of our sentiments nothing more. I guess people fail to identify the true heroes. And stick to those reel life heroes on almost everything, even for carrying the Olympic Torch. What the hell was that??? But having read this, I have to agree you just wrote in detailed version what my sentiments are exactly…hats off to this review and NO!!!!
Awesome review I liked the way you have analyzed the video. Some bits of ARR with his fancy thingamabob sounded like a bike without a silencer. Why exactly did they come up with this anyways? Krishashok: I really enjoy your posts. This one is too good. Kizhi Kizhi nu kizhichiteenga. You would think they would at least make sure the wordings are right. I also agree that there are way too many Bollywood people in there. But that is the way things are right now.
Lip-sync was a bad idea. It definitely takes away from the real performers. Bad idea! Everyone knows the actors are are not singing. But at least they are doing what they think they do best for a noble cause. I will definitely not question their patriotism just like I would not question that your article originates from anything less than the love for your country and the belief of what you think is going wrong with it. As far as the older version goes: there are ample Bollywood personalities in the older version lip-syncing to popular singers of that time.
Of course, it was not known as Bollywood then This is what we are calling it NOW without hesitation, whether to praise it or pound it. It validates our value systems and provides a benchmark. I heard A. R Rahman talking about the Continuum fingerboard in one of his shows here in Chicago. It may not sound like much, but I am sure he knows things about the instrument that I, a person with no musical talent, know nothing about I will definitely wait and watch what the maestro does with that and not jump the gun about how useless it is.
It is good to note that a lot of people are objecting to the newer version of MSMT. Goes on to show that Bollywood is not the only thing that defines India. There is a select group of people who can look beyond all the glitter and glamor. Final thought: I just close my eyes when the actors are hamming out which is most of the videos and listen to the song……. It still makes me feel good and I think that is the beauty of this wonderful emotion of Patriotism. This song had more stars than the Om Shanti Om song. A couple of stars made the point but Shahid, Ranbir, Vidya Balan..
Oh sorry forgot Shilpa was there with her camels. The producers should be court-martial-ed for thrusting this agonizing nightmare on people. BTW not fail but jail. Srsly, what were these guys thinking? MSMT was an epitome of cultural integration, it gives me a sense of belonging. PMSMT, otoh, yuck! Not Indian, not at all Indian. There is no easy way to say this: This review will go down in history as the one that captured the opinion of every watcher ever!
Funny and perfect! A very well written review about this disaster video!!! There is absolutely to comparison to the graceful nature of the original to the plastic like remake of it!! I mean, what is the point of remixing the wonderful song based on Sindhu Bhairavi which has to speak about the unity and the spirit of India while instead it speaks about Bollywood,Stardom and celebrities? Loved your writing. Can you imagine this is the same man who produced the 1st one? Yes Kailash Surendranath was the director of the 1st one. Something tells me that it must have been a job of some talented assistant and Mr.
Kailash happily hogged the credits. Nothing else seems logical. If this director could have done that original 20 years back what happened to him now? Ooh but all the good assistants today are busy with their own movies, so I guess he is left with some unqualified trainees as assistants. Sounds very corporate no? The new one is produced and directed by Kailash. This misconception has existed for way to long.. After all this is not an ad. I agree. Credits must be given — its sad to see how unethical people are these days!
Tks for visiting my blog to — glad you liked it. Did we notice the animal instinct of this poor undergarment salesman Salman, he was about to bite off the hands of the child next to him, hope the little girl is all okay now. Whose thought was it that such a coarse voice would suite Priyanka… and the list goes on…. I see that in comments for your posts………. Disastrous , and Senseless video indeed …. What epic nonsense! Is this the new India? Oh right, forgot about that. Perhaps this will new videoa improve the lot of certain minorities: Mangliks represented by Aish Rai Mentally challenged — sallu miyaan Gay and lesbians — K Jo Celebrity kids — pretty much every person in that vid is non merit list, I say!!
Interesting take and funnily written in a light flippant funny way….. This video seems to have captured that well…. Personally, i am not excited about the way this is made but I think its a decent shot. It is difficult to win when you are competeing against a legend……but i am glad a shot has been taken; maybe the next time they try to make this video PPMSMT it has a better chance thanks to the flak this one has received. That is where the problem lies.. I actually feel insulted, personally humiliated at ths horrid rendition of something which was so close to almost everyone in India…Bad judgment government, really shame on you.
Initially when I started watching it I thought they made a spoof out of the legendary song but it was hard to believe that they made an effort to make a remake of it. Who is that zippy who would try to do this? Seriously one good thing happened to me with this video, it just reminded me of the old.
I just saw the old version of the song again. It is not totally faultless, as many wearing rose-tinted glasses seem to think. The makers of the current video went one step further and focused more on the personalities themselves rather than the diversity of the country. They had a chance to improve on the original video by showing more of the common people, and they blew it. I agree with u that this video sucks big time. The previous one would still be the best even if there are a thousand remakes of this video.
I think this article is pathetic. Insulting people from other countries and show no respect to the people who made the video. People say India is a superpower, but this just shows how backwards they are in their mentality, general knowledge and etiquette. Pathetic just pathetic.
Every line can be felt by a true Indian. Our P. Dasa, teacher of P. Diddy, composed many devotional ditties in the same. Late to the party as usual. But have read this post over and over, including comments, when I was trying to concoct an opinion on this myself. Before reading this post, I thought Vikram was Aditya Pancholi, thanks to this grainy youtubed version..
MSMT 2. I somehow missed a semi-naked post-retirement-testosterone-charged Akshay Kumar or Mallika Sherawat with an American flag here.. Rajashtan part of the clip: they have shown the village Tilonia, where Bunker Roy has facilitated a lot of technical social development. Yet, one bit of your post nailed it. So in a very weird sense, its a fitting reminder. I read some of your posts earlier and really liked them. Got this post as an email forward from another friend and I just finished reading it. Does anybody take vir sanghvi seriously?
