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The Laughing Jesus: Religious Lies and Gnostic Wisdom
 
 

The Laughing Jesus: Religious Lies and Gnostic Wisdom [Kindle Edition]

Timothy Freke , Peter Gandy

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

The Laughing Jesus is a manifesto for Gnostic mysticism. Freke and Gandy’s exposition of Gnostic enlightenment is lucid and accessible; their critique of Literalist religion is damningly severe.” —Robert M. Price, professor of scriptural studies, Johnnie Colemon Theological Seminary, and editor of The Journal of Higher Criticism

The Laughing Jesus is a daring and thought-provoking book. Read it and nothing that you thought about the great monotheistic religions will ever look quite the same again.” —Graham Hancock, author of Fingerprints of the Gods

The Laughing Jesus should be considered not merely a good read, although it is, but also a matter of burning urgency, for this is one of the most important books that has emerged in this infant millennium.” —Larry Dossey, M.D., author of Reinventing Medicine and Healing Words

Kurzbeschreibung

Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy, authors of The Jesus Mysteries and Jesus and the Lost Goddess, return with a powerful indictment of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic fundamentalism and a passionate reinterpretation of Gnostic spirituality. According to Freke and Gandy, religiously inspired acts of violence, such as the attacks on 9/11, are nothing new. They are the continuation of a long and bloody history of brutality caused by mistaking bizarre old books for the Word of God. The time has come to end religious intolerance and wake up to oneness by rediscovering the Gnostic way of transforming oneself and the world.

Freke and Gandy's Incendiary New Book Is a Wake-Up Call to the World

What if the Old Testament is a work of fiction, Jesus never existed, and Muhammad was a mobster?

What if the Bible and the Qur’an are works of political propaganda created by Taliban-like fundamentalists to justify the sort of religious violence we are witnessing in the world today?

What if there is a big idea that could free us from the us-versus-them world created by religion and make it possible for us to truly love our neighbors—and even our enemies?

What if it is possible to awaken to a profound state of oneness and love, which the Gnostic Christians symbolized by the enigmatic figure of the laughing Jesus?

Discover for Yourself Why the Gnostic Jesus Laughs


From the Hardcover edition.

Produktinformation

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 387 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 272 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 140008279X
  • Verlag: Harmony (12. Juli 2005)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B000FCK9MC
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #218.576 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Amazon.com: 4.0 von 5 Sternen  59 Rezensionen
224 von 229 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Timely, Compelling Read: Put On Your Seatbelt 27. Juli 2005
Von Frank MacEowen - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is one of the most compelling books I've ever read.

MOST mainstream Christians will attack this book. MOST mainstream Jews probably will too. And, I predict the authors will be probably be denounced by Islamic clerics at some point for their treatment of the religious personality Muhammad (which is very illuminating).

Freke and Gandy, working on the premise that Christianity, Judaism, and Islam were all originally Gnostic (deep wisdom) traditions, completely pick apart the Literalist streams of each tradition, and their scholarship totally slams the self-serving ego-driven political shenanigans of each of the faiths as well--again, specifically in their Literalist forms.

The Jewish Fantasy Factory:

The section on the Jews is absolutely fascinating and asserts from the historical record how a monism of Jewish identity as a people is a problematic idea; the authors suggest multiple sources for the Jewish ethnic roots, and go on to suggest -- again from archaeological evidence and the historical record -- that their mythic odyssey out of Egypt, and the Israeli claim to Jerusalem, is a complete fabrication, driven, in essence, by a religious and cultural identity crisis of sorts that still fuels the conflicts of today and is driven by Literalist interpretations of what was originally a myth-line.

A number of the formative myths in the Jewish tradition, the authors assert, are actually derived and inspired from exposure to Greek tradition, while they go through the Tanakh/Torah (the Old Testament) with something of a fine-tooth comb and, in a truly riveting manner, show how its authors were essentially attempting to synthesize a number of competing desert Pagan traditions in the region.

The Most Famous Man Who Never Lived:

The premise of the section on Christianity I was already familiar with, having read one of their other equally powerful and controversial books, Jesus and the Lost Goddess: The Secret Teachings of the Original Christians. But, again, I found myself truly fascinated to learn that certain books that comprise the "universally agreed upon" Christian canon (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts--renditions of Peter and Paul) were almost single handedly emphasized (Bishop Irenaeus), whose word-sculpting was, quite intentionally, attempting to suppress and debunk the Gnostic stream of Christianity (which relates to the Jesus myth more as a personal initiatory, archetypal, and transformative process rather than a literal historical set of events involving a quasi-divine/human person).

