Book Excerpt - Beyond Homo Sapiens: Doubt
TRANSITION TO DOUBT
“Religion is truth expressed in allegory and myth and thus made accessible and digestible to mankind at large: The profound meaning and lofty goal of life can be revealed to the people and kept before their eyes only in symbolical form, because the people are not capable of grasping it literally.”
—Arthur Schopenhauer, Essays and Aphorisms. On Religion
“We know accurately only when we know little; with
knowledge doubt increases.”
—Johann W. von Goethe
Doubt entered the Jewish community before any other one in the world; Jewish scholars started to analyze rationalism and mysticism. Those thinkers, who loved reason, began to see revelation as a myth and demanded evidence of the miracles. The mystics understood that Spirit could only be perceived by the individual mind through the spontaneous symbolic images produced by the Higher Soul (or Higher Mind), which reach consciousness in vision or dreams. They knew that a person had to believe they could have the spiritual experience to work toward its attainment with meditation. Rabbinic culture had developed two Talmud rationalistic currents, one known as Halacha with interpretations of law and another called Aggada, with philosophical and ethical dissertations. The third one, the Midrash, consists of symbolic stories and wise sayings.
Jewish philosophers saw the need to equilibrate revelation and reason because revelation without reason degenerates into superstition.
Jewish discussion and doubt was no match to the blind faith of Christian believers, who were indeed very immature souls. Knowing how to read and write was judged by most Gentiles as witchcraft, and that put the Jewish communities in great peril.
The time passed during one thousand years had not helped mankind to become more conscious of its own light and shadow. Jeheshua (Jesus) had given us the means to assimilate the Light of Spirit helping us to recognize and tame the instincts of self-defense, immediate gratification, and reproduction toward which energy runs easily, although they are outdated molds. Acting them make us feel good; not acting on them makes us feel bad, and so it is difficult to see the evil we are doing. Only our Higher Consciousness can help us attain a higher moral and ethical level; however, since we projected the Higher Consciousness exclusively on Jeheshua as the only son of God, we were left in the darkness and worst yet, unconscious of both our great Spiritual Light and our millenary automatic sense experience shadow. Our dark side would split the atom without the Light side of Consciousness to oppose it since Spirit does not work for us but through us.
This is how, when the fundamentalist crusaders passed through European towns on May 27, 1096, as they went through the German city of Mayence on their way to Jerusalem, they decided to practice the killing of infidels they were planning to do in the East using the Jews as their victims. In the city, the Jews had asked for protection, and they were hidden in the archiepiscopal palace; the crusaders entered the palace and massacred them anyway, very happy to be great Christians since they were doing this in the name of Christ the pacifist. They did the same in Worms and Cologne, leaving in their wake the killing of one hundred thousand Jews. In 1144, the ritual accusations against the Jews began when Thomas de Monmouth, a Benedictine monk, started the rumor that a Christianized Jew by the name of Theobald had informed him that the Jewish books ordered them to shed Christian blood to be able to go back to their land. Every year somewhere in the world, they had to sacrifice a Christian in vengeance toward Christ for their suffering since it had been for his death that they had been taken out of their land. Europeans were too ignorant to know that they had been forced out of their land for having fought the Roman Empire all by themselves. The alleged Theobald also had said that the Spanish rabbis met every year in Narbonne and decided in which country and city the sacrifice would be performed. That year, Norwich was chosen. All these stories inspired by the bigotry of the crusades came in handy to kings and nobles because they owed money to the Jews who were the only ones who could lend it, and by killing them, they did away with their debts. In Blois, France, the Jews were accused of having killed a Christian child during Passover and having thrown his body into the Loire River; in consequence, from the forty Jews of the city, thirty were burned alive.
If the Nazarenes had continued to be a Jewish sect, through discussion, more and more Jews would have come to the realization that Jeheshua’s upgrade beyond Homo sapiens was the fulfillment of Jewish messianic scripture. However, as his great achievement was transformed without understanding into another religion, making Jeheshua into the exception not the “first of many brothers and sisters,” Christianity and Islam progressively resented Judaism, the source of their belief system. Rabbinic society was already a society of discussion that societies of blind belief could only reject.
In England, the crowning of Richard the Lionhearted was an occasion for the attack on the Jews of London, and then it expanded all the way to York, where the nobles who owed a lot of money to the Jews were now free from having to pay their debts. An Augustine monk, William the Newburgh, wrote that avarice for booty was the real motive for the massacres at York. The leaders of the plan were some nobles who owed money to the “infidels” and either had to give their estates as payment or would lose their estates. Also some wanted to have money to back their crusade and knew that since they were leaving, they would not have to answer for the crime. The Jews hid in the tower of the castle and committed collective suicide, rather than let the mob kill them. After the booty was taken, their houses were put on fire, and the nobles went to the cathedral asking for the debtor’s papers and having obtained them, destroyed them, and that felt very good to them indeed.
In France, Philip August, wanting money to fight some of his nobles, put the Jews in jail in 1179, as punishment after an accusation of ritual murder of a Christian. He asked for ransom and let them go only when a good sum of money was paid to him in 1180. The following year, he annulled all the debts Christians had with Jews, and he took a comfortable 20 percent commission for himself. In 1182, he confiscated all their property and expelled them from France.
In 1215, Pope Innocence III introduced the yellow mark for Jews with the explanation that it wasn’t easy to distinguish them from Christians. In France and Italy, they were ordered to wear a circular mark; in Germany, they were obligated to wear a bigger one; and in Bavaria, this didn’t seem enough, so they were ordered to dress only in yellow and black and to go barefooted. In some cities, they were able to buy the right not to use the mark; in other cities the edict was ignored. In 1290, they were kicked out of England because, according to church authorities, they wanted Christians to “go back to the vomit of Judaism.” Jews, as Stephen Birmingham tells us, were charged taxes for using bridges, paths, crossing feudal borders, for buying and selling merchandise, for having a baby, for getting married and for being buried, for having a house, for the number of rooms in it, which made Jews live together in small quarters. In times of peace, they were obligated to give hospitality in the Jewish quarter to the troops, and prostitution houses were put in the Jewish quarter to destroy Jewish family life.