All of you commenting here and especially the one writing the bog, are so cynical and ridiculous. You never understood the essence of the video. So much is lost on people like you. No doubt the first version was timeless but this one is beautiful as well. Yes there were certain wardrobe flaws and editing problems, perhaps, but is that all you people could gather from the video? I presume you are the youth of today.
Mockery, witty comments and flowery language to exude it of all that it represents is highly disappointing. I would tell you what the video stood for but after all that I have read I know you seem to take great pride in your achievement to mock that which strives to fill us more humane people with a deep emotion. Any further words would be a colossal waste of time!!! Malaika Arrora? Or Johnny Lever? Rofl; that one was enough to get me rolling. BTW, i must appreciate your patience for sitting through this crap. I happened to stumble upon your blog through my friend and I must admit — it is brilliant!
I can sooo relate to this post on supposed national integration these guys have bought about through xoxo-woods of India. Sorry, I left 2…comments I mean ………. Too good post. Particularly about Deepika and Salman. The idea of presenting old memories into new edition is quite good, but in some context it lack from version one. Overall it is a good posture to reunite our diversification and to boost our intergrity. I agree on everything…but the sight of our flag still gives me goosebumps. I think at the end of the day thats all that matters,all these actors and co ,are all people who are contributing to our culture.
Amazing analysis. Keep it going. Loved this post -mortem! Speaking for every hardcore Indian! Remarkably witty, the irony is, it is true! I could not agree more on this. Even though I have not seen the video now I shall take special pains to watch it, btw , Ashok, your detailed description of the shabby rendition gives me the proverbial jitters! What have we come to! Did anyone say misrepresentation? Great job dude… perfect analysis…. PMSMT is the biggest crap ever made… and shows our inclination to screw all our beautiful things created in the past…. Brilliant piece , I was only nostalgically blind and deaf , when I appreciated the new version.
Shaken me , woke me up. Phew that was just like reading my mind.. Mangeshkar singing in this? Once upon a time, a loooooong time ago, i loved her voice. No longer. Sadly, i feel the same about any of her siblings. They are all passe and should go into what is gently called retirement. Loved reading the review of this disaster! So u r a wannabe jon stewart eh? A lil praise a lot of crticism.. And u r d joker so obviously cant ask YOU to make sumthng better!!! Though the video sucks, looks like someone had waay too much time analysing that shit.
Get a life and learn to ignore.. Lol you killed it. I esp remember big B starting to sing some lines, typically out of sur and perhaps realising the mistake soon after am sure written all over the terrified faces of the studio crew and then merely reading out the rest of the lines to get over with it.. Sindhis as community has contributed to growth of India, not only within country but around the world. The older version still sounds great. I personally feel this video and song should never have been re-made……and India can be represented way better than this!! Why are all these great patriots quiet when the Shiv Sena goes berserk?
The Phir Mile Sur video is horrendous. Utterly nonsensical and abysmal execution. The original mile sur video is iconic and is still so fresh that you can watch it repeatedly. Grateful, he wrapped his arms around his friend and buried his face in his neck. He waited for Irin to stand, then did so himself, water sluicing off him.
He made no secret that he could read any mind he chose, elvenborn or elvenchanged. Eyrhaen thought to watch Tykir suck him. Past Radins shoulder, she spied her parents watching closely, concern utmost on their faces. Just because theyd agreed didnt mean she didnt feel the urge. I dont think theres any hurry to start.
Smiling, too happy to remain still, Eyrhaen pushed up onto all fours over Hyles hips. It took a few moments. Anything but admit she was wrong, even if she now knew she had been. He smiled at her glare, the red simmering behind the hazel of his eyes. Brevin caught it easily, chuckling. I said a lot of things. He was on his elbow now, his lips a breath away from hers. He found her clit and pushed, making her groan and squeeze. Sighing, content, she hugged him close as he rolled over. Thats wonderful, she thought back to Radin. So you are reading my mind? Just as the conception of the Biblical Adam as man, generic, is a true envisagement of the meaning of the term and yields intelligible significance in exegesis of ancient scripts, but becomes both ridiculous and unintelligible when taken to mean " a man," so with the Christos.
The conception of the Christ as man in his divine genius, or the God in man, opens at once the whole of scripture to lucid and consistent intelligibility. It is indeed the "key" to any true grasp of the whole sense of that revered body of primeval literature. But the instant the concept is shifted from man divine to a divine man in an historical personage, dire confusion, entanglement in contradiction, ridiculous inconsistency and the eeriest "historical" nonsense are thrust into the structure.
The concept of the Christos as the godly higher Self in man meets the tangled riddle of the exegesis of the Bibles with complete satisfaction of every intellectual demand, and no other concept does so. The concept of Christ as a man immediately afflicts the entire exegetical situation with hopeless sabotage. Used as the "key," it jams the lock and opens nothing to the reasoning intelligence. But it does open something to the unreasoning psychic and emotional aptitudes of less intelligent folk: the hypnotic gullibility of religious piety and a pitiable slavery to religious superstition.
And the quantity of the tragedy wrought in the world by the prevalence of these two psychological forces makes perhaps the most lugubrious chapter in human history. The concept of the Christ as "a man," who ate, drank, slept, walked and spoke as any mortal, is beyond any possibility of refutation the most fatuous ideation that ever found a place in the effort to rationalize human religious experience.
No less has it been at the same time the most baneful influence in blocking the cultural enterprise of grasping the central power and fullest unction of that experience. Here again the truth of the situation runs in a direction exactly counter. This work ventures, doubtless for the first time in religious discussion, to fly directly in the face of that presumption with the claim that it is this very idea of the Christ as a historical person that has stood as the most concrete obstacle in the way of that salvation!
The whole essay must be taken as the evidence advanced in support of that amazing reversal of all accepted belief.
