Article detailing why religion if once perfect changes so much,how this is done even if the Scripture were to not be tampered with, and  how this leads to the last days religion.

 PHILOSOPHY OF HALAKHA By Rav Chaim Navon LECTURE #14: Torah Study – Creation or Revelation “ I go one step further. I maintain that, with respect to the Oral Law, the concept of “truth” is meaningless. The Torah student is not required to strive for the absolute “truth” that is concealed in God’s hidden places.

The Torah serves as raw material for human creation, and man must develop the Torah in the direction that seems right to him:” As stated in the chapter “The New Jewish Paradigm” the Scripture of God under Rabbinic Judaism had become like “fine flour” and could be made into whatever form the baker chose. Its varied interpretations through the centuries of its new history as well as its base being set in Neo Platonism gave the Cabbala a place to flourish. The largest difference with regard to spirituality, religion, and mysticism was that its view of the beginning was now manifestationist, and not creationist.

The manifestationist approach to creation is easiest understood by example. If we take a small stone and throw it in a pond the water ripples out in ever widening circles until they are so small they disappear. Inside this philosophic view the stone is the “first cause” as written about by St. Thomas Aquinas. Reality emanates or “ripples” out from the first cause which in this case is the stone. The closer to the stone the larger the ripple, or the closer to the “first cause” the more real the emanation is. Man is of course one of the last of the fading ripples. As the ripples proceed from the stone each one causes the next one after it. Each ripple of water is connected to and proceeds from the last one. In this way the last one is connected to and is part of the “First One”, or “First Cause”.

Understood this way it has attracted some of the greatest minds and religionists in history. The different religions are seen as varied but tightly packed ripples. This is the one way to explain their reality in the world under one God. Therefore there must be “truths” within them. Under this auspice comes the work of the philosopher, theologian, and mystic, working within the respective faith and working communally to discern truth. Under the Council of Chalcedon Messiah is not limited to one place, one form, and one time and is the Word of God. The Muslims say their Koran is that Eternal Word of God and uncreated. Would it be natural for the theoretical philosopher or theologian or mystic to explore these possibilities? Going back to the pond, since man is at the lower ripple and sinned by taking fruit from the tree of knowledge, the Word of God or Torah he has and can understand Is one of “knowledge”. The Eternal Word itself emanates from a higher ripple or sphere of existence. Therefore there must be more.

What was protected from Adam after his sin? The Tree of Life was forbidden. This again is seen as a “higher Word” or Wisdom. It is known also as the Nous, Wisdom, the Sofia. Where the “Word of God” that we have says “You shall neither add, nor subtract, nor change” the philosophic view agrees with it regarding to the things or people in our reality or “ripple”. As “there are higher ripples” and this form of the Word is knowledge which is the lowest, these instructions are no longer applicable when exploring or bringing “Wisdom” from a higher ripple or sphere of existence. The goal is the return to Paradise or the Tree of Life.

Hence there are many especially within Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christianity who never review the Bible. There are literally two thousand years of commentary and mystical work to sort through which is itself a proposition for more than one life time.

Within Rabbinic Judaism I believe there is a reference in the Babylonian Talmud recording that a respected scholar introduced a great scholar to the Netzerim who were there in Babylon. The Nazarenes who would have been descended from the families of the Apostles questioned him about Scripture which he had no knowledge of. Their friend the rabbinic scholar then told them that the visiting scholar was a Talmudic scholar so he would not have insight into Scripture. The Talmud itself was a lifetime study.

With this in mind here are the versions that are considered Heretical. Close reading reveals no major difference. The Gnostic version- The Gnostics, who were the contemporaries of the Jewish Tannaim of the second century, believed that it was necessary to distinguish between a good but hidden God who alone was worthy of being worshiped by the elect, and a Demiurge or creator of the physical universe, whom they identified with the “just” God of the Old Testament. In effect they did not so much reject the Jewish Scriptures, whose account of events they conceded to be at least partly true, as they denied the superiority of the Jewish God, for whom they reserved the most pejorative terms.

 Salvation was brought to mankind by messengers sent by the hidden God to rescue the soul from the cruel law or “justice” of the Demiurge, whose dominion over the evil material world, as testified to by the Bible, was but an indication of his lowly status. The hidden God Himself was unknown, but he had entrusted Jesus and the gnostic faithful with the task of overthrowing the “God of the Jews”.

As for the claim of both Jews and orthodox Christians that the God of Israel who created the world and the transcendent God of goodness were one and the same, this was a great falsehood which stood in the way of true gnosis. This kind of “metaphysical anti-Semitism,” as is well known, did not vanish from history with the disappearance of the gnostic sects, but continued to reassert itself within the Catholic Church and its heretical offshoots throughout the Middle Ages.

