History of religion

The search for paradise

(Published in GralsWelt 48/2008)

The Bible is the most printed (and probably also the most widely read) book in world literature. Its significance for the Jewish and Christian religions is fundamental and its influence on world culture cannot be assessed.

After the Bible had been considered an unassailable source of truth in the West for centuries, doubts arose about the reliability of its sources, especially since the Enlightenment (from the 17th to the 19th century). It then became a popular game for Bible-faithful Christians, e.g. B. under the catchphrase “And the Bible is right after all” (4), to collect archaeological and historical findings that are supposed to prove how precisely and historically correct the authors of the Bible reported. If events, places and personal names are correctly passed down in the Bible, then the Bible believers will be happy. Doubters can perhaps be reassured by referring to the many accurate information. From what has been proven to be correct, it is then concluded that the rest of the information should also be taken seriously, which may not be correct at the moment.

However, it can happen that the author of the Bible too precise report and, precisely because of this, fall into the suspicion that they had not portrayed a great supernatural event, but only handed down old human memories, which were then elevated to the transcendent in ignorance of the facts. An example would be the Paradise story (Genesis, 2 and 3).

The paradise

If we follow the teachings of the Grail Message from Abd-ru-shin, then we humans went out unconsciously from paradise in the spiritual realm, and the goal of our longing and our spiritual striving is to return to this paradise as a conscious human spirit.

The attempt to find this spiritual paradise on earth must therefore fail. Nevertheless, for centuries people have been searching for the landscape in which the long-winded biblical paradise once lay, and there is hardly a continent on which it was not already suspected.

Now the Bible contains the geographical description of a landscape that should perhaps be found:
“A river springs in Eden that waters the garden; there it divides and becomes four main rivers. One is called Pishon; It is he who flows around the whole land of Hawaii, where there is gold .... The second river is called Gihon ... The third river is called Tigris ... The fourth river is the Eufrat (Genesis 2: 10-14).
But where should one look for the four rivers? Probably in the east of Palestine:
"Then the Lord God laid out a garden in Eden, in the east ..." (Genesis 2: 8).
Further biblical messages help for more precise localization. If you put hes. 28:14 generously, there was a "holy mountain" in the garden of Eden, which may have been found recently (6).
There is also talk of farming:
“With the sweat of your brow you shall eat your bread until you return to the field; you are taken from him. " (Genesis 3:19).
Bread is the basic food of the settled people, not the nomads.
A very old dispute is also described, which has been repeated many times in history: The quarrel between the farmer Cain and the nomad Abel (Genesis 4).

Can one assume that the story is from a time when the transition from nomads to farmers began around 12 millennia ago?

The "Fertile Crescent"

For decades it has been taught that agriculture was developed in the “Fertile Crescent”, roughly between the Mediterranean Sea and the Zagros Mountains.

Probably a food crisis led to one of mankind's most important inventions. The population grew and the game that could be hunted dwindled. Those who wanted to survive on the spot often had no choice but to become a farmer. From the point of view of that time, this new “profession” was anything but desirable.

Nomadic hunters and gatherers worked only a few hours a day to feed and clothe themselves. The rest of the day could be used for social contacts (personal hygiene, conversations, dances, rituals). Presumably the nomads despised the first farmers and townspeople, whom they felt superior to because of their mobility.

The “modern” alternative, settling down, required the farmer to work twelve hours a day. The success of his efforts was a less varied diet, which was also endangered by storms, pests, plant diseases, wild animals and even by nomads who did not want to find anything by grazing their herds in cultivated fields. Not surprising if skeletal finds show that the nomads were[i] were better fed and grown larger than the early farmers.

A new way of life

In a transition period that lasted generations, life changed fundamentally. The sedentary farmer had to build supplies, and he claimed ownership of houses, tools, cattle, crops, land. In order to protect their property against attacks (e.g. by nomads), the farmers established settlements that were fortified. With the settlements came leaders, wealth and power. Later some places had to be irrigated; organized cooperation on a larger scale was necessary for this. Then came rulers, wars, taxes, the tax office, new diseases caused by parasites that could spread in the irrigation canals, and probably slavery as well. All evils (or civilizational achievements) that have survived to this day. (See. “The violent person - victim of his development?„)

The "funny gypsy life" of the nomads was the nicer life for long, long periods of time. But the shares became more and more. They pushed the wandering, homeless hordes into fringe areas that were less suitable for agriculture, from which they repeatedly emerged as dangerous warriors or even conquerors.

Biblical paradise

The fundamentally new thing, agriculture with all its consequences for people's lives, began in the "Fertile Crescent", to which the biblical descriptions, according to more recent assumptions of scientific research, apply surprisingly well:
* Seen from Palestine, the "Fertile Crescent" is in the east.
* According to the latest hypotheses (5) the four rivers would be Euphrates, Tigris, Kisil Usen (or Sefid Rud) and Araks (or Aras). Everyone knows the Euphrates and Tigris. The Araks flows into the Kura and this ends in the Kaspi. The headwaters of these three rivers are close together in the inner Taurus. The gold-bearing Kesil Usen rises east of Lake Urmia in the Kurdistan Mountains and also flows into the Kaspi.
* The "Holy Mountain" would be the "Nabelberg" Göbeli Tepe, with perhaps the oldest of the known places of worship of mankind (6).
* The struggle between nomads and farmers probably started here, in the "Fertile Crescent".
* Urfa, the alleged birthplace of Abraham, is in the immediate vicinity of the "Holy Mountain".