#MogollonPlateau | Zane Grey and me
The basis of this strong contention will be the undeniable fact that the thesis of the historical Jesus has taken the mind and aspiration of all devotees outside themselves to an alleged man of Galilee , when the whole effort at spiritual growth and cultivation of our divinity must be focused within the depths of our own consciousness. It is no rank untruth to say that the cult of the historical Jesus has stood squarely between men and their immanent God and tended to keep them apart from each other. It has thwarted the culture of their own divinity.
It would seem as if St. Paul wrote with this cogent realization in mind when he fairly shrieks at us: "Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is within you? Medieval and modern blindness has reversed this direction of aspiration, and with calamitous consequences. Some sixteen centuries of spiritual benightedness have produced for historical record the pitiful and demoralizing spectacle of millions of misguided votaries turning outside themselves for salvation and pleading with an alleged personal figure on the stage of remote history to enter their lives and transform them into loveliness, all the while neglecting the voice of the only real Christos that ever existed, their own instinct for goodness, truth and love.
It alone holds the legitimate answer to the insistent question, propounded in every epoch when gross barbarism rises to crush the nobility of spiritual culturewhy has religion failed to avert humanitarian catas-. Granting some psychological virtue to the adoration of a historical paragon, it is still admitted in all religious discussion that men can be saved in the end only by their own righteousness.
No world savior was ever sent into the world to save men from the task of saving themselves. Ever memorable and oft quoted are the lines of Angelus Silesius, Medieval mystic:. Though Christ a thousand times in Bethlehem be born,. But not within thyself, thy soul shall be forlorn;. The cross on Golgotha thou lookest to in vain. Unless within thyself it be set up again. If any actual vicarious atonement or salvation were possible, the whole purpose for which souls from the celestial empyrean migrate to earth to further their evolution would be thwarted.
Each soul must become the dynamo and citadel of its own strength, or there would be inequity and chaos in the counsels of evolution. Life grants nothing to any unit of being that it has not earned. To do so would be to introduce favoritism and particularity into the universal economy. The importance of this argument merits a fuller consideration, and additional treatment of it will enter the study later on. Indeed one of the bases of quarrel with it is the very fact of its having been accepted without either psychological or historical critique of a thoroughgoing kind.
The closer and more keenly one brings reason and data to bear upon the matter the more clearly it is seen that the very vogue and sway of the idea has been made possible only through the almost total default of the rational faculty and its displacement by sheer unction of faith. It is perhaps the most notable example and instance of the power of the psychological elements of mystical pietism to override and paralyze the rational elements in religion.
The sheer thought that the savior of mankind from evolutionary undevelopment to perfection could be a man, or a power, no matter how divine, lodged in the body of a man in history, is such an anomaly, so out of line with all known natural process, that merely to pose the idea to the mind and hold it steadfastly there in the light of all its ancillary implications, is to see it for what it is--an utterly baseless creation of distorted religious fantasy. Merely to face the thought that the whole evolutionary advance of mankind across the gulf of undeveloped capacities from animal through human to divine nature was alleged to be effectuated and instrumentalized by the forces embodied in a single man at a given date in history, is to see the notion in all the glaring baldness of its inherent absurdity.
The human mind can readily enough envisage as a modus consonant with reality the elevation of humanity from brute to philosopher, from savagery to Christhood, through the injection from without or the regeneration from within of a light and power to change base selfishness to divine charity, and thus redeem the race. But it can contemplate this process as operative only through the sweep of an influence which pervades the mass of mankind, animating all hearts and enlightening all minds, after the natural analogy of a little leaven raising the whole lump.
That is a methodology which the human mind can grasp and accredit as harmonious with veritude. But that this vast regeneration of the race should be implemented by and dependent upon the birth and existence of a single historic individual, even through the inspiration of his resplendent example, is a concept that grows more weird, crass and chimerical the longer it is held in the focus of thought.
It has in fact held its grip upon millions of minds solely by virtue of the total dearth of intellectual candor and the mental paralysis induced by rabid elements of emotional religiosity. It can not for a moment bear the light of reason. It can live only in the dim twilight of intellectual stultification wherein the clear outlines of the rational problem can not be distinctly discerned. There is indeed a natural revolt in the character of all normal men and women against the thought of their accepting salvation purchased for them by another, the more so if the price of the ransom is for the.
What person of wholesome instincts wants to be saved by the sacrifice and oblation of another free being? Who that has the slightest iota of moral integrity would wish to live under the obligation of indebtedness for his evolutionary redemption to the sacrifice of another? Mankind cherishes a natural sense of the moral turpitude of taking what one has not won.
It introduces whim into the normal order wherein man looks confidently for the reign of law. Vicarious salvation was one of the items of theology that led Nietzsche to cry out his bitter denunciation of Christianity as "slave morality. Happily it can be made rationally acceptable, as can all other doctrines, through a restoration of the true esoteric significance.
The learned Celsus in the third century tells us that Christianity appealed to and welcomed only the slaves of Roman tyranny, men and women of the most abject position. It was held in the lowest contempt by Pliny, Seneca, Tacitus, Suetonius and the more intelligent groups generally. It was rejected by all who were genuine enough to despise the self-confessed ignominy of letting a historical scapegoat bear the burden of achieving their karmic immunity.
Vicariousness on any grounds is an unnatural and bizarre methodology; but the vicarious salvation of the human race through the sacrifice of a person in history transcends in fatuity the crassest fetishism of any wild children of forest and sea isle. Nature nowhere authenticates such a procedure to rational comprehension. It has stood as the weirdest anomaly in rational effort, defying all plausible explanation or fitness, thwarting all sincere search for true light, and taxing even the blindest of pious faiths to accept it as an inscrutable mystery.
All this irrational thesis was held for centuries in spite of the total dearth of any logical answer to the difficulties involved in the practical problem as to how the divinity historically embodied in one person could become and remain effectual for the evolutionary divinization of all the other children of humanity. Jesus might be in himself a mighty reservoir of divine essence, a veritable dynamo of godly unction. And they can never have a rational answer.
