The Cross of Cards

by Alan Watts

It is said that playing-cards were devised by the ancients to hide a secret where those not ‘in the know’ would never think of looking for it. For heresy-hunters are serious-minded people who would never think of looking for religion in a game. It is curious to think how men have gambled, fought and slain one another over these unknown symbols, and it is interesting to wonder whether the most accomplished ‘poker face’ would fall a little on discovering that he was playing for lucre with emblems just as holy as the cross, the chalice and the crown of thorns. Probably not, for men have done things just as terrible in the name of symbols whose holiness they recognized. However, it is no less strange that the puritanic mind should see in diamonds, spades, hearts and clubs the signs of vice, to be avoided at all times and more especially on Sundays.

Today the forms of playing-cards are very different from the original Tarot, but an ordinary modern pack is not without significance, even though it may not be quite the same significance that was originally intended. What that was I do not know, but the living meaning of a symbol is what it means for each man personally. Therefore my interpretation of this particular symbol is not the result of research but my own intuition and has no claim to be \the\ interpretation. Like the often-quoted Topsy, the idea ‘just growed’ when I laid out the four suits of the pack and began to wonder what it was all about. It is said that ‘the ways of the One are as many as the lives of men,’ and as I worked at the symbol itself but also from the many possible interpretations that might be given it. However, we begin by laying out the cards in the form of a cross, thus:

 

                               DIAMONDS
                                  2
                                  3
                                  4
                                  5
                                  6
                                  7
                                  8
                                  9
                                 10
                                Knave
                                Queen
                                Ki ng
   C                            A c e                            H
   L                    K Q K A       A K Q K                    E
   U 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 n u i c   ?   c i u n 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 A
   B                    a e n e       e n e a                    R
   S                    v e g   A c e   g e v                    T
                        e n     Ki ng     n e                    S
                                Queen
                                Knave
                                 10
                                  9
                                  8
                                  7
                                  6
                                  5
                                  4
                                  3
                                  2
                                SPADES


 

 

 

 

To the North are Diamonds, to the South Spades, to the East Hearts and to the West Clubs, running inwards to the centre from the two to the Ace. The first question was to decide the meaning of the four suits, and at once the four elements of Fire, Earth, Water and Air suggested themselves together with the four faculties of the human mind, Intuition, Sensation, Feeling and Intellect. But which belonged to which? It was at once obvious that Spades belonged to Earth and Hearts to Feeling. Sensation is the avenue whereby we receive our impressions of material things, and so this was accorded to Earth and Spades. Feeling is a passive, feminine faculty, not usually well developed in men; we talk about ‘feminine intuition’ but as a rule we generally mean feminine feeling – a certain sensitivity to emotional values, to psychological ‘atmospheres’ and feeling-situations where men are apt to be ‘slow in the uptake.’ It was thus decided to place Hearts and Feeling under the feminine element of Water – that passive substance that always yields but can never be defeated. Opposite Hearts we have Clubs, and it was not at once easy to decide whether Fire or Air should be called the opposite of Water. Fire and Water are hostile, but Air and Water are creative, for in the beginning ‘the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters,’ and, ‘except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.’ It was therefore decided to make the figure harmonious instead of hostile, regarding the four suits as compliments rather than opposites. Thus as Air complements Water being the active agent which shaped the passive substance intot he forms of waves. Thought or Intellect, as Air, was put opposite Feeling, as Water. Feeling is passive but Intellect – a masculine quality – is active and often aggressive, and so belongs appropriately to lubs. Intuition and Fire remain to be classed with Diamonds, for intuition is the spiritual faculty which compliments Sensation, the sensual or material faculty. Fire is not hostile to Earth, but it’s lightness (in both senses) compliments the soil’s darkness and heaviness. To Buddhist philosophers the diamond (vajra) is the symbol of spiritual consciousness because of its strength and luminous clarity. It has been said that ‘a diamond is a piece of coal which has stuck to its job,’ being that which results from intense fire working upon black carbon. Therefore the four suits are understood as follows:Diamonds (Fire & Intuition) – Spades (Earth & Sensation)
Hearts (Water & Feeling) – Clubs (Air & Intellect)

