The Madness of King Herod

The following is an excerpt (#12 of 20) from:

"Jesus Among the Julio-Claudians"
copyright 2017 Charles N. Pope

The Madness of King Herod

The so-called “madness” of Herod that led to the “deaths” of his Hasmonean wife and her two sons deliberately evoked one final colorful figure from the time of Alexander the Great - that of Alexander’s step-son named Hercules. Hercules was reportedly executed by Cassander along with Barsine/Roxane in 309 BC, but it has become increasingly obvious that no members of the royal family were literally put to death after the departure of Alexander from Babylon (the first time or the second). Hercules, resurfaces, like the rest of Alexander’s contemporaries, under a new name, that being Ptolemy Ceraunus/Keraunos son of Lagus (an anagram of Alex). This post-Conquest identity of Hercules as the explosive Ceraunus (“Thunderbolt”) can be solved by the process of elimination. Hercules is the last prince of his generation unaccounted for thus far. However, the notorious episode in which Ceraunus emulated the mythical “madness of Hercules” (and which was in turn emulated by Herod the Great) helps to confirm that association.

Prince Ceraunus (the former Hercules) had an understanding with Seleucus, or so we are told, that the rule of Egypt would go to him upon the death of Ptolemy I Soter. However, if Ptolemy II Philadelphius had been a true son of Ptolemy I Soter, then the succession in Egypt would not have been contested. It certainly would not have been left for Seleucus to decide. However, the ambition on the part of Ceraunus to rule Egypt was perhaps not as vain and misguided as it seems. Ptolemy I Soter (known previously as Hephaestion and Harpalus) did not have a true heir. The rule of Egypt was therefore an open issue, at least until shortly before the end of Soter’s rule. At that time, Ptolemy Philadelphius (the former Alexander IV) sired an heir of his own, the future Ptolemy III, which would have ended any rival claims. Regardless, it was considered advantageous for Ceraunus, who was still without a male heir himself, to pretend to be a murderously disgruntled prince.

When Seleucus reneged on his promise of awarding Egypt, Ceraunus first turned to Lysimachus of Thrace, and when Lysimachus was defeated by Seleucus, Ceraunus in turn murdered Seleucus. Of course, this was a highly contrived scenario (due to Lysimachus simply being an alter ego of Seleucus), and any aristocratic person would have recognized it as such. Likewise, it can be discerned that what happened next was every bit as contrived. Ceraunus persuaded the widowed queen of Lysimachus to come and rule Macedon along with him, and by using assurances that her sons would become his own sons and successors. After the nuptials, things quickly “got weird” and Ceraunus ended up killing the queen’s two youngest sons. The queen herself narrowly escaped death. She then went to Egypt, married Ptolemy II Philadelphius and accepted his sons as her own (which were hers all along). No princes were harmed much less killed in this charade, although two of them lost their local Thracian identities (whatever that was worth).

Despite his apparent vitality, Hercules cum Ceraunus was unable to produce a qualified royal heir. He was not alone among the princes of his generation in that respect, and this is precisely how Alexander the Great (a fifth prince) and his sons came to “take the kingdom” in the first place. Nevertheless, it was still the duty of the genetically unlucky princes to prepare the way for the ones who were more fortunate in royal fatherhood. (This was part of what Josephus referred to as “the way of princes.”) Consistent with this aspect of royal culture, Ceraunus assumed the role of agitator in Greece. Resistance to the royal will had to be put down, therefore potential rebels were flushed out into the open where they could be eliminated. It was often considered necessary for a member of the royal family to lead such a rebellion in order to better instigate and then control it.

The chronicler Marcus Junianus Justinus (“Justin”) described the situation just prior to the marriage of Ceraunus and Queen Arsinoe:

“… Ptolemy Ceraunus and Antigonus [Gonatas], quarrelling and going to war with one another in Greece, almost all the cities of that country, under the Spartans as leaders, encouraged as it were by the opportunity thus offered to entertain hopes of recovering their liberty, and sending to each other ambassadors by whom leagues might be formed to unite them, broke out into hostilities.” Justin 24:1

http://www.forumromanum.org/literature/j...