The groundplan and framework of Christian theology has ever had an artificiality that has rendered it a weird and fantastic thing in all conscientious effort at rationale. The spectacle of an omnipotent creator of all the worlds setting a trap to catch his own creatures by tempting them to sin, then condemning them to eternal misery in consequence of their inevitable "fall," and afterwards negotiating with them to appease his wrath on condition that his own Son, only begotten, consent to die in their stead, has stood for sixteen centuries as the rock foundation of that religion which shouts down all others with its vociferous claims to all-highest excellence among the faiths of earth.
Through the force of the wholly unaccountable magnanimity of the man Christ in sacrificing himself to save a reprobate humanity, the minds of the countless millions of Christian devotees over the centuries since his "death" may have been, as the hymn sings,. But it is even more certain that they have been hopelessly lost in total incomprehension. Forced to swallow it by the overwhelming combination of ecclesiastical authority and unreasoning faith, they have yet been nearly choked by its unpalatability. It is probably the opinion of millions of votaries of the atoning blood of Christ the man, that his saving grace has been made accessible to them, distributed to them, by his still-living active presence and his personal attention to their lives individually.
Granting the continued. Blind zealotry blots out this problem from the uncritical minds of the masses and priestcraft is warily content to let the dangerous dog lie asleep. It is not made the subject of debate. But if occasionally a hint of the dilemma is ventured, such a minor obstacle to piety is swept lightly aside with the ever-handy reminder to such intellectual temerity that with God all things are possible, and with the only-begotten Son of God no less.
Surely the almighty hand of Supreme Deity could manage a trifling difficulty of the sort, and at any rate. To minds submerged in the aura of miracle and overborne by pious authority and sacerdotal glamor, all things in a mysterious theology were made palatable. It is granted that we must have faith where we do not yet have knowledge. What else can a dependent mortal creature do but have faith in the beneficence of the universe? But a universal Power that is itself an all-embracing intelligence would not ask its creatures, who are destined to embody all degrees of that same intelligence, to hold to any specific formulations of faith the substance of which contravenes our reason and the regular courses of natural law.
Our faith must rest upon and be supported by the inviolability of law and not take its stand upon any fantastic scheme that flouts what we do know and sets at odds all our reason-. With either flaming zealotry or stolid indifference holding the critical faculty of the masses in abeyance, and occasional outbreak of rational inquiry smitten down with vengeful violence, the problem of how the man Jesus, dead ages ago, could still be the divine guest in billions of human hearts all at once and all the time, was held in leash.
It is conceived that somehow that mind which St. Paul adjures us to let "be in" us as it was also in Christ Jesus pervades the world like a stratosphere and is there for us to register and lay hold of after the fashion of tuning in spiritually with the proper wave-length. But how the efficacy of such a vibrational force could be linked with and still dependent upon the personal Jesus of history, is in no way apparent or explainable.
There is no necessary or factual connection. Divine consciousness or grades or rates of it may indeed conceivably be about us, bathing us in the universal aura of their supernal vibrations. But that any of them should have derived their origin and their present presence and operation from a man in history is again a matter that asks for our acceptance of a wholly irrational theological dictum. But all that this does is simply to rename the ubiquitous influence.
It transfers the generative power from the personal Jesus to an impersonal principle. The new divine comforter must distribute his consciousness over as much ground as the personal mind of the risen Jesus would have to cover. Strangely enough one of the very phrases which the Greek theologians of the ancient philosophical religion used to picture the pervasive scope and functioning of a divine element in humanity was that "the gods distribute divinity.
The presence of potential divinity distributively in all levels of life is not a crotchety but a quite reasonable and natural procedure. It is indeed one of the great features in the early philosophies that gave form to basic Christianity. It is readily conceivable that a type or degree of supernal mind or consciousness does pervade the universe, an ethereal essence, so to say, of which evolving entities such as man can partake through the development of a receptive capacity in their own brain and nerve mechanism. But this is not the problem that is crucial to the tenability of the idea of a historical Jesus carrying out the part assigned to him in theology.
He is there alleged to fulfill the function of saving millions of souls through his individual agency both during his life and for thousands of years after his death. If to substantiate the still operative power of Jesus Christ when he is no longer living, recourse must be had to the hypostatization of his personal mind as a universally pervasive cosmic atmosphere, the entire force of the method of explanation goes to weaken still further the claim for his historic personal existence and to strengthen that for his purely spiritual nature.
It is not conceivable that the mind of one personal human being could reach and save billions of mortals. Therefore, to postulate a conceivable method by which such a mind could administer salvation to myriads in all ages, that mind must be released from any attachment to personality and characterized anew as a cosmic mental emanation or diffusion of mental substance. This deduction from the premises at once erases the personal Jesus from the picture of theology, if not in his life, then certainly from the moment of his death. If to render his mind operable for salvation its connection with his personality must be severed, then its connection with any personality is seen to be a clearly unnecessary, indeed impossible requirement.
For no more did Jesus originate that mind than does the radio mechanism originate the sonata that it renders in your room. Any man can catch it, as does the radio, from an omnipresent univer-. The vibration-wave of the sonata is in your room whether there is a radio present to reproduce it on the plane of your senses or not. The Christ consciousness was present as a cosmic outflow of divine thought energization, whether or not any man of requisite organic sensitivity lived to become its tubes and amplifier.
But such a claim is bizarre from the first instant. It would have to rest on pure conjecture and assumption. And against it would be arrayed a host of vital considerations, such as that research now discloses that all the highest and truest sermons he allegedly preached to found a saving religion had been uttered by sage men centuries before him. If his message was the first release of the wisdom of supernal divine mind to humanity, it should have towered in grandeur and beauty to immeasurable height above anything taught antecedently.