But what about the rest of the figure? We see that there is a progression of numbers and court cards from the extremity of each arm of the cross to the centre – four ways of approach to the Divinity as present represented by a question mark as He is unknown. Corresponding to the four faculties, the Hindus devised four kinds of yoga for awakening man’s understanding of his union with Brahman, the Self of the Universe: karma yoga, the way of Action, Bbakti yoga, the way of Devotion, gnana yoga, the way of Intellect, and raja yoga, the way of developing the higher faculties of Intuition. But it will be seen that in our figure each path is of a like pattern, running:

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Knave Queen King Ace

The Progression shows, among other things, each stage of man’s path to supreme Enlightenment from the child and the primitive to the sage. From 2 to 10 the path seems to be going backwards, as will shortly be apparent, because it often seems that civilized man is further from spirituality than the child and the primitive. Actually this is not true, for in the parable of the Prodigal Son it is the prodigal for whom the fatted calf is slain and not the faithful son, for one has to be divided from union with the Father before one can truly appreciate it. To adapt a line of Kipling’s, ‘He does not know Union who only Union knows.’

We begin with the 2, for with every one of the four faculties the first thing of which we are aware, the very foundation of our experience, is the difference between that which we call our self and that which is not the self, between the thing which we call ‘I’ and the outer universe. This is the first of all the pairs of opposites of which life is composed, the subjective and the objective. But these two things do not exist in our consciousness without a third factor, namely the relationship between them, which is shown by the 3. That relationship may be attraction or repulsion, of love or fear, or of balance between the two which is called indifference. Without trinity, duality has no more meaning than man and woman without child, and unless there is a relationship between ourselves and the universe we can have no consciousness of our existence – indeed, we could not even exist. To some things in the universe we react with love or attraction, and to others with fear or repulsion, and this is as natural as that fire should make us warm and ice make us cold.

But here the difficulties begin, because man does not stop with that basic reaction to life. It is not just that he likes some things and dislikes others; ha has also decided feelings about the state of liking and disliking, and so from 3 we proceed to 4. This stage marks the beginning of self- consciousness and civilization, for man becomes attached to loving or liking and wishes to have about him only those things in the universe which arouse attraction. At the same time he becomes afraid of fear because it makes him ashamed, being a menace to his pride and self-esteem. But this does not get rid of his fear; it only adds one fear on top of another. Thus as soon as man becomes self-conscious and self-esteeming and fully aware of his reactions to things, he starts trying to interfere with the processes of his soul. And this is called civilization. He is not content to be the primitive who just loves and fears things without shame, thinking no more about it. He must now control his reactions and shape them in accordance with some preconceived pattern of character development. Fear must not exist in his vocabulary and so-called ‘love’ must be cultivated under such names as ambition and happiness. But this interference with the natural processes of the soul (psychologists call it repression) removes us further and further from basic realities, precipitating us into a sort of tail chasing procedure. Like dogs trying to catch their tails, cats runnign after their own shadows and lunatics trying to lift themselves up by their own belts, men try to make themselves what they think they ought to be – a form of self-deception which receives rude shocks when the surface of civilization is removed. This regression from basic realities is represented by the cards from 4 to 10, the latter being the point where man has completely forgotten his union with life, where his self-consciousness has reached the stage of utter isolation and where he is hopelessly bewildered by what the Chinese call ‘the ten thousand things’ – or the manifold and apparently separate and chaotic objects and events of the universe.

