james1951 wrote:It really makes no difference to me if the story is factual or anectdotal or a fable. The truths that I see in the story are in the teachings attributed to it's main character Jesus, The spirit of god in the flesh.
James, it is ridiculous to suggest that the teachings of Jesus were written, or taken as written, as anything other than a factual record. Even then, if one is just looking at his so-called moral teachings, you have to make a choice. Either they are divine revelation (and how does that work? A friendly word in the ear from a passing angel?) or the work of man. If the former, then some evidence would be nice. If the latter, then either there is no god, or he created a duff model, created evil within us, or had a dodgy evolutionary model. Take a look at Epicurus, he said it best. I cannot see, but any logical progression your theory has any legs whatsoever.
Everything is of necessity a product of man's mind as man must sense it and give it definition.
Man can iindeed make laws and come up with reasons and excuses and justifications to back up any claim, whether or not those reasons are believed as truth by the individual or just made up lies to manipulate others, we even lie to ourselves for various reasons.
But sometimes we become aware of things we do not want to believe, or things we never realized before. They are revealed to us when we are ready to understand or accept them which many times we are not ready simply because we do not want to accept them. We would rather believe the lie. This is where the "spirit of truth" must supercede our "desire for untruth".
This is when and where the revelation takes place. This is the god of the spirit of truth and righteousness meets man.
His moral teachings are boiled down to 2 teachings. 1. Love truth and rightness above all else. 2.Love your neighbor as yourself.
Any other teaching is just an example of how to do that, explained to ignorant peoiple who really do not want to know the truth.
The story about the rich person who wanted to know what he had to do to be saved. Jesus said follow the ten commandments. The rich ruler said I hjave done that my entire life,
Jesus said now all you have to do is sell everything you own and give the money to the poor and follow me and you will enter the kingdom of heaven. The rich ruler went away very sad.
See the rich ruler had broken the first commandment. The rich ruler put money before his love of God. That was all Jesus was showing when he said give away all your stuff and money.
You dont have to be poor to follow god. SOlomon and Job two of the richest people in the bible were so called godly men. But you have to be "willing" to give it all up for god.
Now for me god = truth and rightness =- love others. If you put your own wants before your love of truth and others you are putting what you want before god.
What is truth and right god? Because if you are not true and right then your self esteem suffers because what do you think of people who lie and harm others, especially of those who lie to and harm you...... Logically your brain knows you must think the same about yourself if you lie to or harm others.. no matter how many lies and excuses you make up to try and justify your lies and harmful ways, you still know under that neurological burden what you really are.
And that will punish you with guilt and shame and suppression and denial and projection and all those other psychological goodies and the manifestation of them in your life.