Organized ecclesiasticism has been bold enough for centuries to flaunt this legend before its following. But the discovery of the Rosetta Stone and the Behistun Rock has put an entirely new complexion on the study of comparative religion, opening up whole vast areas of ancient literature from which it is seen that Christianity itself drew the body of its material. If when he came to uplift humanity with a shining spirituality never before dreamed of, the best he could do was to repeat the sagas of early Greek, Chaldean, Persian, Hindu, Chinese and especially Egyptian wisdom, on what does the claim for his supreme uniqueness and matchless exaltation rest?
Then, of course, there is that other predicament arising from the egregious claims of the Christian party, which, had it ever been frankly faced by ecclesiasticism, would have left the Occidental world in better situation. It would be to say that the normal course of human evolution was held in abeyance, estopped, until the man Jesus arrived. One of our Christmas hymns sings. Late in time behold him come,. This is one of many twists and quirks which Christian dogma has asked its votaries to accept, to the dislocation of their rational mentality.
Chapter II. It would seem to remove the discussion from the province of rational dialectic and throw it into the field of abnormal and precarious psychic phenomenalism to introduce an argument that has been frequently advanced by a number of people that is by no means inconsiderable. It must, however, be given a place in the debate if only for the reason that it arises from a special type of experience that appears to be actual among a surprising number of people who are at any rate sincere in their report and interpretation of it.
It falls in a domain of psychology that has for the most part been shunned by academic investigation, its phenomena being commonly rated as abnormal, eccentric and unauthentic, categorized in fact as mostly self-delusion or hallucination. It has lately received some open countenance from scholastic authority and has been admitted to the field of legitimate study under the name of parapsychology.
It may be better recognized under the designation of psychic phenomena. At any rate the phenomenon in question has been presented by many persons in modern religious groups of spiritistic character as a real experience of themselves or others testifying to them, and such is the veridical and empirical nature of the occurrence that for them it settles the entire debate categorically and summarily.
The arguments based on it sway the attitude of thousands on the theme of this work and it therefore merits presentation and critique. His personality is not a matter of doubt or speculation, because he has appeared to them in his shining form! They have seen him as St. Paul saw him on the road to Damascus. Their need of faith is lost in the certitude of sight.
To these persons the debate is closed with their declaration that others may argue--they have seen. This phenomenal experience, commoner than is generally supposed, must, however, be subjected to a critical scrutiny that it apparently has not hitherto received. This is the more desirable because these reports of the appearance of a radiant personage to the inner sight of many people are both too voluminous and seem too sincerely founded to be thrust aside with the cry of hallucination. As evidently veridical psychic phenomena they prove an interesting theme in themselves. It seems to be necessary to concede that visions of the sort are actually seen.
The shining apparition seems to these seers to be present in reality. Whatever it may truly be and however to be explained, it is evidently actually seen. The point at issue for our discussion is not the veritude of the experience or the veracity of the psychics; but what the thing proves. The critique is not directed at the fact, but at its interpretation. The position taken is that such apparitions present no necessary or valid evidence for the existence of the Gospel Jesus in Judea nineteen hundred years ago.
The identity of the personage of light in the radiant vision can not be other than a matter of presumption. Upon asking any of those who have "seen Jesus" in their subjective world how they have identified their spiritual visitant with the man of Galilee long dead, the answer is invariably: "Why, of course it was Jesus; I know it was he. Or the startling assertion will be made that he talked and declared his identity as Jesus, or even displayed to view the nail marks in his hands and feet. These rejoinders may seem at first glance to be pretty formidable testimony, but they are evidence not so much for the existence of the Galilean long ago as they are of the total failure of the clairvoyants to think out the implications of their assumption.
They offer glaring evidence also as to the extraordinary capacity of persons endowed with these unusual gifts for psychic impressionability and intellectual credulity, if not gullibility. Looking first at the latter, the "varieties of religious experience" include a wide range of phenomenalistic susceptibility.
Old men have dreamed dreams and young men have seen visions. Saints have had rapturous exaltations, seers have beheld apocalypses and mystics have been wafted aloft in ecstasies. These experiences have abounded in. Modern students of this side of psychology assert that a thought is in reality a shaped figure in the mental ether; and assert that if thousands of people hold the same picture of such a person as the Christ in mind with great intensity and devotion for a continued period, the thought-form will become reified, hypostatized or substantialized to the extent that it will drift into the mental purview of psychic sensitives and be seen and mistaken for a veridical appearance.
Modern psychology might catalogue it as an entification of the unconscious or subconscious object of much devotion. There are denizens in more worlds than the solid physical. It seems evident that many people have seen a personage of luminous tenuousness in their subjective world. But all proof is wanting that their testimony as to the identity of the apparition has any validity. There is no field in which people generally are more gullible than in that of religion. Nowhere else are the bars of the critical judgment so quickly and completely let down for the entry of superstition, the supernatural, miracle, magic and marvel.
Indeed no Christly claimant would be accredited unless he could do "mighty works" to awe the multitudes. If he can not heal the sick and raise the dead he is no Christ. But the impotence to which these tendencies reduce the reasoning faculty in devotees is perhaps nowhere better seen than in the situation here portrayed.
Identification can function only on the basis of previous knowledge or acquaintance. No one can identify the figure seen in a vision with the historical Jesus. The assumption that they can do so is ridiculous. Logic rules it out. Their claim that the figure is that of Jesus is based on pious assumption and can be nothing but sheer guess. The eyes can not identify the appearance of a person unless the eyes have seen him before, or his photograph or likeness. The figure seen matches the popularly conceived appearance of Jesus, and Jesus is the only historical person they can think to call it.
The claim that the apparition resembles the pictures of Jesus in books and prints is the weakest item in the "identification. In spite of gratuitous assertions of the existence of portraits of the Galilean, assuredly there has never been an authentic picture of the man, even if he lived. How can the apparitional Jesus look like his portraits when there were no portraits? If even in hallucination the visionary Jesus does resemble the conventional portrayals, we may have before us here an interesting psychological phenomenon.