This is the moment of crisis in human evolution. Man becomes acutely aware of his unhappiness and insufficiency, and realises, appropriately enough, that he is a Knave. What is he to do about it? Look at the next card, the Queen – the feminine, passive principle – and if you look carefully at the card you will see that each of the four Queens holds an open flower. The Knaves hold swords, spears and daggers, emblems of their hostility to the life from which they have so estranged themselves, but the flower which is open to sun and rain alike is the symbol of acceptance. The Knave has estranged himself from life by his pride and false morality, by fighting the natural processes of the soul and trying to make out that he is greater than he is. (‘Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature!’) But the Queen accepts those processes, both the love and the fear and all the other opposites by which those feelings are aroused – life and death, pleasure and pain, good and evil. She knows that man must accept all the aspects of life if he is to be happy, and that if he would see the god in himself he must not deny the demon. ‘Demon’ runs the Hermetic aphorism, ‘est deus inversus’ – the demon is a god upside-down. Therefore the Queen stands for that acceptance and spiritual love which, like His sun, God ‘maketh to shine upon both the just and the unjust.’ As yet, however, this acceptance is incomplete, for the Queen is only the female or passive aspect of acceptance. The complete union and harmony with life which is the goal of all these four paths is not simply a quietistic state of spiritual laisser-faire in which man just allows life to live him. That is, indeed, a step on the way, but the very idea of allowing life to live you, of submitting to your destiny, to the will of God, or whatever it may be called, still implies a distinction between yourself and life, nature or God.

When this distinction is overcome there is no longer any question of yourself being ruled by life and destiny or of yourself ruling your life and destiny; the problem of fate or free will then disappears, for the ruler and the ruled are united, and you do not know whether you are living life or whether life is living you. It is as if two dancers were dancing together in such perfect accord that the lead of one and the response of the other were one and the same movement, as if action and passivity became a single act. In our figure this is symbolized by the King. In their hands the Kings hold swords and axes like the Knaves; in fact, the Kings are Knaves but with this difference: that the Knaves are compelled to be Knaves and cannot help themselves, whereas the Kings are free to be Knaves. This is the difference between the man who is moral (who fights the dark side of life) because he fears evil, and the man who is moral because he knows he is perfectly free to be immoral. In the stage of the Queen we discover our freedom to be moral instead of our compulsion. For when you feel that you are free to be as evil as you like you will find the idea rather tedious.

Thus in the Queen and the King we have the free, royal pair, symbols of spiritual liberty – liberty to love and to fear, to fight and the yield, to resist and to accept and – yes – to be free and to be compelled, for freedom is not absolutely free unless it is also free to be bound! Therefore the combination of these two is represented in the Ace, symbol of the union between oneself and life which arises from this complete acceptance of life. Here the four paths meet, but an uncomfortable empty space is left in the middle of the cross and something seems to be needed to tie the whole figure together – shall we say to make it holy? We have reduced the many, represented by the 2, to the One, represented by the Ace, but the Buddhist problem asks, ‘When the many are reduced to the One, to what shall the One be reduced?’ For as the figure stands it would seem that there is a difference between the many and the One, that in going along the path from the 2 to the Ace you have actually acquired something which you did not have before. Spirituality, however, is not acquired; it is only realized, because union with life is something we have all the time even though we do not know it. Our seeming loss of union in the civilized, self-conscious world is only apparent, only something which occurs in Time but not in Eternity. From the standpoint of Eternity, every stage in the path is both beginning and end and middle; there is neither coming nor going, gain nor loss, ignorance nor enlightenment.

What shall we put in the middle? I think we have forgotten a card – the one we usually leave in the box. What about the Joker?

A profane symbol? Not at all. For the joke about the whole thing is that, wherever we stand on the paths, we are really at the Goal – only we do not know it. It is like looking all over the house for your keys only to find that you are carrying tham in your hand, whereat you sit down and laugh at yourself.

But the Joker makes an appropriate centre for another reason: in games he is allowed to represent any other card in the pack. So also in this figure he is the 2 and the Ace and all that lies in between – Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending . . . the first and the last.