The Sabbetean version “The mystery of the Godhead” which Sabbatianism now “discovered” and which it believed to be identical with “the mystery of the God of Israel” and “the faith of Father Abraham,” was founded entirely on a new formulation of this ancient gnostic paradox. In the version made current by Cardozo it was expounded as follows: All nations and philosophers have been led by irrefutable laws of the intellect to acknowledge the existence of a First Cause responsible for setting all else in motion.

Given the fact, therefore, that anyone capable of logical reasoning can demonstrate to his own satisfaction that such a Cause exists, what need is there for it to be specially revealed to mankind? What possible religious difference can such a revelation make when we are no less the wiser without it? The answer is, none at all. The First Cause, which was worshiped by Pharaoh and Nimrod and the wise men of India alike, is not the concern of religion at all, for it has nothing to do with the affairs of this world or its creation and exerts no influence on it for good or for bad.

 The purpose of a divine revelation must be to make something known which cannot be grasped by the intellect on its own, something which has specifically religious value and content. And indeed, this is precisely the case with the Jewish Torah, which does not dwell at all on that Hidden Principle whose existence can be adequately proven by the intellect, but speaks only of the God of Israel, Elohei Yisrael, who is the creator of the world and the first emanation to proceed from the First Cause. This God, in turn, has two aspects, or “countenances” (partzufim), one male and one female, the latter being known as the Shekhinah; He alone it is who creates and reveals Himself and redeems, and to Him alone are prayer and worship to be rendered.

It is this paradox of a God of religion who is distinct from the First Cause that is the essence of true Judaism, that “faith of our fathers” which is concealed in the books of the Bible and in the dark sayings of the Aggadot and the Kabbalah. In the course of the confusion and demoralization brought on by the exile this mystery (of which even Christianity was nothing but a distorted expression) was forgotten and the Jewish People was mistakenly led to identify the impersonal First Cause with the personal God of the Bible, a spiritual disaster for which Saadia Gaon, Maimonides, and the other philosophers will yet be held accountable. It was thus that the words of the prophet Hosea, “For the Children of Israel shall sit solitary many days without a king” (3:4), came to be fulfilled. At the exile’s end, however, Israel’s God will reveal Himself once more, and this secret is a source of precious comfort to the “believers.”

Here we have a typically gnostic scheme, only inverted: the good God is no longer the deus absconditus, who has now become the deity of the philosophers for whom there is no room in religion proper, but rather the God of Israel who created the world and presented it with His Torah. While the language changes, meanings are intrinsically the same. Do the Baptists agree theologically, mystically, and spiritually with the Gnostics, Catholics, Orthodox, Muslims, Shabbeteans, and Jews?

The one point Mr. Urban missed in his thesis is the one that has been missed across history. Plotinus was not Christian. Many of the Church fathers of his day were actually his disciples and friends. Refer back to “Revenge of the Philosophers” for the listing. Plotinus founded the School for Neo Platonism.

His inclusion of the Apostle Paul as a practitioner of Middle Platonism in his thesis is rebuked by the Apostle himself on Mars Hill. If the philosophies individually that make Neo Platonism were considered foolish by him, how did they gain credibility when combined? Mr. Urban then rightly says that the methods and means are found in the philosophy of the early Greek Church fathers, and that it is the “adept” or initiated that makes use of them. Within this we now have a higher and lower Gospel and meaning, and a tiered religion.

Through time the “Adept” have through their visions and ecstasies molded and shaped and changed all the respective faiths. The “Wisdom the Adepts” bring have changed and brought new meaning to Scripture and Religion in every generation, which are then taught at the universities. The “Words of Scripture” can remain the same because in each generation they are dependent of “what the meaning of is, is.”436Or the way we understand a word such as “Salvation” as an example can change while the Text itself remains the same. 436 William Jefferson Clinton In the staid mysticism of the Baptist we find the extreme mysticism of the Cabbala, the Sufi Cabbala, Hindu mysticism. The difference is one of outlook, definition of terms, and application.

 With the essential separation of the “adept” from the common practitioner of a given religion we have created an underclass and an over-class without even articulating it. The underclass is taught the Scriptures of “knowledge” or low reality within their respective religion, whether Muslim, Christian, or Jewish.

The “adepts” or over-class are free to pursue the UR religion as the “Tradition” terms it. They are both priest and prophet, bringing us the “wisdom of God” and new doctrine over time. Have I taken this to far?

