AuthorTopic: An Ode to Ka!  (Read 1211 times)

Offline Ashvin

  • Contrarian
  • Sous Chef
  • *
  • Posts: 2655
    • View Profile
An Ode to Ka!
« on: July 29, 2019, 07:03:02 PM »
Re-posted from a subreddit:

A Secret History of Christianity: Jesus, the Last Inkling and the Evolution of Consciousness

I just started reading a new book by Mark Vernon ( The title of this post is the title of the book. The central thesis is the need for a re-imagining of ancient mythology, namely Christianity, as a dynamic interplay between the individual conscious being and the transcendent, and the fundamental and instantaneously recognizable meaning which attends such an adventure. Vernon explores this mostly through the underappreciated ideas of Owen Barfield, "the last Inkling".

I am going to quote a part of the introduction so others can get a sense of what the book goes into:

"Barfield made his discovery about the evolution of consciousness through the study of words. Philology showed him how words change meaning over time and can be treated, therefore, as fossils of consciousness... an example is illuminating: consider the words "wind" and "spirit". It turns out in Ancient Greek, as in many other old languages, there is a single word that means both... it's pneuma in Greek and it's a relic from previous times. It's a linguistic fossil from the undifferentiated consciousness of original participation because back then, the material world mingled with the immaterial; outer with inner; mortal with immortal; wind with spirit...

He wasn't the first to notice it. Thinkers as diverse as the British utilitarian, Jeremy Bentham, and the American transcendentalist, Ralph Waldo Emerson, had done so before. Where he differed is in arguing that Christianity played a pivotal role in the development of human awareness... Jesus can be said to have understood that the evolution of consciousness had reached a decisive moment. He embodied this moment in his life and worked it out to the full...the heart of what he showed is the mystical truth, the secret: individuals are free to know in themselves that their life and God's life is one life.

The unfolding did not stop there. The prophets and sages began to feel that the full implications of these subtle shifts had to be incarnated. To be wholly realized, the inside of the cosmos needed to be manifested not just in the ideas of perceptive teachers but in the life of an individual... this individual would demonstrate that what comes into a person from outside cannot fundamentally affect them anymore, but instead what matters is what dwells in their hearts, and so comes out in their lives... such an individual would need not to teach others, but show them by embodying it...

Jesus became such a central figure in the West... because his life was this revelation. He crystallized such a perception of what it means to be human, the perception with potential for a consciousness of individuality as made in the image of God... it's not an exclusive account - his life will always exceed any one telling - but it is different from what is commonly heard in churches, at least in my experience. It's not about how 'Jesus saves', to cite the trite formulation of our times that I believe puts so many people off, but rather is about how Jesus initiates a way that can become our own. It's about how Jesus invited his followers to take up their cross and work out their own salvation so that they, too, might know the mystery of life in all its fullness."


Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
0 Replies
Last post May 13, 2019, 03:18:11 PM
by azozeo