How do sedentary memories come into the Bible?

Hardly any scientist today still assumes that the Pentateuch[ii] was written by Moses, whose historical existence as well as the biblical exodus (around 1250 BC) is considered questionable. The first chapters of the Old Testament were written down perhaps in the time of Solomon (961-931 BC), during or after the Babylonian captivity (568-538 BC), or not until the 2nd century BC. Between the transition from nomad to farmer and the written account of this decisive event in the Bible, there are about 9 millennia or about 300 generations.

Can there be such ancient memories of humanity?

Some researchers think this is possible. You speak of a "cultural memory" that can go back a long way to the Neolithic (Neolithic) past.

If one reckons with several, with many earthly lives of the same human spirit, then it does not seem so surprising when now and then, in one or the other person, memories are awakened of a long blown time in which decisive developments took place that were as good as shaped all civilizations. Such memories also came into the Bible; from the author's own experience or from ancient oriental writings such as the Gilgamesh epic, which already anticipates some biblical topics[iii].

A spiritual book or the mythology of the Jews?

The Old Testament is a collection of very diverse scriptures. Very different authors put very different treatises on paper at different times: aphorisms, eroticism, folklore, divine laws, witches, historical chronicles, war, cultic regulations, denunciations from the highest worlds, land grabbing, love poems, liturgical rules, lies and deceit, murder and Homicide, prophecies, creation stories, the fall of man, necromancy, betrayal, visions, genocide, folk tales, miracles, sorcery. Almost everyone can find what they are looking for in the Bible.

Undoubtedly, some chapters of the Old Testament speak of Jewish history, but hardly with the aim of historically correct reporting. The Bible contains too many inaccuracies, uncertain or even incorrect traditions and anachronisms for a historical work. As a rule, it cannot be considered a reliable historical source.

Many Christians and Jews consider the Bible to be intellectual Book, as a revelation. The historical reports would then have to be viewed as parable teachings, by no means as correct historiography.

High spiritual in earthly garb?

The communication of spiritual values with the medium of earthly language is a problem in all religious books. Because the mind should not get stuck on the script, but the human being should grasp the deeper relationships intuitively and perceptually. Written versions of higher insights therefore often use a symbolic language that also uses earthly images for clarification. The denunciations to be conveyed address the inner being of the human being and evade superficial interpretation. Asian wisdom teachers sometimes try to achieve this goal by juxtaposing contradicting statements. With this they want to trick the mind and penetrate directly to the sensation.

The Bible also repeatedly brings historical examples that are supposed to show the dire consequences of deviating from God's will for the people of Israel in the past. Above all, the authors of these traditions wanted to show how religious doctrines - from their point of view synonymous with the will of God - are to be followed consistently. Some prophecies are probably lagging prophecies[iv], that is, predictions that relate to an event that has long since occurred. This is a not so rare form of esoteric or religious interpretation of history, which can explain in retrospect exactly why an event had to take place this way and not differently.

Believer or Skeptic?

If now Bible apologists want to prove the correctness of their "Holy Scriptures" with historical facts, strictly speaking - presumably without being aware of it - they join the ranks of the skeptics: Because if the Bible does intellectual Book is, it should be outside any kind of more earthly Stand evidence. Jesus already rejected such a desire for visible evidence, i.e. signs and wonders:
“What is this gender looking for sign? Truly I say to you: No sign will be given to this generation " (Mark. 8,12).

So who? in the Earthly for evidence of his transcendent Seeking faith is often disappointed. Such a half-believer easily becomes insecure, and - at least from a strictly religious point of view - he already belongs to the doubters; because "Blessed are those who do not see and yet believe". (John 20:29).

If genuine, deeply felt faith is required, the exegeses so zealously practiced in many religions become[v] just as questionable as dogmas or denominational doctrines. Because every true belief should be based on a very personal, non-transferable, religious experience of a free person, which cannot be evaluated with scientific methods: "Because the letter kills, but the spirit gives life". (2 Cor. 3,6).

(1) Bronowski Jacob, Der Aufstieg des Menschen, Ullstein, Frankfurt 1976.
(2) Der Spiegel, 23/2006, dated June 3, 2006.
(3) Finkelstein Israel / Silberman Neil Asher, No trumpets before Jericho, CH Beck, Munich, 2002.
(4) Keller Werner, And the Bible is right, Econ, Düsseldorf, 1963.
(5) Rohl David, Legend. The Genesis of Civilization, Random House, London, 2006.
(6) Schmidt Klaus, you built the first temple, CH Beck, Munich, 2006.
[i] No distinction is made here between nomads and hunters (hunters and gatherers), as historians consider necessary.
[ii] Pentateuch = the five books of Moses.
[iii] See. "The search for immortality".
[iv] Religious scholars speak of "vaticinia ex eventu" = subsequent prophecy. You see a number of biblical prophecies as "post-prophecies."
[v] Exegeses = interpretations of the Bible and other religious scriptures. Compare with this "Philon of Alexandria and the search for meaning".