Recurrent themes across religion

Not only are there common principles across different Religions, identified and promoted via the Parliament of Religions, there are also recurrent themes across the millenia that surface regularly.

This is a logical expectation that a Higher Power or Energy of Love (God) would act consistently across history to reflect Love’s true nature. All religions ground human existence in a transcendent reality, be it called by many names and described as many things. Human beings are not autonomous; their existence is somehow dependent and subject to a Reality greater than themselves. Many believers take it as axiomatic that all religions share a common source in the one God. A reality of the inherent unity of all life would require an expectation of unity of religions.

The following IQS gives you the opportunity to select those common points of spiritual awareness that religions across the globe aspire to:

“The key insight to understanding the commonality of all religion came when I noticed that the religions and wisdom traditions of the world don’t tell the same stories or provide the same rules of conduct, but, because the human capacity for experience is the same or similar all around the globe, experience is one of the few striking similarities that they all share. Experience seems to be one point where all the religions and spiritual traditions of the world converge. The name for the model arose from this understanding, as experience plus faith equals Experifaith.”

On this page is an explanation of one of those themes, the Cosmic Christ/Savior. The stories are listed in rough historical order, and are well documented. These are presented not to confront or to annoy, but in order to show a consistency in the themes, the inherent grace, that has been and continues in the experience of the divine characteristics, the universal soul or psyche we often call God.

EGYPTIAN GOD HORUS (2400 BCE)

Horus was an Egyptian god who was born of a virgin, Isis. Only begotten son of the God Osiris. Birth heralded by the star Sirius, the morning star. Ancient Egyptians paraded a manger and child representing Horus through the streets at the time of the winter solstice (about DEC-21).

Death threat during infancy: Herut tried to have Horus murdered. God tells Horus’ mother “Come, thou goddess Isis, hide thyself with thy child.” An angel tells Jesus’ father to: “Arise and take the young child and his mother and flee into Egypt.”

No data between ages of 12 & 30. Age at baptism: 30. Horus’ baptiser: was beheaded. Walked on water, cast out demons, healed the sick, restored sight to the blind. Was crucifed, descended into Hell; resurrected after three days.

Horus had twelve followers; walked on water, cast out demons, and healed the sick. Horus was transfigured on a mountain; was crucified between two thieves, buried in a tomb, and resurrected; and who was known as the KRST or “anointed one”, as well as the “good shepherd,” “the lamb of God,” “the bread of life,” “the son of man,” “the Word,” and the “fisher”.

Harpur (‘The Pagan Christ’) argues that this myth was never intended to be taken as a literal story about a supernatural person named Horus; instead, Horus symbolizes humanity itself. By representing both our divine and our human natures, Horus is Everyman and Everywoman; his story is the Gnostic story of human consciousness.
Michael Nenonen

ATTIS OF PHRYGIA (1250 BCE)

Attis was born on December 25 of the Virgin Nana. He was considered the savior who was slain for the salvation of mankind. His body as bread was eaten by his worshippers. He was both the Divine Son and the Father. On “Black Friday,” he was crucified on a tree, from which his holy blood ran down to redeem the earth. He descended into the underworld. After three days, Attis was resurrected.

KRISHNA OF INDIA

Krishna is the god of compassion, tenderness, and love in Hinduism

Author Kersey Graves (1813-1883), a Quaker from Indiana, compared Yeshua’s (Jesus) and Krishna’s life.

#6 & 45: Yeshua and Krishna were called both a God and the Son of God.
7: Both was sent from heaven to earth in the form of a man.
8 & 46: Both were called Savior, and the second person of the Trinity.
13, 15, 16 & 23: His adoptive human father was a carpenter.
18: A spirit or ghost was their actual father.
21: Krishna and Jesus were of royal descent.
27 & 28: Both were visited at birth by wise men and shepherds, guided by a star.
30 to 34: Angels in both cases issued a warning that the local dictator planned to kill the baby and had issued a decree for his assassination. The parents fled. Mary and Joseph stayed in Muturea; Krishna’s parents stayed in Mathura.
41 & 42: Both Yeshua and Krishna withdrew to the wilderness as adults, and fasted.
56: Both were identified as “the seed of the woman bruising the serpent’s head.”
58: Jesus was called “the lion of the tribe of Judah.” Krishna was called “the lion of the tribe of Saki.”
60: Both claimed: “I am the Resurrection.”
64: Both referred to themselves having existed before their birth on earth.
66: Both were “without sin.”
72: Both were god-men: being considered both human and divine.
76, 77, & 78: They were both considered omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.
83, 84, & 85: Both performed many miracles, including the healing of disease. One of the first miracles that both performed was to make a leper whole. Each cured “all manner of diseases.”
86 & 87: Both cast out indwelling demons, and raised the dead.
101: Both selected disciples to spread his teachings.
109 to 112: Both were meek, and merciful. Both were criticized for associating with sinners.
115: Both encountered a Gentile woman at a well.
121 to 127: Both celebrated a last supper. Both forgave his enemies.
128 to 131: Both descended into Hell, and were resurrected. Many people witnessed their ascensions into heaven.