For the fact would seem to lend some support to the "occult" theory that the general communal thought-picture of Jesus, based on the customary portraits seen for centuries, has actually entified a spiritual thought-formation of the man in the image of his published likenesses. The allegation of pictorial resemblance is final proof of the purely subjective character of the visions and their inadmissibility as testimony in the case.
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What they give evidence of is some extraordinary capacities of the human psyche, not remote past history. The proof of connection between present subjective event in these cases and past objective event is totally wanting. The phenomena manifest in this realm are far too uncertain, undependable, even dangerous, for the practical uses of life. As a final observation on the point, one is permitted to express a robust doubt whether, if the living spiritual counterpart of some other ancient personage, unknown and unpictured through the centuries, should present itself before the inner gaze of these psychics, they would have any ability or means of identifying the specter.
Could they identify, say, Apollonius of Tyana? There is, however, another consideration that falls within the realm of psychology which has far more direct pertinence to the great question. The inquiry faces the task of evaluating the psychological influence and spiritual or cultural serviceableness of the idea of the personal Jesus as against the conception that makes "him" to be a high type of universal consciousness or principle.
The defense of the historical point of view invariably lays vast store upon the claim that any vital religion, at any rate Christianity, could never have generated effective psychological dynamism among millions of followers if based only upon the characterization of the Christos as sheer principle. It required the living Jesus to generate in the Christian movement the driving power that it has become. Jesus must have lived, is the argu-. He must have lived because it can be shown that it was most eminently desirable, from a psychological point of view, that he should have lived.
The conception of Christ as principle could never have developed enough dynamic force or fervor to have enabled Christianity, so to say, to effectuate itself. It must be stated that the outcome of this phase of the argument can have no direct evidential bearing upon the question of the historicity of the Christ. To prove that his existence was highly desirable does not prove that it was a fact.
But the point is given a quite extraordinary importance in the debate, and this not without reason. It strikes close to the central nerve of the whole Christian system. That system bases its unique efficacy upon the claim that it alone of religions offers to believers a living God. The only time God ever came to earth in person, he outlined for humanity its true religion, the Christian. By many people this point of the psychological power of the historical Christ is maneuvered into the place of central importance in the whole discussion.
They urge the claim that the Christ was sent into personal embodiment for the express purpose of providing mankind with one historical example of divine perfection, and assert that the whole argument stands or falls with the question of the psychological value of his example. Such an example was necessary to effectuate the religious salvation of the world. Jesus must have lived because such an ensampler was a psychological necessity. God had to send his Son in answer to this inherent need.
It would be unthinkable that such a need would not have been providentially met. Therefore Jesus did live. The broad prevalence and strength of this position calls for an exhaustive critique. It can be conceded at the outset that in the effort of a divine hierarchy of overlords to humanize and eventually divinize an animal-born race, the advantage of the employment of a living example would be evident. God or his hierarchical agents, archangels, demi-gods, heroes, divine men, could not but be fully aware of the powerful force and virtue of a concrete example of perfection set before the eyes of mankind.
It would both quicken and stabilize the general human inclination to strive after the ideal. It would give solid and constructive form to that aspiration by focusing its drive upon a spe-. It would thus prevent the waste of infinite quantities of devotional force spent in direction toward ill-defined goals. The great divine man would stand before the world and lure all men unto him by the attractive power of his shining beauty.
No other impartation of inspiration from God to man could make its salutary influence so effectively fruitful of constant good stimulus. A divine model of perfection would uplift the world through the magnetically moving force of his example. The gods must know that humanity is psychologically set and disposed to ape a paragon. The dynamic moral power of an embodied ideal is ever great. This psychological disposition well prepared the stage for the presentation to the world of its ideal hero, the Christos.
The gods did know that man would ape the divine paragon, and they did present the hero, the great sunlit figure of Christos, in every religion of antiquity. With the keenest incisiveness it must be contended, as perhaps the prime spiritual motive of this study, that the argument based on the psychological beneficence of a divine ensampler for the human race falls out in favor of the non-historicity, and not, as almost unanimously believed, of the historicity. This astounding assertion must be vindicated against the general mass of contrary opinion.
If all other things were equal, naturally the impressive force of an ideal of perfection embodied in a living man would be conceded to be more effective for character in the lives of devotees than would the same paragon depicted only in the figure of a drama. A life lived on the same terms as our own would emotionally impress all mortals more powerfully than would any fictional representation. But all other things are not equal in the case of the Christ. There are elements in the theological situation environing the figure of the Gospel Jesus that make the difference between the two quite abysmal.
The first great divergence is in the fact that theology has made of the historical divine man the only possible such figure in the human record. Jesus is in the religion that exploited him the only-begotten Son of God. He is totally unique and lonely. No man can match his perfection. This fact of his solitary uniqueness at once destroys whatever psy-. It defeats the very purpose for which an ensampler is designed--the effective working of the lure of his perfection under the force of the assurance that by striving the aspirant may achieve identity or equality with the ideal one.
If it is published beforehand that the worshipped Personage is the unattainable and forever unapproachable Ideal, the springs of devotion and zeal are dried up at their very source. Why strive, why aspire, why copy, if it is to be all in vain? The glistening paragon becomes only a romantic ideal, the more radiant and bright-hued because of its eternal remoteness and inaccessibility.
It is placed there only for mortals to gaze and gape at in awe and marvel. But it is rendered useless for the very thing claimed as the strength of the argument from psychology, the inspirational power of the life lived to be a moving example for us. The manipulators of the psychological factors in the ecclesiastical enterprise, in straining to assure the Christly figure of perennial reverence and worship of the romantic sort by placing him on an inimitable level of perfection and uniqueness, unwittingly sacrificed the very element in the psychological situation that it was most ardently hoped to gain by the procedure.
To keep him secure in his lofty place of adoration they weakened the force of his ability to stimulate emulation. He is the stainless One, incapable of sin; men are doomed sinners, who must in craven fashion plead with him for salvation from innate degeneracy. Thus the luminous picture of the mighty paragon has not worked out, and can not work out, as a triumphant force designed to elevate character by the cogency of its living reality.