When this phase of the operations was completed, Ceraunus (the former Hercules) seized the throne of Macedon in a “military coup” and initiated another stock “collapse and renewal” scenario referred to by the ancients as, “Who was king, who was not king?” – and one that was later refined by the Julio-Claudians into what became known as the “Year of Four Emperors.” The calculated chaos of Ceraunus led inexorably to pacification of all Greece under the kingship of Antigonus Gonatas (a Greek alias of Ptolemy II Philadelphius), which had been the objective all along.

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I Am Back

Long Ago in a universe far away I was Oscar. I later came back as Enigmni freak because I lost my passwords! Well I finally remembered the darn thing and I will soon post some very interesting stuff. Thanks Gregg

Energy, batteries, low cost, world will be a better place,...

Yeah I know, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. So here is
the latest one:

http://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/ener...

Of course this is a serious organization, IEEE, which is not generally know for fake news.

Gentlemen, start your conspiracy theories!

New Dawn Magazine - The "Fake News" issue

"To much fanfare, after the election, BuzzFeed’s
Craig Silverman claimed to have used
a data tool called BuzzSumo to calculate the
highest-performing fake news articles vs. real or
‘legitimate news’ during the election. Silverman
proclaimed that his data illustrated “the power
of fake election news on Facebook,” but upon
closer inspection it did no such thing. It’s important
to note that although BuzzFeed positions
itself as an online ‘alternative’ news outlet, it is in
fact part of conglomerate NBC Universal’s media
portfolio, operates mostly in the red, and is, in
practical terms, completely subsidised by the
parent corporation. For BuzzFeed to judge ‘fake’
vs ‘legitimate’ news is a fundamental problem because we now
know that a number of articles produced by outlets that Silverman
labels as “legitimate” – like The New York Times and The
Huffington Post (and those of his own employer BuzzFeed) are
in fact false stories, or fake news."
*********************************************
Content - Issue #161 March 2017

Fake News: Why the Mainstream Media Lies

Patrick Henningsen looks at the history of mainstream media lies and what’s really behind fake news.
Greatest Fake News of All-Time

For decades, explains Patrick Henningsen, the government-media complex has been waging information warfare against the public.
The Assassination of Donald J. Trump

David Thrussell puts a spotlight on the dark secret at the heart of America’s Deep State and asks: are they planning the next hit?
Is Donald Trump America’s ‘Positive-Thinking’ President?

American author James Wasserman talks to New Dawn about the influence of Norman Vincent Peale and his message of ‘positive thinking’ on Donald Trump.
Trump & Crowley

James Wasserman explores the magickal connection between Aleister Crowley’s teaching of Thelema and America’s new president.
The Dark Side of Aquarius

Upheaval, Revolution & Mind Control in the Transition Between Ages. Jason Jeffrey presents an astrological perspective on why there’s so much chaos in today’s world.
Spiritual Powers & Teachings of Precious Stones

Nicholas Pearson outlines the relationship between the mineral kingdom and humankind.
Poisoned Fields

Brett Lothian investigates the pesticide Glyphosate and what it is doing to us.
A Link in the Golden Chain

Paul V Young on the life and times of Vyvyan Deacon, one of Australia’s early teachers of metaphysics.
The Other Side of ‘Mind-Power’

Mehmet Sabeheddin on how an early experience with ‘mind-power’ impacted the life of the famous British author and occultist Dion Fortune.
Unity: The Remarkable Story of Charles & Myrtle Fillmore

Australian academic & writer Walter Mason recounts the origins of one of America’s most significant ‘New Thought’ movements.
..

MBS Supplement
Near Death Experiences: Heaven or Hell? by Tiamara
The Key to Immortal Consciousness: The 82 Commandments of Reyna d’Assia by Jason Jeffrey
Did You Ever Meet the Human Wet Blanket? by William Walker Atkinson
Health Briefs

Caesar Must Die Again and Again

The following is an excerpt (#11 of 20) from:

"Jesus Among the Julio-Claudians"
copyright 2017 Charles N. Pope

Caesar Must Die Again and Again

The royal family’s (“God’s”) partnership (“Covenant”) with the Jews was renewed by the Roman Empire even as it had been in previous Eras, i.e., the Ptolemaic/Seleucid, Persian, Babylonian/Assyrian, and Egyptian). A prestigious new temple complex was to be built for the Jews in Jerusalem. However, as customary, their reconfirmation came only after a traumatic “attitude adjustment.” Jerusalem was sacked by Herod with considerable loss of life and property. Herod then assumed kingship over the Jews as a putative Edomite/Idumaean with dubious pedigree. Herod next dashed all hopes of a Hasmonean revival (and renewed independence) by forging ever stronger ties with Rome and by “purging” the old High Priest Hyrcanus along with the young Hasmonean protégé Jonathan. This was ultimately followed by the haunting “executions” of Hasmonean Queen Mariamne and her two sons Alexander and Aristobulus.