Indeed, as Chesterton said, there is a closer connection between ‘cosmic’ and ‘comic’ than the mere similarity of the words!

Alan Watts
Digital Polytheism
www.deoxy.org

via The Cross of Cards.

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Mystery Teachings of Ancient Egypt

Partial Transcipt: (If this is something you’re into, visit the whole series on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIIsUdt-uO0&list=PLKM8Qh3arXk6zeJMAepphg7PZlxXX8nTL#t=62)

“With new knowledge sourced from Ancient Egypt and other keys such as the torah, sacred geometry, the fibonacci sequence, alchemy, hermetics, mythology and biblical scripture, we can now begin to put these fragments of knowledge and symbolism together and finally have an understanding of what has been hidden from us.

With this understanding we can unlock what was left to us by our very knowledgeable and wise forefathers. Unfortunately, this truth about our Divinity was taken from us with violence and torture and hoarded in a stronghold to the establishment otherwise known as the Vatican.

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But don’t be naive in thinking this information would also not be known by the Freemasons and the elite families and royalty. They took this knowledge for themselves and sold us a lie of death and hell. The Crusades were nothing more than an excuse to pillage and plunder all civilizations of this knowledge so it could be kept for themselves at the expense of the masses who they enslaved into bondage to serve only them. They murdered almost a million Cathars and stole all their scriptures and most sacred, holy texts. They called them heretics and sentenced them to the most painful deaths. Now all we have left are remnants of these ancient texts that survived destruction. The rest were stolen by the Catholics to be put together in a twisted version of scripture which they then used to lull the herd into a false belief of themselves and the reality in which they exist. Their agenda is to keep us in bondage to the physical plain so we cannot move into our ethereal body, and they do this by giving us a perception of limit and lack about ourselves.”

(he hasn’t yet mentioned the Gnostics, ”witches”, and the many others killed to keep the Literal story a belief, while the gnosis was kept hidden from us. He mentions our immortality and our power as Divine Principles of the Universe. I’ve been studying this subject for years and I can tell you that you will learn a lot from this video teachings series, but as always seek your own Self Intuitive Gnosis. Keep what resonates with you and put what doesn’t on a shelf. Don’t throw it away, it might make sense later in life. Peace my Sovereign brothers and sisters).

Gnostic Chrestians

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The Historical Jesus Christ (the presentation of “the Christ” as taught through the medium of a presumed historical person to serve as an example for all mankind to emulate and follow), is not all there is to christianity. It’s the milk for the infant spirit, to awaken it to the mythical and then the amazing mystical. Every major religion has it’s mystical counter part, Islam included (called Sufism).

The Mythical Jesus Christ is the personification of the Sun as it moves on its prescribed path through the Heavens where we find it moving through each house of the Zodiac which goes hand in hand with the changing seasons of the year [Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Autumn Equinox, Winter Solstice.

The Mystical Jesus Christ is the allegorical expression of a hidden teaching, a secret doctrine, given under strict and exacting conditions to approved candidates by the Ancient Masters of Spiritual Wisdom regarding the descent of the Logos (God) into matter, ie., mankind.

What escapes the vast majority of Christianity in today’s world is that many of the stories of these “solar gods” and “godmen” down through history which parallel the events in the life of the New Testament “Christ” as found in the New Testament and which appear at first thought to be apparently historical were really purely allegorical. This is why the stories of Osiris, Horus, Dionysus, Attis, Adonis, Mithra, and a host of others read like the New Testament “Jesus Story”. Nowhere is it more necessary to understand this than when we are studying the story of Jesus, surnamed “the Christ”, for when we fail to separate the allegory from the literal truth, and see where the symbols have been mistakenly taken and believed as “historical” events, allegories as histories, we lose most of the instructiveness of the narrative and much of its “Eternal Truth” once given to the Ancient Spiritual Masters. Men fear that Christianity will be weakened when one comes to this understanding, and that it is “dangerous” to admit that events thought to be “historical” have a deeper significance in both a “mythical” and “mystic meaning”. Those who advocate not delving into these deeper areas of understanding of “the Christ” keep others from recovering the truths concerning “the Christ” as the Ancients who gave us those concepts understood them and “him” in the first place. Let us not forget that as Egypt taught in the beginning of recorded history mankind was made in the image of God and not God in the image of man!

