Listen to Episode 3:
Elaine: Welcome back to Consciousness Talk. We’re happy to have with us for our third podcast. Rich would you like to start us off?
Rich: Yeah, I’ll pick up where we left off. So we were talking a little bit in the subject matter of Buddha and reincarnation. He wasn’t a big one on reincarnation. He may have stole it from the Bhagavad Gita, so let me talk about the Bhagavad Gita real quick. Another label for it is, The Song of God. And the best edition I’ve ever read is by Easwaran, and I’ve got copies out here if you want a copy.
On the surface, the very first chapter try to skip it if you can. Ha ha. Well, I mean, you kind of got to read it… and it’s kind of like in the biblical stuff, it’s lineage of different people and things like that. Where the real meat starts is in chapter 2. Chapter 2 is interesting. It’s only two characters in it basically, and some side show things… The two characters are Arjuna and Krishna. Krishna is the God, and he’s incarnated as a charioteer, which is a low level job compared to Arjuna. Arjuna is the big warrior and warriors were highly praised during those times, probably.
And so Arjuna talks to his charioteer driver and says, “Drive me through the battle lines, I want to see what it’s like.” (paraphrasing). And he does that and comes back and Krishna says, “Arjuna you look depressed, what’s this?” (paraphrasing); and Arjuna’s response is: “I’ve got cousins, and uncles, and aunts on this side, and I’ve got cousins and uncles and aunts on that side, and my job is to go out and kill them. I’m depressed!” And this is where Krishna then introduces the reincarnation type of thing…
He says, “Don’t worry about it.” (paraphrasing). The reincarnation talk is that, we’ve led many lives and this is your life right now today, and your job is to do this, and everybody lives different lives, and so it’s not you, it’s just the way the script is written for you. And so then, it’s only 18 chapters, a handful of pages. Why I like the Easwaran edition, is that the staff up at Blue Mountain (Meditation Center) in Tomales…actually it was one person…translated it, and wrote a summary from the Westerners’ point of view, of what are they talking about in this chapter, and then the actual chapter of what Krishna and Arjuna would talk about. So the dialogue is basically a dialogue that goes out, of: what’s life all about? So that’s it.
So that brings us a little bit forward on this. We’re at that point in time that I show here that the Bhagavad Gita was written about 100 BC. That’s the written form, and then it was in the Upanishadic form. So for sure the belief in reincarnation came from Eastern philosophy. And so we’re going fast forward, there’s a gap of 400 years in biblical stuff. I don’t know if it was intentional that someone threw it out, or not threw it out.
And so we come to the point of time, of Jesus being on earth, and we’ve read a little bit of a chapter on that. What I find interesting is that none of the gospels were… in fact all of the four people that we’ve talked about…Buddha, Lao Sung, Kung Fu, and Socrates, none of them ever wrote a word. So it was oral tradition and somebody else would write about it later.
Rich: I think that doesn’t mean it’s not accurate, because I know people who have that photographic mind; it can be a pain in the neck from time to time.
Rich: For sure they had listening skills that we don’t have in this world, because we’ve got everything at our fingertips today. But what I found interesting was the crucifixion story. First of all, the gospels were written about 70 or 90 years after the death of Jesus, from some of the things I’ve said. There was a crucifixion, what a lot of people talk about, or the story but what was interesting was that, it’s been uncovered that, who was at the crucifixion? Were all the disciples there? No. Who was there? So John was there, for part of it. Mary Magdalene was there for the whole shootin’ match. And what’s interesting about that, and we’ve got a book about it somewhere, called Gospel of Mary Magdalene.
And the reason she was there, was that a lot of people, some people would believe that she was the wife of Jesus. She was the gal if you remember that washed Jesus’ feet, with the tears from here eyes, and her hair to clean them off. I assume that’s who she was. And in so in those days, if…and she was kind of a woman of the night type thing, rather than a high class Jewish citizen. And so, she was kept in the background from a political point of view, or a writing point of view, they really couldn’t say who she was.
But what’s indicated from the records that be, is that she was at all three major events that Jesus went through. One was the crucifixion. Then the second major event was the opening of the tomb and rolling away the big rock there. And then the third big was the transfiguration where Jesus is walking down the road after he’s dead, and meets Mary on the road. I don’t know if he met anybody else on the road at that time, it was maybe only Mary on the road. And so that comes back into the reincarnation thing, so that’s a possibility. Again, in the Catholic world, and probably the Jewish world also, you probably didn’t want reincarnation to be an option for anybody to have. So there was just some real points of interest of studies.
Rich: Yeah. So, some authors would believe that there was 50 gospels. So how can you have 50 gospels when there’s only 4 in the Bible? Ha ha… Well, there was a selection process. So who did the selections? We don’t know, but it occurred at 325 AD, I think at the town of Nicaea, and it’s called the Nicene Creed. And Catholics have to memorize it, and Lutherans have to memorize it. Can you believe that? Catholics and Lutherans are on the same page? Because that’s where definition in the selection of the books, and selection of what went into Bible, occurred. So that’s 325 years after Jesus.