According to the writings of Josephus, Herod the Great had many wives and many sons. However, it can now be deduced that there were not nearly as many as it appears. The Hasmonean identity of Cleopatra/Scribonia was sacrificed early on, however the Great Queen of the Empire would not have truly surrendered a direct influence over the Empire’s second city. She continued to watch over things using another thinly veiled alias, that of “Cleopatra of Jerusalem.” The two daughters of Cleopatra VII, namely Julia the Elder/Antonia Major and Vipsania/Antonia Minor also assumed double identities in Herod’s Jerusalem. The former was known as Bernice and Glaphyra while the latter was called Mariamne II and Malthace.

The royal family was endogamous, which is to say that they were highly inbred, and remained that way by taking turns mating with one another. Their fertility rate was very low, so they repeated their round-robin mating process as often as necessary to perpetuate “the holy family.” Such an awkward practice required the use of multiple identities in order to make the royal breeding model more socially acceptable (at least partially disguised) to commoners. In Rome, polygamy was unlawful, however divorce was easy. On the contrary, in Jerusalem, divorce was more difficult than murder, but polygamy was tolerated! However, multiple identities helped compensate for any difficulties in managing their evolving relationships (based upon who was able to have healthy children, and especially sons, by whom).

The two great “Princes of the Realm” also assumed multiple identities in Jerusalem. It has already been deduced that Caesarion possessed the lion’s share of princely identities (see the prior posts/sections) in both Egypt and Rome. Similarly, it can be discerned that four of the five oldest “sons” of Herod corresponded to that same highly favored prince. Only the second son of Herod represents a different prince, that being Tiberius. Together, Tiberius and Caesarion are given the coveted status of Hasmonean heirs (under the local aliases of Alexander and Aristobulus, respectively), but this was done only so this honor could be viciously removed as a deliberate provocation to the Jews. Curiously, in Jerusalem it was not Caesarion but Tiberius that was assigned the illustrious name of Alexander (son of “Hasmonean” Mariamne). It was also only Tiberius that was capable of making an eloquent defense in the face of Herod’s trumped up accusations against the two of them. Although Caesarion (as the former High Priest Jonathan) looked the part of a well-bred prince, he seems to have had a significant impairment with regard to refined communications (more about this later).

The identities of the first four “sons” of Herod were all intended to be disposable. The fifth place in the royal birth order had been that of Alexander the Great in his own generation. It is not too surprising then that only the fifth Herodian prince was allowed to survive Herod himself. (Caesarion held the distinction of having been killed three times by Herod!) This fifth birth position further corresponded to Ptolemy Philadelphius in Egypt. He and Alexander Helios were said to have been “spared” as a favor to Cleopatra Selene (and she in fact received the “favor” of marrying this same multifarious prince in Numidia/Mauretania under his local alias of Juba II.)

1) Caesarion = Antipater son of Doris (a variant of Drusilla, former Arsinoe IV)
2) Tiberius = Alexander son of Mariamne (former Cleopatra VII)
3) Alexander Helios = Aristobulus son of Mariamne
4) Drusus (died in 9 BC) = Unnamed Prince (“Died Young in Rome”)
5) Philadelphius = Philip (Tetrarch in the Trans-Jordan) son of Cleopatra of Jerusalem (former Cleopatra VII).
6) Germanicus = Archelaus son of Malthace (Vipsania/Antonia Minor)
7) Drusus II = Herod Antipas son of Malthace (Vipsania/Antonia Minor)

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"The Untouchables"

Sibel Edmonds - the most government gagged person in US history (her revelations inspired the executive branch to gag Congress - something it is not supposed to be able to do) - talks about what got her in so much trouble, and why she refuses to cave in. She did this video last week about her time with the FBI, and it probes the most important issues of our time - blackmail as a tool of the state, gagging whistle blowers, corrupt intelligence agencies, the Chicago Mafia, and complicit mainstream media. When Edmonds first began publicizing the manifold corruption of Hastert back in 2005 she was excoriated by the so called "liberal media" (Edmonds is politically agnostic) only to ultimately be proven right as we all now know, but where it gets really pertinent is towards the end when she describes how identity politics - which she calls rabies - plays us all.
There is some very juicy stuff in this interview and some ferocious dot connecting. If you can take some hints, it goes way deep.
Sibel personifies true grit.