The “Mystical Jesus Christ” is how the earliest Christians (actually called Chrestians, not Christians; Chrestians literally means The Good Ones) and the First New Testament from Marcion, which Rome would later corrupt and destroy, understood “the Christ” as a Divine Allegory of a Divine Concept inherent within all of mankind and not exclusive to just one person. That is why this First New Testament of these earliest Gnostic “Chrestian” believers did not teach a “fleshly” or a “historical Jesus Christ”. Nor did the authentic letters of Paul in the modern New Testament teach a Jesus of flesh. His letters were edited, and even misrepresented to make it look like Paul, a Gnostic, hated Gnostics. What a cruel thing to do! An Epistle of Paul are truly now just ”a piss hole of Rome.”

The “Gnostic” understanding of “the Christ” would be lost to the world by the fifth century and forced “underground” by Roman Christianity and their military might. These earlier Gnostic Spiritual Masters were almost persecuted out of existence by Rome and the “Divine Allegory of the Christ Within” would be later “literalized” by Rome in their Second New Testament. Lost to the world will be the earliest understanding of “the Jesus Christ” as known since the beginning of recorded time. This is where most of Christianity exists today believing in a “Literalized Jesus Christ” which has been presented as a historical person when the deeper truths of the “Christ Within” are seldom heard and that goes double for the “Mythical Christ”.

Christians and followers of “the Christ” have a spiritual book given us by Rome that is “forged” in key places which hides these deeper truths from us. It is well past time we get new “keys” to understand our Creator and His true message to us.

Gnosticism flourished in Egypt and Western Asia between 250 B.C. and AD. 400. It was a Theosophic movement made up of elements of Egyptian mythology, Indian metaphysics, Judaism, and Greek philosophy. Gnosticism was overwhelmed by Orthodox Christianity in the fourth century, AD., but some of the lost Gnostic literature has been recovered. The ancient Gnostics were those who “knew”, just as the modern Agnostics are those who “do not know”. Gnostics believed in a Supreme God who was both unknown and unknowable. This unknown god was not the creator of the world; this task was delegated to lesser gods (the demiurge), who were emanations of this Supreme God. Egypt called this the “many in the One”. These subordinate gods or emanations (attributes) from the One true God, who created and governed the world, were called “Aeons”. Among the Aeons were:

 

The Logos (The Word, Christ [masculine])

 

Sophia (Wisdom [feminine])

 

Nous (Mind)

 

Phronesis (Judgment)

 

Dynamis (Power)

 

All of the above are but attributes of the One Supreme Mind, they exist separately but yet are interrelated. The Supreme God and the Aeons altogether formed the Pleroma (Fullness of the Godhead).

After the Roman Emperor Constantine made the Christian religion the State religion of the empire the remaining Gnostics were persecuted out of existence and their literature was destroyed. How and why Gnosticism was destroyed by organized Christianity is, as a rule, glossed over in history textbooks. One American scholar has penned an accurate and colorful account of these episodes. Please read the following slowly and gleam the truths from it:

“Preceding Christianity there was a school of science and philosophy which had accumulated practically all the wisdom and knowledge understandable to mankind. The object was to broadly educate the masses of the people by a unit system which would give to humanity a wisdom in common. This was the most potential period in human intellectual advancement the world has known. This school was called Gnosticism. Gnosis means to know – knowledge. Christianity means to believe – ignorance. These are the two schools; the one advocating the universal education of men, the other the universal ignorance of men. The one desired to develop the unit man, the other desired to suppress the unit and level all mankind to a common plastic mass. To accomplish this necessitated the suppressing of all extant knowledge; the closing of all the avenues through which people might acquire independent learning, education and intellectual training, and the debasement of humanity in abject ignorance The school which pitted itself against Gnosticism assumed the name Ecclesia. This name at once identified the purpose for which the organization was created to seize control of government, that it might exploit mankind for profit, and for its own glorification. Temporal power was the church goal. The name Ecclesia was derived from the Greek, and signified the legislative body which governed ancient Athens long before Christianity was invented. The first essential act of the Eccliesiasts was to suppress Gnosticism, and confiscate its vast accumulation of wisdom and knowledge, in order to control the education of future generations in a manner to adjust mankind to its purposes. Therefore the Gnostic wisdom was not wholly lost to the world but its great, universal educational system was supplanted and displaced. It is a well-established historical fact, not denied by the church that it required about 500 years to accomplish this submersion of Gnosticism, and to degrade the new generations in ignorance equal to the state of imbecility. History again points its accusing finger at the living evidence. The horrible results of such a crime against nature and mankind are pictured in the Dark Ages .. . Not even priests or prelates were permitted to learn to read or write. Even bishops could barely spell out their Latin. During this period of mental darkness, the ignorant masses were trained in intolerance, bigotry, fanaticism, and superstitious fear of an invisible power secretly controlled by the church; all of which begat a state of hysteria and imbecility. Through this terrorism popes seized control of the temporal power, retaining this control for nearly 1500 years. They appointed and deposed kings at will, hence they dictated legislation to their ends and purposes – the very essence of government . . . This process of legislating evil into mankind is to vindicate that damnable doctrine of original sin, which slanders nature and insults all mankind . . . Originally the motive was to confiscate the intellects of man, but the modern policy is much more concerned in confiscating their personal rights and property. Here is the other aspect of the suppression of Gnosticism. Its method of teaching was an understandable symbolism. It specifically recognized nature as the great teacher, and visible things as the traditional records of past events, in progressive evolution from the lowest state to the highest, with thinking, reasoning man as the highest evoluted being. Man did not fall, he was raised up by a natural promotion. Hence every man was a Gnostic to the extent of his accumulated knowledge and understanding. Thus each unit man became a teacher, and all men were given equal rights in the acquirement of knowledge. It was wholly an educational system, and a natural consequence in evolution. The Eccliesiasts, the Roman church, being thoroughly familiar with the Gnostic wisdom concerning astronomy, chemistry, and mathematics, as demonstrated by the splendid systems of Babylon, Egypt and Assyria, conceived the idea of developing a religio-political form of universal government, to control and exploit the future generations of people upon the earth through living, personified agents of the imaginary heavenly powers. . . to monopolize such a divine power as that contemplated it was necessary to personify nature, using the Gnostic system of symbolisms, and to give to these wholly imaginary beings names and functions. The Gnostic system had to be confiscated, and Gnosticism suppressed, to prevent exposure. This is why Christianity is so viciously antagonistic towards science and philosophy.” ~ (Thomas Sawyer Spivey; The Last of The Gnostic Masters, pp. 544-551.)

 

source: Craig M. Lyons Ms.D., D.D., M.Div. – Bet Emit (House of Truth)

 

Jesus Myth – The Case Against Historical Christ

I came across this website in my search for the beginnings of Christianity. I have since become convinced that Jesus was first a symbol of the sun, as is the case for all main religions. They are all first based on Astrotheology, and then go deeper from that starting point. I differ  with some of the anti-historical Jesus thinking about the Christ figure. Many of them are Atheists,  I am not. I think Atheism is a reaction to finding out the church has been lying to you for almost 2,000 friggin years! I understand it. BUT, if one would become able to read the allegory with the spiritual eye and see the meanings of the symbolism, you would see that myth is the best way to teach the nature of reality.  I certainly dig it. It is ever pregnant with deeper meaning and was designed to confuse the ‘profane.” In modern times we have quantum physics, which speaks in modern language (non mythical),  and yet mirrors precisely what the ancients said in their scriptures about nature of reality and our interconnectedness with creation.