It has in fact operated directly to defeat that effect. It has left men facing a hopeless effort and turning from resolute zeal for attainment to sunken morbidity expressed in the conventional theological ideas of sin and its dog, remorse. Before the figure of the man-Christ man has made himself abject, groveling in unmanly beggarliness before the unbearable glory of the One who stands clothed in unattainable majesty. The psychological influence of this only-begotten manifestation is further decisively emasculated by the accompanying theological doc-.
Though frequently emphasis is laid upon his community of nature with us, still he is exotic, a transplantation from the empyrean. He did not need to go through the long evolutionary gateway of our humanity, but was already a citizen of the cosmos, a dweller with God before the worlds were, existent before Abraham was. Though so high, he yet condescended, abased himself, to become for a generation one among us, sharing our immature nature without yielding to its seductions. He had not come up the long road of development from unicell or moneron to man, but came down from the skies full-panoplied in cosmic resplendence, to lay for the time being his glory mildly by, as the Christmas hymn has it.
His coming was not an act of common brotherhood of a creature kindred with us, but a condescension and a gratuity, arbitrary in cosmic counsels and unrelated to natural contingency. He was a pure gift from the Gods. The merit was his; ours the unmerited benefit. So again the alleged great psychological efficacy of his exemplary life is annulled by the strangeness and vast remoteness of his nature from our own.
He is no brother but a distant ambassador who deigns to visit us for a season and labor with us, but can not abide with us forever. He must in a moment return to the celestial palace, sending a substitute to remind us of his one charming sojourn with us. But the crux of the debate on the psychological efficacy of a paragon is not reached until the matter is approached from the side of the great question of the relative potency of two forces, one operative from without the subject, the other from within. This crucial point of discussion must be given thorough treatment.
Though it is not critical or decisive for the question of Christ historicity, it looms as perhaps the most portentous phase of the entire survey. It is not too sweeping an assertion to aver that the whole psychological beneficence of religion stands or falls with the outcome of the discussion of the historicity of the Messiah. It stands if the world savior be proven an element, a divine leaven, within the soul and conscience of all humanity.
It falls if he be reduced to the futile stature of a man in history. For it is the contention of this study that the moral effect. Beyond doubt this strong asseveration will be violently disputed. It will be contended that it runs counter to every obvious envisagement in the situation. Nevertheless it is urged here that these alleged obvious implications seem obvious only in consequence of many centuries of inculcation of a false view which has overridden and subjugated open minds, and that they would lose their obviousness if they could be considered in the light of pure reason and apart from ingrained habitudes of pious assumption.
Had the opposite view been sanctified by such age-long approbation it, rather than the first, would carry the weight of obvious rectitude with it. For, of the two possibilities, surely the method of human salvation that would instinctively at first sight commend itself as the obviously more natural one would be that which places the agency of universal salvation from evolutionary dereliction in a power lodged within all men, as against an extraneous and uncertain influence somehow, but in no understandable way, shed upon us under certain peculiar conditions by one person in history.
Obviousness is obviously with the method of a general distribution of a divine spirit among all men to act as a leaven of righteousness and self-transformation, and it is certainly less clearly with a method that makes all men dependent upon the unaccountable self-immolation of one only-begotten Son of God. The latter view, be it averred, has only won its place in the acceptance of millions of purblind devotees through the stultification of their reason by the ceaseless exploitation of the forces of religious faith. The irrational flaunting of the Biblical text "for with God all things are possible" has further tended to keep the door open to the influx into less critical minds of every conceivable absurdity in the theological field.
The introduction of boundless irrationality in doctrinism was initially made when in the third and fourth centuries the esoteric interpretation of scripture yielded to the frightful debasement of exoteric literalism. The tragedy of its successful accomplish-. Blind faith and the peculiar weakness of the human mind in face of the alleged supernatural were the instruments of the tragic intellectual dupery. The noble scriptures were intended to gain and hold the perennial reverence of all intelligent minds; they were never designed to enslave minds with the fatal fascination of a fetish.
Once the historical status was assigned to the Christ principle the words, "look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith," have exercised a damaging sway over countless minds. To those who knew that Jesus, esoterically comprehended, was the dramatic type-figure of the divinity within us, the words carried not fatality but uplift and inspiration. The difference in the two cases clearly limns the difference in the psychological character of the two influences. This work advances the proposition that it is psychologically hazardous at any time for people to place their divinity in a person or locale outside themselves.
To do so involves the inevitable repercussion on average minds that their salvation is to be vicariously won. The disastrous consequence of this reaction must in the end be the enervation and atrophy of spiritual effort and initiative on the part of the individual to win his own redemption. The effect of the doctrine of salvation through the intercession of the Son of God--a salvation which the doctrine implies we had in no wise ourselves earned--could not be, as claimed, an intensification of the personal effort at righteousness. His own invitation to the weary and heavy-laden to come unto him and find rest has had an all-too-ready response in the literal sense.
Taken wrongly these words have gone far to impair the natural sturdiness of spiritual character in millions. By a psychology that was hardly subtle, but simple and direct, they militated to turn the conscientious resolution of the individual away from the actual cultus of his own immanent deity in thought, word and deed, while he pursued the chimera of vicarious salvation through pleading with his personal Redeemer.
In looking to Jesus in a man of flesh the devotee neglected the indwelling Jesus, and would inevitably do so in the exact ratio of his ignorance and his gullibility. This is a simple proposition and is quite self-evident. It is the law of nature that an organism or a function not used atrophies. Man has in a lifetime only a given quantity of psychic energy. If he expends it in one direction, the possibility of expending it in another is diminished by so much. The only Christos that is available for him is that hidden divine love within him.
