The Star of Bethlehem: Introduction (part 2)

In the second half of the introduction, the “Golden Rule” is discussed in full. And in the words of John Lennon in the Beatles’ song, “All you need is love; love is all you need.”

The Golden Rule

To illustrate the fact that Jesus’ message wasn’t new, John Hick (in his book The Metaphor of God Incarnate) has documented the fact that ‘the golden rule’ was part of many belief systems of faith:

It is to be said that there are two main patterns of this transformation (from natural self-concern to a new centering in the Real). There are saints who withdraw from the world into prayer or meditation, and saints who seek to change the world — in the mediaeval period a contemplative Julian of Norwich and a political Joan of Arc, or in our own century a mystical Sri Ramakrishna and a political Mahatma Gandhi. In our present age of sociological consciousness, when we are aware that our inherited political and economic structures can be analyzed and purposefully changed, saintliness is more likely than in earlier times to take social and political forms. But, of whatever type, the saints are not a different species from the rest of us: they are simply much more advanced in the process of inner transformation.

The ethical aspect of this consists in observable modes of behaviour. But how do we identify the kind of behaviour which, to the degree that it characterizes a life, reflects a corresponding degree of reorientation to the divine Reality? Should we use Christian ethical criteria, or Buddhist, or Muslim…?

The answer, I suggest, is that, on the level of their most basic moral insights, the great traditions use a common criterion. For they agree in giving a central and normative role to the unselfish regard that we call love or compassion. This is commonly expressed in the principle of valuing others as we value ourselves, and treating them accordingly.

Thus in the ancient Hindu Mahabharata we read that ‘One should never do to another that which one would regard as injurious to oneself. This, in brief, is the rule of Righteousness’ (Anushana parva, 113.7).

Again, ‘He who…benefits persons of all orders, who is always devoted to the good of all beings, who does not feel aversion to anybody…succeeds in ascending to Heaven’ (Anushana parva, 145.24).

In the Buddhist Sutta Nipata we read, ‘As a mother cares for her son, all her days, so towards all living things a man’s mind should be all-embracing’ (149).

In the Jain scriptures we are told that one should go about ‘treating all creatures in the world as he himself would be treated’ (Kitanga Sutra, 1.ii.33).

Confucius, expounding humaneness (Jen), said, ‘Do not do to others what you would not like yourself’(Analects, xxi.2).

In a Taoist scripture we read that the good man will ‘regard {others’} gains as if they were his own, and their losses in the same way’ (Thai Shang, 3).

The Zoroastrian scriptures declare, ‘That nature only is good when it shall not do unto another whatever is not good for its own self’ (Dadistan-i-dinik, 94.5).

We are all familiar with Jesus’ teaching, ‘As you wish that men would do to you, do so to them’ (Luke 6:31).

In the Jewish Talmud we read, ‘What is hateful to yourself do not do to your fellow man. This is the whole of the Torah’ (Babylonian Talmud, Shabbath 31a).

And in the Hadith of Islam we read the prophet Muhammad’s words, ‘No man is a true believer unless he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself’ (Ibn Magja, Intro.9).

Clearly, if everyone acted on this basic principle, taught by all major faiths, there would be no injustice, no avoidable suffering, and the human family would everywhere live in peace.

We are all in this together

Now, I recognize the content of that final sentence as an ideal that we all carry with us, but is most perfectly expressed through the lives of individuals with either their Sun or Ascendant being in Libra. This will prove important when we begin to analyze Jesus’ birth chart. As I was reminded of recently during a particularly difficult time, “We are all in this together”. We need to remind ourselves of that fact often, or else we begin to view life through our own ego’s point-of-view, forgetting our connections to others in this world.

However, another small statement in Hick’s book stands out for its simplicity and its truth (which I believe epitomizes Jesus’ life and is a major clue to our understanding of him):

Jesus himself seems to have been exceptionally sympathetic towards women.

Why should this be? It is the essential mystery of a belief system which for almost two thousand years has been exclusively the ‘right’ of men, with women taking a secondary, supportive and submissive role. And yet, if men continue to ignore the truth contained in the love and compassion of a mother, a sister, a lover or a daughter, they will destroy this world and all that depends upon her. She is our Great Mother, Earth, called Gaia by some. She loves and sustains us as a mother would her children, but all that Western man wants to do is subdue and control her, in much the same way that women have been subdued and controled for thousands of years.

Footnote

From She For God: Into this world, where among Jew and Gentile alike women counted for little or nothing, Christ was born and grew up trained in the Mosaic Law with all the weight of its fierce and puritanical traditions. He began his short ministry and, from the little we know of it, his treatment of, and whole attitude towards, women was so immensely creative, revolutionary and dynamic that although the church, following a long way after in this respect, comprehended him not, neither did it wholly deny him. The Gospels remain. In them we read that Christ actually treated women as worthy of serious attention, worthy of argument, worthy of friendship, worthy of compassion, worthy of praise.