By researching certain scientific test results and comparing it to ancient mythological wisdom,  I’m convinced that we are PARTICIPANTS and CO-CREATORS of reality. That was the essence of Jesus’s message. And of Buddha, Krishna and the now lesser known mythical figures.  The exoteric story, cloaked as history, is quite meaningless unless you can grasp the esoteric meaning.  That’s why I believe it’s important to know Jesus was a mythical person and Christ a form of Consciousness, symbolic of ourselves and other things ordinary language doesn’t convey. Thus the use of mythology. Myth doesn’t mean LIE, it doesn’t negate the existence of God, but rather better explains it. Perhaps the Gnostics were the fist Christians. (It is known Jewish Gnosticism goes back further than Christianity). The details have intentionally been lost, and as much as I’d like to know the facts, ultimately it’s not really important. It’s fascinating to know our core beliefs shape our reality. Notice the new paradigm since 9/11? FEAR! FEAR! FEAR! Even the weather is sensationalized to sound worse than it is. But Love conquers fear, we need to have love as part of our core belief, deep in our hearts, because it has been proven that our belief co-creates reality. We are truly Divine Spirits having a human experience. We are entangled with the whole universe, essential to it’s very existence, so much so that the Cosmos is actually a mirror of ourselves and could not exist without us, as above so below.

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 By – January 03, 2007

The majority of people in the world today assume or believe that Jesus Christ was at the very least a real person. Perhaps he wasn’t really “the Messiah”, perhaps he was not “The Son of God”, and perhaps he didn’t actually perform miracles and rise from the dead, but he really was a great moral teacher who traveled around Galilee with followers and got arrested by the Jews and crucified by the Romans right?

Not likely. In fact, a close examination of the evidence shows that the best explanation for the story of “Jesus Christ” is what we call “mythology”. The case that I will be outlining here is that there never was any “Jesus Christ” nor any meaningful real life basis for the story of “Jesus Christ”. Like many other religious figures, “Jesus Christ” began as a theological concept, was later used as a character in allegorical stories, and was then historicized as someone whom people believed really existed. The belief in a literal “human” Jesus most likely emerged as eucharist rituals and theology developed around the concept of the “flesh” and “blood” of Christ and these concepts merged with allegorical narratives about the figure.

What is the basis for the claim that “Jesus never existed”?

Actually, there are many important facts that support this conclusion. First let’s look at an outline of some of the major points in this case:

None of these points are meant to stand on their own, but collectively they provide a very strong argument against the story of Jesus Christ being based on a real person.

It is important to note that we have one, and only one, source of information about the life of Jesus and that is the Christian Gospels. The Gospels are the sole source of information about this figure; everything that we “know” about “him” depends on these sources.

There are two basic views of the Biblical Jesus as a real person today, the religious Christian view and the secular historical view. The religious Christian view takes the Gospels as accurate and reliable accounts of the life of Jesus, including all of the miracles. The religious Christian view demands that Jesus Christ was a popular and well known figure in the region, who drew crowds of thousands of people and performed great miracles, who was such a revolutionary figure that the Jewish priesthood was compelled to have him arrested and put to death in dramatic fashion before hundreds or thousands of witnesses.

The secular historical view, which may also be held by some Christians,  takes the Gospels as exaggerated accounts of the life of a real Jesus. The secular historical view basically starts with the Gospels and then removes the fantastic or “supernatural” claims in the Gospels and accepts what is left as history. The secular historical view tends to minimize the role of Jesus in the region, stating instead that he was barely noticed by others. Secular historians who believe that Jesus existed rely on the Gospels as essentially historical, but inflated, accounts of his life.

But are the Gospels reliable historical accounts?

via Jesus Myth – The Case Against Historical Christ.