If the underlying theses of a Jacob Frank or a Shabbetai Tzevi is the same as a Baptist candidate for a Masters in Theology or Sufi mystic I could not possibly take this far enough. “…Frank himself, though he never said so in so many words, was correctly understood by his disciples to imply that he personally was the living God once again incarnated on earth. Not without a certain “consistency” the Frankists held that each of the three hypostases of the Godhead had its individual incarnation in a separate Messiah: Sabbatai Zevi, whom Frank was in the habit of referring to simply as “The First One,” had been the embodiment of “the Ancient Holy One,”

Frank himself was the personification of “the Holy King,” and the third hypostasis, the Shekhinah, variously known in the writings of the Kabbalah as “the Kingdom” (malkhut), “the Lady” (matronita), “the Maiden” and “the Doe,” was to appear in the form of a woman.

 It is hard not to associate this last novelty-a female Messiah, referred to by Frank as “the Virgin,” who was yet to be revealed and whose task it would be to complete the work of the redemption with the influence of certain mystical Christian sects prevalent at about this time in Eastern Europe that believed in a triad of saviors corresponding to the threefold nature of God and in a feminine incarnation of the Sophia, the Divine Wisdom Of Holy Spirit.

With one of these groups, in fact, the “Philipovicites” in Rumania and the Ukraine, the Frankists were in such close contact that one of its former leaders publicly defended them before the Catholic authorities of Poland. Interpreted in this manner the redemption was a process filled with incarnations of the divinity”.437 437 Gershom Scholem- Redemption through Sin-The core beliefs are- 1. The belief in the necessary apostasy of the Messiah and in the sacramental nature of the descent into the realm of the kelipot.

 2. The belief that the “believer” must not appear to be as he really is.

3. The belief that the Torah of atzilut must be observed through the violation of the Torah of beriah.

4. The belief that the First Cause and the God of Israel are not the same, the former being the God of Rational philosophy, the latter the God of religion.

5. The belief in three hypostases of the Godhead, all of which have been or will be incarnated in human form

These things could only be true if I have shown: .

One common base philosophy .

One common mysticism .

One common spiritualism .

One common goal for religion .

One common cooperative effort .

Use of a common set of religious/ philosophic texts

These add up to one common essential religion with varying sect lines. “The major religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, are different forms of that wisdom and are sometimes referred to as paths leading to the same summit or dialects of a common language.

 Understood in this second sense, the perennial philosophy was popularized in the twentieth century by Aldous Huxley in a book by that title (1946). Its best known exponents are Ananda Coomaraswamy, Rene Guenon, and especially Frithjof Schuon, whose Transcendent Unity of Religions (1948) has been of signal importance in defining the contemporary perennialist viewpoint.

According to Schuon and those of his school, a distinction must be made between the exoteric or outer and the esoteric or inner dimensions of religion. Outwardly the doctrines of the world’s religions are clearly different, even contradictory, as can be seen in their theologies. The Hindu tradition, for example, includes many Gods, Judaism insists there is only one God, and Buddhism declares the question of God to be moot. Or again, Christianity believes that God is a Trinity and that the divine Son was incarnate as Jesus Christ, beliefs explicitly rejected by Islam. According to the perennial philosophy, however, such outwardly divergent teachings, providentially adapted to the spiritual, psychological, and cultural needs of different peoples at different stages of history, can be inwardly reconciled by those who are sensitive to their metaphysical and symbolic meanings and prepared to follow the golden thread of the dogmatic letter to its deeper spiritual meaning.”438 438 Christianity and the Perennial Philosophy ©2003 James S. Cutsinger Encyclopedia article for Christianity: A Complete Guide- explanation of Traditionalist Messiah and Tradition concepts are from this article unless otherwise noted. 439 The Traditions mysticism and spirituality are represented without their cultural and societal views, It is the additional practical applications to societies that set them as fringe.

If from this vantage point many scholars and philosophers see similar or same are we? “For in this respect philosophers, and orators, and poets are pernicious, because they are easily able to ensnare unwary souls by the sweetness of their discourse, and of their poems flowing with delightful modulation. These are sweets which conceal poison… For this is especially the cause why, with the wise and the learned, and the princes of this world, the sacred Scriptures are without credit, because the prophets spoke in common and simple language, as though they spoke to the people. And therefore they are despised by those who are willing to hear or read nothing except that which is polished and eloquent; nor is anything able to remain fixed in their minds, except that which charms their ears by a more soothing sound. But those things which appear humble are considered anile, foolish, and common. So entirely do they regard nothing as true,except that which is pleasant to the ear; nothing as credible, except that which can excite pleasure:no one estimates a subject by its truth, but by its embellishment.- Lactantius – The Divine Institutes

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