If he wastes his soul-force in straining to induce an exterior personage to intervene in his evolutionary effort on his behalf, he loses by so much the fleeting opportunity to cultivate his indwelling guest. It is necessary to put this with categorical cogency, because it will be brushed aside as inconsequential. It is close to being the crux of the entire problem under discussion. A man can not at one and the same time serve two masters, the one within and the other without. Neither can he reap the fruit of an ardent cultivation of his potential divinity while pouring out all his psychic ardor upon the person of a Galilean peasant.
This brings us back to the question of the relative psychological power of a living or of a mythical and dramatic Christ. The great cry of the proponents of the historicity is that the psychological power of a living historical example must surely be greater and more beneficent than that of a purely dramatic figure.
History, it is urged, is real, whereas a myth is fictional. This debate is of critical importance, because if the Christos of the Bible was not a person of flesh, he becomes, as would be said, nothing but a character of pure fiction. He is a myth. And many books have been written to prove that he is only a myth. How, it will be asked in vigorous spirit, can a mythical figure be presumed to exert as strong a psychological force upon the world as a Jesus in real life? It holds up to its following the assurance of ultimate victory based on the. Jesus was a living example, and not a mere theological promise unaccompanied by accomplishment.
What is a myth compared with this? It is not, however, the view revealed to deeper esoteric reflection. Esotericism understands something about the myth that is quite unknown to the uninitiated general mind. The ancient sages knew something concerning the myth that the modern mind has never grasped. It can now be said with certitude that the whole genius of religious and philosophical culture escaped the grasp of Occidental civilization as a result of the third-century loss of this certain understanding of the nature and utility of the myth.
It is time, after centuries of stupid nescience, that modern ignorance of a vital matter be enlightened. Enlightenment on this detail may yet save religion and humanitarian culture, menaced dangerously by our blind failure to concentrate upon the one cultus of a higher selfhood in man that alone can redeem the world from immersion in the lower levels of consciousness and motivation. What was known of old, and must now be proclaimed anew with clarion blast, is that the myth, as employed by ancient illuminati in Biblical scripture, is not fiction, but the truest of all history!
So far from being fiction in the sense of a story that never happened and is therefore false to fact, it is the only story that is completely and wholly true! The myth is the only true narrative of the reality of human experience. It is the only ultimately true history ever written. It is a picture and portrayal of the only veridical history ever lived.
The latter is the realest of history, as it is the account of the actual experience of life in evolution. Real as history is, it is finally less true than the myth. The myth is always and forever true; actual history is never more than an imperfect approximation to the truth of life. Even as a perfectly faithful record of what actually happened, book history is far from being true.
This is an admission so commonplace that every courtroom is on guard against the testimony of witnesses because of the incapacity of the human senses in making an impeccable record of event. No history book ever contained a precisely. On the other hand the myth is, as nearly as the highest human-divine genius can construct it, a clear picture of the more real import of life itself. It is possible for conscious beings such as men to live through actual events of history and yet largely, at times completely, miss the reality, in a profounder philosophical sense, of the very experience they undergo.
What history thus misses the myth expresses. History is never more than a partial slap-stick comic or heavy tragic flirtation with the deep realities; the myth is a clear delineation of them. The myth is no more a fiction than a good photograph is a fiction. It is a true picture. It was made to be a glowing pictograph of those basic archai, those eternal principles of truth, those immutable laws of growth and structure which are the everlasting essence of all being.
So the myth is ever truer than history. It is a portrayal of the meaning and structure of all history. It pictures and preserves forever for the grasp of unfolding divine consciousness in man that golden light of true realization which alone elevates his historical experience above animal sensuousness and vegetative existence. With this revised comprehension of the myth it is now possible to approach with better qualification for a successful resolution of difficulties the matter of the historicity and the psychological potency of the central figure in the early Christian and all antecedent systems.
That central figure was in the myths and in the religious dramas of most ancient nations for thousands of years B. It stood there drawn and limned by the astutest dramatic genius the race has ever produced, to be the perennial reminder to all men of all religions of their own divine endowment, and to serve as dynamic instruction in the methods of attaining its progressive evolution in and through history. In the counsels of the Sages, who were men of our own humanity graduated in earlier cycles to the place of mastership and perfected knowledge of the whole earthly evolution-- St.
It is not known now as it was in ancient days that a grade and council of perfected men, risen through humanity to divinity, stood in the relation of tutors and teachers to infant humanity, and prescribed codes of morals, religion, philosophy, law, mythology, literature and art, as well as mathematics, science and physics, not to forget agriculture, for the beginnings in civilization and culture. These are the authors of the great sacred books of antiquity, the instructors in pyramid building, the founders of human progress. Their graduate status at once explains the otherwise inexplicable phenomenon that has bewildered and confounded the savants of modern knowledge,--how it was that races that were still in the semi-barbaric stage already held in their possession tomes of the most exalted wisdom and philosophical insight, as well as moral purity, which their own undeveloped mentality could not have produced.
These men, both by evolutionary selection and by humanitarian choice on their own part, performed the function of formulating the cultural heritage of the human race, particularly in the domain of religion and philosophy. One of the greatest of the problems confronting them in their sublime work was the choice of method by which mankind could be most deeply impressed with the sublimity of the divine goal toward which the race was struggling and most intelligently spurred on to attain it. The plan adopted by the counsels of the most august wisdom was based on the decision to place before the world systems of religion, in which the outline of the drama of life, the place of the world in the cosmos, the place of man in the hierarchy of being, the moral conflict leading to evolution, and the eventual deification of humanity at the "end of the age" or cycle, should be clearly set forth for the behoof of all generations.
This central character embodied the divine element that was to deify mankind, and the drama depicted the final victory of the god within over the lower forces in the human compound. The figure was of course that of the Christos, who in his last triumph is clothed in robes of solar light, to indicate that the deity within man is of kindred essence with the sun and that as man progresses toward his final exaltation in glory his garments shall be white as the light and his righteousness shall cause him to shine like the sun in the kingdom of his Father. In this glorious character men could see pictured their history, their destiny and their eventual conversion into angels of light.