Freke and Gandy articulate with a real shine how Irenaeus was simply attempting to compete for followers in Rome at a time when it had become a spiritual marketplace of sorts. Irenaeus sought to establish a viable tradition in Rome, and in time, thanks to Constantine, it worked, for the Literalist version of Christianity was offered political support by the state of Rome and all other versions were declared as heresy (funny, isn't it; heretics declaring those following the path closer to the original essence as heretics?)

Almost with the same deftness of a detective story one finds in such fictional works as The Da Vinci Code (only this book is real), The Laughing Jesus unveils how the theme, archetype, and imagery of: 1) the virgin birth, 2) the idea of the Son of God, 3) the murder/crucifixion of the "godman", and 4) the resurrection, are all connected to a number of Pagan myth lines (worked with symbolically in various Mediterranean mystery schools for thousands of years) that actually pre-date Christianity (and its myth formation) by 1,000 years.

Going through each tradition and their version of "Godman" -- Egypt (Osiris), Greece (Dionysus), Asia Minor (Attis), Syria (Adonis), Persia (Mithras), and Alexandria (Serapis), to name only a few -- Freke and Gandy articulate how the myth-formers of Christianity, in essence, borrowed (plagiarized) from these earlier compelling themes. They also clearly assert that such myth-forming and myth-following is not a threat in the Gnostic Christian context, whereas in the Literalist vein everything is, well, taken quite literally -- and therefore poses a real threat to the authority upon which the Church bases itself.

Muhammad: From Mystic to Mobster:

Pardon my French, so to speak, but Muhammad [The Religious Figure] in the book gets a serious ass-whipping. One senses the disappointment in the authors that such a beautiful tradition as Islam could fall prey to the clutches of the individual ego of Muhammad later on in his life (as he turned military war-lord), and then --really by example-- be hijacked by Literalists within the Islamic tradition to assert their own political goals, but the authors also reiterate that it was predictable; that it happened with the Christians and Jews as well.

They describe Muhammad as someone who was profoundly influenced by both Jewish and Christian thought (and culture), and -- as a response -- initially began a powerful process of bringing forth a mystical path of Gnosis for the Arab world. However, they then describe, again drawing straight from the historical record of battles, and from lines within the Qu'ran, how, after having been snubbed by both Jews and Christians (not acknowledged as a prophet), Muhammad began to interpret his divine mission as one of imposing Islam on the world (not at all different in tone from the early Christian Church's Inquisition, or the evangelizing, missionizing, and proselytizing of a great many Literalist Christians today).

The chapter on Muhammad, which does give a nod to the Gnostic Sufis within the cultural milieu of Islam, is a compelling read that requires that we look at the personality and full psychological range of Muhammad. I also found it personally very interesting that such Islamic customs as ordering women to wear veils actually was derived from early Byzantine Christian practices.

The first half of The Laughing Jesus is a radical debunking of all Literalist interpretations of each of these traditions. The second half of the book is dedicated to exploring Gnosis in the present day, as educated people, what the authors suggest certain Christians, Jews, and Muslims *knew* and *know* was the truly transformative core of the traditions but which were hijacked by political agendas.

The fact that the real spiritual essence of each of these traditions was overcome by Literalist propaganda shouldn't cause a person to lose sleep at night. The fact that the holders and followers of each of these Literalist traditions hold the seats of power in global politics, however, is disturbing. This book touches on how this reality is a phenomenon that is dictating decisions that determine what is happening to our economy, foreign policy, and the environment (note: Armageddon-minded Christian Literalists don't really care about global warming or the financial viability of future generations if they believe it's all going to end up in a fire ball in the end anyway; why concern ourselves with sustainability, environmentally or financially?).

On the one hand, I find such a book promising. It can potentially shock some people out of religious apathy and/or cultural sleepwalking, or out of the absurd cultural monism and religious conditioning that leads toward the huge barriers to interfaith dialogue.

On the other hand, I find some of my own personal conclusions that I derived from the book to be troublesome; that given the particular ideologies that are running this country (Christian Literalists), and the particular ideologies that are *required* to oppose the West (Islamic Literalists), we could be barreling full steam ahead toward a much more prolific global clash than the likes of 9/11 or the Iraq war.

Hopefully not.

But, that is probably one of the clearest articulations in the book of all -- that the environmental crisis, as well as the conflict in the Middle East is all tied to Literalist propaganda, not just by Islamic Literalist/Fundamentalists, but also by Jewish Literalists and Christian Literalists/Fundamentalists alike.

The conclusion of Part One of the book (called The Bathwater), which I completely agree with, is that all of this is a formula for disaster if the leaders of these faiths, the practitioners of these paths, and the larger society as a whole does not find its own authentic Gnosis. This is where Part Two of the book (called The Baby) comes into play...which I won't comment on because it would be like telling you the end of a really good movie.