See video

Caesar Must Be Born Again and Again

The following is an excerpt (#10 of 20) from:

"Jesus Among the Julio-Claudians"
copyright 2017 Charles N. Pope

Caesar Must Be Born Again and Again

Among the “Successors” of Alexander the Great, it was specifically Ptolemy Soter who had captured and then ruled Jerusalem. He had done this not so much by personal military valor, but a combination of trickery, coercion and inducement. It nevertheless created a precedent for Antony to follow in his designated role as the Roman Ptolemy Soter. Antony in fact took Jerusalem in 37 BC (or thereabouts) using Roman troops and through direct material support to his regional alter ego Herod.

As in Ptolemy’s time, Jerusalem fell on a holy day (one involving a fast) - not necessarily also on the Sabbath as in Ptolemy’s day, but probably in a sabbatical year. As with Ptolemy, Herod made use of “pleadings, threats and the judicious use of force,” not so much to gain cooperation of the Jews of Jerusalem, but to ensure that the Roman army left him something and someone to be king over! Although the account of Josephus explicitly compares the capture of Jerusalem by Herod to a similarly bloody one exactly 27 years earlier (“to the day”) under Pompey, he also clearly adapts various details from Ptolemy’s much more restrained conquest, and depicts Herod as the one exercising that restraint.

Immediately after subjecting Jerusalem, Herod further humbled the Jews by appointing a new High Priest that was marginally qualified, if at all, due to his obscure pedigree and previous status as a foreign captive. Next, Herod baited the Jews by agreeing (ostensibly upon the urging of his “Hasmonean” wife Mariamne) to unceremoniously remove his unpopular choice in favor of the last remaining “Hasmonean” prince. The reversal of a Herod decision was immediately and hugely popular, but in this case Messianic fervor was whipped up so that it could just as abruptly be crushed. After the Jews had become enamored with the tall and handsome young prince, he was carelessly killed in a silly water sport. Strangely, the Herodian court was in as big a hurry to remove this youngest surviving “full-blooded” Hasmonean as they had been to install him in the first place. They were evidently even willing to lie about his age (pass him off as several years older) to make this happen. But, why?

Josephus mentions the age of High Priest Aristobulus (III)/Jonathan three times. He was said to have been 16 years old when his Hasmonean kin insisted that he be appointed High Priest in Jerusalem. At the age of 17 he presided as High Priest at an important Jewish festival and performed the duties flawlessly. However, the supposedly jealous Herod had him murdered just short of his 18th birthday. Josephus makes the curious remark that Jonathan was tall for his age, which is an illogical attribute for a nearly adult male of 17. Most males have reached their final height by then. Such a statement would have made far more sense for a male of age 12, which is about how old Caesarion would have been in 36 BC – the generally accepted year of Jonathan’s drowning at the hands of Herod’s Gallic goons.

The staged murder of Alexander IV (the eldest son of Alexander the Great) occurred when he was about 13 or 14 years old and is considered to have happened in the same year (209 BC) as the “birth” of Ptolemy II Philadelphius. Likewise, the birth of a new Philadelphius is generally placed in the same year (36 BC) as the death of the last Hasmonean High Priest. It seems that in order to fulfill the applicable Ptolemaic tradition, there was a need to eliminate one of the main identities of Caesarion, the eldest son of Julius Caesar, and at an early age. Due to the circumstances it was not quite yet convenient to jettison the name of Caesarion. However, the Hasmonean alias of Caesarion would have been every bit as prestigious, if not more so. And doing so at this particular time also served other purposes, as discussed above.

Note: The chronologies of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Centuries BC are not fully precise, but the intent of the de facto Roman royal family to reproduce Ptolemaic history is still clear (regardless of what years it actually happened).