DIONYSUS (750 BCE)

Dionysus was born of a virgin on December 25 and, as the Holy Child, was placed in a manger. He was a traveling teacher who performed miracles. He “rode in a triumphal procession on an ass.”

He was a sacred king killed and eaten in an eucharistic ritual for fecundity and purification. Dionysus rose from the dead on March 25.

He was the God of the Vine, and turned water into wine. He was called “King of Kings” and “God of Gods.” He was considered the “Only Begotten Son,” Savior,” “Redeemer,” “Sin Bearer,” Anointed One,” and the “Alpha and Omega.” He was identified with the Ram or Lamb.

BUDDHA (450 BCE)

Gautama Buddha is believed by Buddhists to be an enlightened teacher who attained full transcendence and shared his insights to help humans end rebirth and suffering.

  • Buddha went to his temple at the age of twelve, where he astonished all with his wisdom.
  • Both supposedly fasted in solitude for a long time: Buddha for forty–seven days and Jesus for forty.
  • Tempted by, but overcame, the devil
  • Began an itinerant ministry around the age of 30
  • Had disciples who traveled with him.
  • Performed miracles, such as curing blindness and walking on water
  • Renounced worldly riches and required his disciples to do so also
  • Rebelled against the religious elite (Brahmans for Buddha and Pharisees for Jesus)
  • Dispatched disciples, shortly before his death, to spread his message
  • Both strove to establish a kingdom of heaven on earth.

CHRISTIANITY (5 CE)

The Christian religion is based around Jesus of Nazareth, who claimed divine equivalence as the son of God.

An early Christian belief, Gnosticism, stated that human souls are incarnate expressions of the Godhead.

According to the Gnostic account, at birth each of us emerges from eternity to become a finite, embodied, and separate consciousness.

“The vitalizing item of ancient knowledge was the prime datum that man is himself, in his real being, a spark of divine fire struck off like the flint flash from the Eternal Rock of Being, and buried in the flesh of body to support its existence with an unquenchable radiant energy. On this indestructible fire the organism and its functions were ‘suspended,’ as the Greek Orphic theology phrased it, and all their modes and activities were the expression of this ultimate divine principle of spiritual intelligence, energizing in matter.” During our incarnation, we forget our cosmic origins and suffer within a state of existential amnesia that Gnosticism hopes to remedy. Valentinus, a second century Gnostic, expressed this best when he wrote, “What liberates is the knowledge of who we were, what we became; where we were, whereinto we have been thrown; whereto we speed, wherefrom we are redeemed; what birth is, and what rebirth.” To the Gnostics, each of us is a slumbering Christ.

Gnostic Christianity was the first “heresy” to be persecuted by the Church. Gnostic writings were destroyed, while Gnostic teachers were often killed. Despite this, Gnosticism has survived as the most powerful subterranean spiritual current in Western culture. It can be found among the troubadours in thirteenth-century France, and in the Renaissance hermeticism of John Dee and Giordano Bruno. It appears in the poetry of William Blake and the philosophies of Georg Hegel and Karl Marx. As a staple of Freemasonry it framed the thoughts of America’s founding fathers. It informed Carl Jung and Aldous Huxley, as well as the 1960s counterculture and the makers of The Matrix trilogy. In his most recent book, Harpur not only taps into this widespread Gnostic current, he also demonstrates that it runs far deeper than we ever imagined.

Harpur writes, “Not only did the early Christians take over almost completely the myths and teachings of their Egyptian masters, mediated in many cases by the Mystery Religions and by Judaism in its many forms, but they did everything in their power, through forgery and other fraud, book burning, character assassination, and murder itself, to destroy the crucial evidence of what had happened. In the process, the Christian story itself, which most likely began as a kind of spiritual drama, together with a ‘sayings’ source based on the Egyptian material, was turned into a form of history in which the Christ of the myth became a flesh-and-blood person identified with Jesus (Yeshua or Joshua) of Nazareth. The power of the millennia-old Christ mythos to transform the whole of humanity was all but destroyed in the literalist adulation of ‘a presumptive Galilean paragon’. Centuries of darkness were to follow. “

Spiritual imagination is the faculty that connects the mundane periphery of our existence to its sacred core, the faculty that informs our deepest yearnings and illuminates our ethical pathways. The American abolitionists knew this, as did Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.”
Michael Nenonen

See also: History of Spirituality

Resources: Documentary Zeitgeist (Part 1) , The World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviors: Christianity Before Christ by Kersey Graves, The Pagan Christ by Tom Harpur, The Christ Conspiracy, and Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled by Acharya S

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