Summary and Conclusion:

Practicing Christians, Jews, and Muslims definitely need to read this book. Everybody else probably should too, because much of what it describes assists greatly in understanding what is both truly redeeming in each of these wisdom traditions, while also helping to paint a clear picture why each of these traditions are also being hijacked by a narrow-but-widening band of religious psychopaths who could end up making Armageddon a self-fulfilling prophecy.
--Frank MacEowen, M.A., (...)
148 von 155 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A Fascinating Read 17. Juli 2005
Von Eric Gross - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
The first half of the Laughing Jesus is a fierce attack on "literal" Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The authors claim that Judaism's claim to the be the world's first monotheistic religion is a lie, that the God of the ancient Judeans was cruel and jealous, and that the stories of Moses are utterly false. The authors also claim that Christ never lived and that the "literal" church fathers trashed Gnostic Christianity to create a severe patriarcal faith; one that is often brutal. Of Islam they describe Mohammed as a man (actual in this case) utterly corrupted by his own faith and power. He becomes a kind of spiritual mobster. This corruption led to his becoming egomaniacal and creating a faith at war with the rest of the world - at once militant and bloodthirsty! For some readers these claims will astonish and create many new questions, others will find it repeditive and predictable. I found the writing a little too "easy" and personal to be as credible as the authors I believe would have preferred.
The second half of the book is a description of gnostic Christianity, which I found very compelling. It is a form of philosophic thought with many similarities to taoism, Buddhism, and Indian Vedantic thought. However, I really liked how the authors were able to differentiate gnostic Christianity from these other traditions and describe an approach to living that was creative and dynamic. Eastern philosophies often fail to provide approaches to living that capture the spontaneous quality of living in preference to modes of life that are synthetic, espousing requirements for "loving-kindness" and other life modalities that are subtly judgmental and coercive. Also in their rigorous denial of selfhood and existence of the "I", they leave readers in a kind of static limbo where choice is absent and irrelevant. The authors of the Laughing Jesus provide readers with a way of understanding choice and action without undermining the integrity of the philosophy. Strongly recommended.
203 von 216 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Gnosis is the Perennial Philosophy, the goal of the Mysteries 13. Juli 2005
Von OAKSHAMAN - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
_The first thing to remember when reading or speaking about this book is that it is in no way an attack on the existence of God. What this book is, is an attack on false, literalist dogma that has so dangerously distorted the true Reality of God for so much of Western history. Let me say that I read the authors' first two books on this subject (more than once), and this third volume is a more than worthy culmination.

_The first half solidly deconstructs and demolishes any claim to historical accuracy or legitimacy for the Holy Books of the Jewish, Christian, and Moslem religious traditions. All Holy Books are the work of men, not of God (including Gnostic books, but Gnostics realize this.) Personally, while I was aware of the Mesopotamian and Egyptian sources in the Tanakh, I was amazed to find that it appears to have been compiled as late as the first century BCE- and by the Maccabees in order to justify a rule so ruthless that it would put the Taliban to shame. Nor did I realize that the Romans were actually allies of the Maccabees against their Syrian Greek foes (which explains much in terms of creating a false religion and history for political ends.) An excellent case is also made for the origin of monotheism among the Greeks and not the Jews (read your Heraclitus, Pythagoras, and Plato.) It is also this first half that emphasizes the difference between the Gnostic and Literalist traditions. The Gnostic is the true and original Christian (or pre-Christian) who sees in Jesus the allegorical ideal of man awakening to his true origin and nature. The Literalist is one who bullies everyone into blind belief in dogmas that obstruct and distort true experience of God. There is an excellent table that spells out the specific differences between the two. As for the critique of Islam, well, how could a copy of a copy of a bad original be anything less than the worst of them all...?

_The second half of the book deals with the nature and obtainment of Gnosis. The authors' model holds that Gnosis is a natural state akin to lucid dreaming (dreaming, yet consciously recognizing that you are dreaming.) You experience a shift in consciousness and perspective. Your ordinary world and life does not disappear as you enter some new supernatural state or dimension. No, but your consciousness expands to the point that you realize that your old everyday life, including the your old sense of self, is not the totality of existence. You realize that you are part of a greater "life-dreamer" which is dreaming both itself, as well as, everyone and everything. You realize that we are all part of this great dreamer and are all connected at this higher level. We are all One. The purpose of life is to awaken and personally experience to this knowledge- this Gnosis. This section of the book points the way.