Even as one manifestation of Caesarion was being removed from the world stage, another one was being created. When the Donations of Alexandria were being made (34 BC), Caesarion was almost exactly the same age as Alexander IV when his kingly career was transformed though identity “shape-shifting.” There had been a lengthy delay of around 13 to 14 years between the birth of Alexander IV and his “rebirth” as Ptolemy II Philadelphius, the son of Ptolemy Soter. Similarly, there was nearly 14 years delay between the birth of Caesarion around 47 BC and the announcement through the Donations of Alexandria of his “rebirth(s)” in 34 BC. This appears to have been quite intentional.

The almost exclusive promotion of Caesarion is surprising. Judging by his Hasmonean description, Caesarion was “tall, handsome and regal in bearing, even as the kings of old.” He was what everybody wanted in a future king and was being given every opportunity and advantage to make that hope his destiny. According to the Donations, Caesarion stood to inherit the choicest regions of the Near East under four separate identities. As Caesarion he was heir to Egypt. As Alexander Helios he was heir of Media and Parthia/Persia. As Drusus he was heir in Rome. And as Philadelphius he was heir in Syria and Cilicia, as well. However, he still only had the status of heir apparent. He was not yet the official successor. That required the establishment of a natural dynasty of his own. Yet, of the two princes, Tiberius was slightly less inbred with the leading princess, Cleopatra Selene/Julia the Younger, and therefore more likely to be fertile with her. He also had a gentle disposition, which is more consistent with what we know about the highly venerated Ptolemy II Philadelphius. Tiberius, like the second son of Alexander the Great, was much neglected, but would be a significant player in the royal drama to come.

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Octavius (Augustus) as the New Antiochus

The following is an excerpt (#9 of 20) from:

"Jesus Among the Julio-Claudians"
copyright 2017 Charles N. Pope

Octavius (Augustus) as the New Antiochus

As the oldest prince of his royal generation, Octavius, the future Caesar Augustus, would have naturally been typecast as the new Antiochus, who had been the oldest prince in the royal generation following that of Alexander the Great. Antiochus was adopted as the heir of King Seleucus, and eventually became successor to the most prestigious throne of the day despite not having a royal son of his own. (The Ptolemaic throne would not rival the Seleucid for some time.)

Prior to the “death” of Julius Caesar in 44 BC, Octavius (the former Ptolemy XIII) had already been paired with the senior princesses, namely Berenice IV (Roman: Fulvia, “Dumb Blondie”) and Cleopatra VII (Roman: Scribonia, “Lady of Letters/Scholarly”). Finally, the youngest princess, Arsinoe IV, was married to Octavius in 42 BC under the name Clodia Pulchra (“Lame Beauty”), but after two years they too proved to be an infertile couple and the union was dissolved in order to give Cleopatra another chance (and also to allow her eldest daughter to be recognized as heiress in Rome). After another two years, Cleopatra stepped aside and allowed Octavius to remarry Arsinoe under the name of Livia Drusilla. This was done, not just to honor the wifely preference of Octavius, but to legitimize the two eldest royal princes (Caesarion and Tiberius) as potential successors to Augustus in Rome (and as a safeguard in the event that Augustus would be unable to produce a royal son of his own).

If Arsinoe and Drusilla were one and the same, then Cleopatra VII obviously had not put her kid sister Arsinoe to death. In fact, they obviously were reenacting earlier Ptolemaic history in which the first queen named Arsinoe escaped from a temple of Artemis (where she too had taken refuge) by dressing in rags and allowing her own servant girl to be sacrificed in her place. Any aristocrat worth their salt would have known about this precedent and understood that Arsinoe was only forfeiting her Egyptian identity (even as everyone else was required to do at the time) and not her actual life. Moreover, multi-lingual aristocrats would have easily recognized that the Roman name Drusilla and Greek name Arsinoe were largely synonymous (both denote “strength”).

Note: In a witty poetic retort to Antony, Octavius made it quite clear that he wasn’t the least bit interested in any further couplings with Fulvia, i.e., the former Berenice IV, whose biological clock was striking midnight.