In St. Luke alone, seven specific miracles of healing were concerned with women. That Mary was commended for behaviours so utterly foreign to women’s supposed proper role as to leave her domestic tasks in order to listen to a Rabbi who was willing to teach her (in itself an offence against the Law) was of much greater significance than appeared on the surface. Jesus’ defence of Mary Magdalene must have astonished as well as appalled the men who heard it. It is quite likely true — although only mentioned in the Gnostic Gospel of Marceon — that one of the accusations brought against Jesus by the Sanhedrin was that he led women astray by teaching them. Women were not meant for such things.

As for his talking to the women of Samaria and the Syro-Phoenician women, perhaps the extreme unusualness of this behaviour accounts for the inclusion of such episodes in what is after all a very short and highly selective narrative. Most of all, to be treated as individuals in their own right would have astonished the women themselves. They came to realise that Jesus thought them to be of equal importance as men in the eyes of the Father, ‘joint heirs’ to his kingdom. In return they gave him devotion and faithfulness to the end, and it was to women that Jesus first revealed himself after the Crucifixion.

All four evangelists agree about this, which is a curious and interesting point, for the resurrection story, as has often been pointed out, has many discrepancies. No Jewish woman was considered reliable as a witness and indeed could not legally be accepted as such. Therefore, if a concerted account of the resurrection was being invented to convince the authorities, to insist that women were the first and thus the most dramatic witnesses to such an extraordinary event would have been enough to discredit it at once. Yet it is just this which is narrated by all the Gospels.

Writing on the Ground

According to Wellesley Tudor Pole in his book, Writing on the Ground, Jesus performed a higher purpose in “writing on the ground” while making the Pharisees see their own shortcomings during the forgiving of “the woman taken in adultery” scene in John 8:48:

My surmise is that his accomplishment as outlined above was unique in world history in method and operation up to the point at which he appeared among us. What happened would have destroyed his human form, had it not been that this form held in perfect balance and rapport the masculine and feminine qualities and instincts inherent in human nature. In other words, Jesus could act as a perfect lightning conductor, without causing any damage to his body or mind.

It is my belief that the ‘Second Coming of Christ’ actually involves an equal participation in life between the two sexes, with neither being superior nor inferior to the other. I therefore see Jesus’ life as a symbol of this balance, and I hope this book will demonstrate just how reconciled he was with God and man.

The Passover Plot

While recently re-reading The Passover Plot, the book by Dr Hugh J Schonfield which initially started me on my journey of discovery about Jesus’ life in 1976, I came across the following passage about the awareness Jesus had about his mission as Messiah:

When the Nazoreans looked back on the dramatic climax of the life of the Messiah, as many of us still do through the libretto to Handel’s Oratorio, they were overwhelmingly impressed by the appositeness of so many passages to what had transpired. Having to establish both for themselves and for Jewish audiences that what had taken place was in accordance with the Scriptures, they were able to build up a formidable array of testimonies. In their zeal they even amplified and supplemented the account of his experiences, as certain texts appeared to require additional incidents which would fulfil them. Almost insensibly, teaching was converted into fact, and individuals could claim that they had heard such things from someone, who had heard them from one of the apostles. Thus the legend grew from story to testimony to embellished story. We have to be fully conscious of this process of gilding the lily in studying the Gospels and the early patristic literature.

The feat of Jesus was far more extraordinary, because he was looking forward into the unknown, seeking to determine the shape of things to come as a guide to his own actions. It was his achievement to have extracted from the Oracles so clear a picture, and to have so assured of its reliability, that he could follow it like a star which charted his course, and commit himself to certain, positive predictions of what would take place. The achievement was particularly remarkable because it transcended the relative vagueness of contemporary Messianism, and brought its ideas into a sharper and indeed a singular focus. There are strands of different colours held to mark the role of distinct messianic personalities, the Prophet like Moses, the Suffering Just One, the Son of David, the apocalyptic Son of Man. Jesus wove them into one.

And that last sentence, for me, makes the whole approach to Jesus’ life through an astrological analysis of his birth chart perfectly logical. As I shall discuss throughout this book, the separate energies which come “from” the planets are combined in Jesus in a truly remarkable and unique fashion. There are not many people who can claim to be the Messiah. Therefore, to me, he is and always will be, for eternity,

THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM.

Picture Credits

Linked page: The Star of Bethlehem: Introduction (part 1)

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/EKiqthx0GKw?rel=0

Picture credits: Star of Bethlehem courtesy of http://www.clipartbest.com;
Gaia courtesy of real-gaia.angelfire.com;
Jesus and Mary Magdalene courtesy of wikipedia;
Jesus writes on the ground courtesy of http://www.pinterest.com;
The Passover Plot courtesy of http://www.amazon.com

About cdsmiller17

I am an Astrologer who also writes about world events. My first eBook "At This Point in Time" is available through most on-line book stores. I have now serialized my second book "The Star of Bethlehem" here. And to give my blog pages something lighter, I'm sharing some of my personal photographs, too.
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12 Responses to The Star of Bethlehem: Introduction (part 2)

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