_Having first touched upon the Gnosis over a dozen years ago, I like to think that I possess an intuition when it comes to teachings on the subject. I am not saying that reading this book will get you to the ultimate goal, but it will put you on the right path. It will plant the genuine seeds that will burst forth from dreaming unconscious.
45 von 49 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Severe indictment of religion....A gnosis for the 21st Century 7. September 2005
Von Hal Nash - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
This is the fourth or fifth book I've read of Timothy Freke's and/or Peter Gandy's. This particular book is the culmination of The Jesus Mysteries and Jesus And The Lost Goddess. The full impact of this book is realized when read as the third installment of this trio of books. However, it can be read alone without those and the impact will still be great.

The first half of the book is a severe indictment of the three Western religious traditions...Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The fundamentalist, literalist spirit of these three religions is exposed for all to see. Each one is an anachronism, way past its time, and really of no value to the 21st century.

After delivering this stinging polemic against the literalist spirit, the authors offer up for our consideration a new perspective... an expansion of a very old perspective but in 21st century language and explanation. This perspective is referred to as Gnosis...simply the experience of Oneness. Freke and Gandy take the ancient Perennial Philosophy, strip it of archaic language and talk to us in modern, 21st century lingo.

The authors excell in making this presentation real and meaningful to us moderns. They shine in applying this ancient wisdom of Gnosis to our world today, to our experience today. Going even beyond the gurus of the 19th and 20th centuries, the authors inform us that we still get to be HUMAN and get to be the All...the One. This is the glory of the message of gnosis...We get to experience BOTH the fullness of being human...sometimes separate, alone, and afraid, AND the peace and serenity of knowing that we are safe and One with all that is. Gnosis is BOTH/AND and not EITHER/OR. It is a recognition of one's individuality AND one's unity with the All.

Gnosis, or Lucid Living, is a viable and necessary alternative to the separateness and alienation so prevalent on the planet today. Go for it. You won't regret it.
63 von 71 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen I Am Redeemed And Freed From The Law 19. Dezember 2005
Von J. E. Barnes - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy's 'The Laughing Jesus: Religious Lies and Gnostic Wisdom' (2005) is sharply divided into two very different halves. The fascinating first half is a scholarly attack on and call for the rejection of religious fundamentalism as found and practiced in the Judaic, Christian, and Islamic traditions. By outlining and underscoring the historical proofs that the major texts of these religions were created and then manipulated long ago by men with agendas of their owns, Freke and Gandy do an undeniably excellent job of academically demolishing the works fundamentalists believe to be the literal word of God and his prophets.

However, one problem the authors fail to consider and evaluate accordingly is the dominant literal-minded nature of much of mankind; those of a fundamentalist mindset are unlikely to be intrinsically imaginative, creative, or free-thinking in other areas of their lives. Unless socially, culturally, and intellectually challenged via a thorough and rigorous education, literal-mindedness will probably continue to be the lot for most people everywhere.

In the book's important but less successful second half, Freke and Gandy attempt to explain and discuss "gnosis," or "spiritual awakening," which the authors believe to have been the genuine message and goal of early Christianity before the religion was hopelessly corrupted and literalized in the name of organized power.

But here Freke and Gandy often sound like cheerful New Age gurus trying too hard to get a rather difficult but vaguely suspicious message across. Though the mechanics of "gnosis" have been supported by both physics and psychology for some time, the authors, who have just roundly criticized the irrationalities found in the Bible and the Koran, stumble badly with repetitious catchphrase jargon like 'Big Love' and such sentences as "If you want to wake up more than you don't want to wake up, you will wake up."

Particularly embarrassing is the book's how-to last chapter, "A Philosophical Workout," which suggests such workshop activities as "making eye contact with each person in turn for a brief moment, reaching through the veil of appearances to the mystery of awareness...until everyone has been held in oneness and love."

'The Laughing Jesus' is finally sunk by its distasteful last page solicitation to "Become Part of the ALL" by joining The Alliance for Lucid Living, one of Freke's seminar courses, which sounds unpleasantly like one of the all-embracing organized 'spiritual' groups or cults that the authors have strongly warned readers against.
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Beliebte Markierungen

 (Was ist das?)
&quote;
The Greek word hamartia, usually translated sin, comes from archery and simply means to miss the point. The Greek word metanoia, usually translated repentance, means to change perspective. So sinning isnt disobeying some set of divine regulations. It is simply missing the point. And repentance isnt giving yourself a hard time or toadying up to some judgemental God. It is simply seeing things from a different perspective. &quote;
Markiert von 23 Kindle-Nutzern
&quote;
Gnosis is being the life-dreamer appearing to be a person on a never-ending journey of becoming more conscious. &quote;
Markiert von 16 Kindle-Nutzern
&quote;
Gnostic philosophy is not an intellectual theory about reality. It is a way of thinking designed to help you experience reality for yourself. &quote;
Markiert von 14 Kindle-Nutzern

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