After failing to produce an heir by any of the eligible royal females (Berenice IV, Cleopatra VII or Arsinoe IV), Octavius was obliged to accept heirs produced for him. This was the royal way. Surprisingly, though Tiberius was the elder of these two princes, it was the younger who was first established as heir. Caesarion, who was "reborn" as Drusus, was actually older than Tiberius and of higher birth in a royal sense. The birth order had to be switched in Rome out of necessity, but it didn’t change their relative ranking as princes. The imposition upon Octavius of two male heirs was also done in repetition (“fulfillment”) of yet another Ptolemaic precedent. In the absence of a true son, Antiochus I had first accepted Prince Seleucus as his heir. Prince Seleucus was later suppressed (as Caesarion/Drusus would be) in favor of a second heir, Antiochus II. Similarly, Tiberius would ultimately replace Drusus as successor.

Note: In Heroes of the Hellenistic Age it was shown that Prince Seleucus was also known as Ptolemy Epigone (“The Heir”) and was a natural son of Alexander the Great.

Unbeknownst to the common Roman, Drusus and Julia would have been the ideal/desired dynastic match from the start. However, when Julia reached a marriageable age (of around 14 years old), Drusus was still (officially, not actually) five months her junior, and therefore not even close to marriageable age for a Roman male. Therefore, Caesarion had to marry Julia under a different assumed Roman name, that of Marcus Claudius Marcellus. As husband of Julia, Marcellus projected the imperious bearing of a king and was even considered heir apparent during the life-threatening illness of Augustus during that time. However, after about two years (25 BC – 23 BC), Marcellus and Julia were unable to have any children and the marriage was terminated with the claimed death of Marcellus from unspecified causes. Nevertheless, these two monarchs in the making, who were once even regaled as Cleopatra Selene and Alexander Helios, simply remarried (around 22 BC) under different names. Julia was also known as Antonia Major and Caesarion had assumed the identity of the domineering Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus (son of the Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus, i.e., Julius Caesar, who had scripted the Battle of Actium and set the royal house in order before his actual death).

Note: Other scenarios/identifications (associations between royal and Roman figures) are certainly possible, but the above are the most likely ones given the royal pecking order as it is currently understood.

Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, as the surname implies, was both red-bearded and barbarous. He was a rude, crude dude and performed his acts with complete impunity. He regularly insulted Roman dignitaries. He thrilled and scandalized Rome with reckless chariot racing, by hosting animal shows and staging ultra-violent gladiatorial events. He also required both knights and married women to participate in a raw form of stage-acting called the pantomime. At this point in Roman history, Ahenobarbus had become a stock role. A prince assigned this name was expected to be a hot-tempered, rough and ready character that championed simple (rather than sumptuous) living, was basic (rather than eloquent) in speech, and catered to populist fervor for games and hedonistic entertainments. It appears to have been a role that the young Caesarion relished.

After Marcellus was removed as “son-in-law” of Caesar, the very jealous magnate Marcus Agrippa (former Ptolemy XIV, slightly younger brother of Ptolemy XIII/Octavius) promptly took his place as the new husband of Julia. Any sons of Marcus Agrippa by Julia would have been eligible for succession. However, the marriage also provided a covering for Julia to bear children to Octavius as well as other princes, such as the former Ptolemy Philadelphius. Julia was not the biological daughter of Augustus. She was the much vaunted (and still living) Cleopatra Selene, daughter of Cleopatra VII. She was also the best hope of Octavius (and every other prince) to establish their kingly legacy. Octavius (now the formidable Caesar Augustus) was possessive of Julia and able to justify it based on patriarchal Roman culture. Nevertheless, Julia was not beholden to him and motivated to produce royal children by as many qualified males as possible. The later Roman Emperor, Caligula, shockingly claimed that Augustus and Julia were not only sexual partners, but also the parents of his own mother Agrippina the Elder. Ironically, this may be the reason why Augustus was held in such regard in Christian tradition. He had not only sired the monster Caligula, but more importantly, was part of the bloodline of a Roman prince also known as Jesus.

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The Free Thinker and Free Thinking: Equals Freedom and Spirituality

By Fahim A. Knight-El

I am constantly asked by those who visited my Blog about my abbreviated online Bio, which indicates that I am a Free Thinker, and many have doubled down to asked, what does that actually mean? Webster online dictionary defines Free Thinking: "as a philosophical viewpoint which holds that position regarding truth should be formed on the basis of logic, reason, and empiricism, rather than authority, tradition, revelation, or other dogma." Now, Free Thinking for me was a spiritual calling (or transformation and transition) that can only be obtained by the journey of life, it involved something much deeper than our natural human instincts and intellectual inclinations to achieve and disperse knowledge and challenge ideals. Although, this will forever be a part of the process and to the outside world will perhaps stand as the judgmental variable and parameters of determining whether or not you will be received as a true Free Thinker; this will also be your own proof positive litmus test and will serve as your own personal tangible barometer (not that you should need such verification or affirmation to validate this determination).