Rich: Now when you translate that to today’s world, go back 325 years…that’s kind of a little bit before 1690 or 1692. You know…tell me what happened in 1692? Can you?
Rich: Even from the history books? What can you do? Where do you start on that, if you were to do it here. Well, a lot of evolution had to take place at that period time.
Farzad: Well of course, and there was lots of war, as well. From what I’ve read, many libraries, when they conquer one city, or another country, the first that they did was burn all the books..
Rich: There you go.
Farzad: …to rewrite things again… So it’s just all this selective kind of, it’s in our own hearts, it’s something to get it and see what makes more sense, in a sense of humanity, and love, and sacrifices, and compassion, and all the good things I guess we’re seeking for.
Rich: Yeah. So there’s another gospel, the gospel of Philip. Nobody ever heard of that, well you do…kind of boring. Many of the gospels, you know, they had scribes, and stuff like that.
Matthew and Mark are more kind of parallel to each other, even though there’s some significant changes; but it’s almost like the same person had written them, or re-written them, translated it. And so you have to put that into the equation to figure out things, and put it into the equation: where’s the other 50? I think one of them, maybe it was Timothy, went to India. I think Philip went to India.
Farzad: I’ve heard that Jesus went to India himself.
Rich: I don’t doubt it.
Farzad: Yes. Jesus went to India, because he disappeared from a certain time, and then he came back. It was the time that he went to India.
Rich: Yeah, and my contention is you didn’t have to go all the way to India…all you had to do was get on The Silk Road… there had to be half-way houses along the way!
Elaine: Wow. I wonder if he did.
Rich: Well, yeah.
Farzad: Possibly, yeah. One of the spiritual paths of these giants, it was traveling. They have travelled a lot, most of them.
Rich: That’s so amazing, is they did travel obviously.
Farzad: They did travel, all of them. Moses traveled a lot. Muhammed travelled a lot. Jesus travelled a lot. They’ve been traveling all around.
Rich: Yeah, and when we get the map of the Silk Road type thing, then there’s like five or six branches off the main road. And in addition to those branches, are the ones by sea that go from China to…
Farzad: That’s great, that Silk Road.
Rich: Yeah, where they end up…in the Mediterranean… or something, and they go up the North Sea.
Tania: It’s just so interesting to think of like why, whoever chose to pick the gospels that they did, what was the reasoning behind that. And did they have good intentions, bad intentions, greedy intentions? What’s truth?
Elaine: Yeah, that’s an interesting question. Why were they selected over the others?
Farzad: What do you think…?
Rich: Well, I’ve got the contention on that, thanks for asking!
Rich: Is it Constantine that was the big hitter in 325 in Nicaea?
Farzad: I think so, yes.
Rich: He was a conqueror. I think it was Constantine. He called the meeting together of the council of Nicaea. So that was getting the people from Italy, and the people from the eastern part of, I guess Syria, different areas there, and say, alright, you’ve heard of the Christian orthodox, then there’s the Eastern orthodox, so you had two dueling churches, and maybe three dueling churches. So Constantine I think called them together for the purpose of: Let’s get this resolved. We can’t have that. One thing I read was that Constantine converted to Christianity the week before the meeting, or concurrently, somewhere in that period of time. And being the good warrior, saying: If I wanted to conquer Italy from the east here, let me become Christian and I might be able to get everybody on board (paraphrasing)…I don’t know.
Farzad: Well that’s what Trump did.
Rich: Yeah, right.
Farzad: Or many others as well.
Rich: He learned it from Constantine…yeah, there you go…
Rich: Ah, you’re great Farzad. So, my thinking on it is that when you read the Nicene Creed, it basically says there’s one God, and Jesus the only sub-God, and it goes on with that. The Lutherans say basically the same thing. I don’t know if it’s different on the Eastern orthodox, if they’ve got a different thing. But my reason for mentioning that is they are so parallel, based on the Nicene Creed.
Lutheran stuff didn’t exist until 1500 AD. And that’s when Luther, who was a minister or a priest in Germany started to rebel against the Catholic church for all the indulgences that they were collecting from the people, and doing nothing. All the monies just going down to Rome, and nobody’s getting any of it.
So that’s how the rebellion started, up in Germany, it expanded. And you can read the theses that he nailed on the door. There’s like a hundred of them, 95 or 105, I can’t remember the number. Luther had to hide out because the Catholic priests…the Pope… issued orders to have him assassinated. I don’t know how he escaped, but he did. So that’s the origin of the Lutheran church, was 1500. So they had a long period of gestation and digestion of Catholicism for 1500 years.
Tania: I didn’t know that.
Elaine: That’s really interesting.
Rich: Yeah. Well I think that’s probably a nice place to break. We thank everybody for being here.
Elaine: Thank you Rich. And for the enlightening conversation, all of you.
Farzad: Thank you Rich.
Tania: Yes, thank you Rich. It was so good.
Elaine: See you next time.