The measuring stick will, however, always be rooted in your courage and willingness to weigh all evidence (which will be presented in literary or verbal forms and/or presented in the theoretical and ideological frameworks of organizations and movements) that is presented and not be shy to render a critique and analysis in order to prove that the presented argument was flawed and lacked evidentiary proof or it had met the standards of truth based on the rigorousness of an impartial investigation. I was led to an academic book authored by Mary E. McGann titled, Critical Thinking and Writing in the Disciplines this book became good training ground for me in becoming a critical thinker and what that entailed.

I grew up between the Pentecostal Holy Church and the Baptist Church faith traditions. The Pentecostal experience was always full of spiritual energy, there were shouting, singing, crying, dancing, plenty of testimonies, out loud scripture readings—it was an environment of spiritual electricity (they would congregate what appeared to be seven days a week and the ministers wore the titles of prophets and apostles and each service was like a high powered revival (I am speaking now directly to black folk this was our collective experience)—I would covertly be playing behind my mother's back with my brothers and sisters and with other devious children in the church (you were not allowed to eat candy, talk and definitely not play). These were some long sessions and as a child you tried to make the best of all this preaching; I knew from time-to-time I had to yell out with other members 'thank you Jesus', I would then be safe from momma's wrath (it seemed like she had eyes in the back of her head).

My mother and other Elders would enter a realm of spirit referred to as the Holy Ghost or become touched by the holy spirit and it was liken to an outer-body experience, which is unexplainable outside of the black Christian holiness experiences and traditions. I know white folk think they understand this, but they do not; this spiritual energy goes back to our ancient African ancestors and was the embodiment of invoking traditional African religious-ethos that made its way through the horrific and horrid voyage known as the Transatlantic Slave Trade, a crime against humanity (they could not kill our spirit) and it survived in our DNA and made its way across the Atlantic Ocean. The Black Christian Pentecostal is a living testimony of our continued connectedness to our African heritage even to this very day the drums, tambourines, the organ and piano and at times the beauty of the black human acapela voices was music to the ears (the human voice by far is the greatest instrument ever created).

I did not arrive at this stage, because, it was something that I initially sought, but I do believe that I was predestined to be one of those free spirited souls that could not be confined by the gravitational pull of proselytizing indoctrination of intended doctrines; of course even this would prove to be to shallow to bind me to accept one single thought as my life path. I met this Zinn Master in my life’s journey and he told me that nothing in life was coincidental or accidental (or occurred by happenstance) and wherever, we are in space and time, that is where we are supposed to be and he looked at me and said the universe arranges these things even before our allowed physical carination, and given permission to exist on this plane (in this sphere).

I looked at him as though, he had lost his mind; he must have detected my lack of comprehension and my inability to process these thoughts at that time. He only said that one day, I would understand that All real lessons have a duality in meaning and interpretation, but must first be understood from the spiritual realm (this was a metaphysical discourse). I was offered a small book titled, Tao The Ching by Lao Tzu, this book of ancient Chinese wisdom and philosophy freed my mind of the western dialectic worldview into accepting the eastern ancient Sages and Gurus wisdom and spiritual principles as having a much deeper meaning and the wisdom therein just felt that it was God talking directly to you.

In 2006 Rhonda Byrne published a book titled, The Secret, she pulled together twenty-four highly touted spiritualist who shared various intellectual and spiritual experiences and involvement in the esoteric, occult and Gnostic schools of thoughts in order to make an attempt to package ancient wisdom that had shaped humanity’s spiritual existences based on the universal principles of good that had touched all cultures, races, nationalities and this knowledge had alter humanity’s orientation to life down through the ages of time—these various spiritual intellectuals shared mystical, mythical, healing, and indigenous knowledge that was rooted in the folklore of ancient civilizations and the benefits of the observance of metaphysical outcomes. Some of them spoke outside of the concepts of organized religion. It was a clear indication that western man had failed and his failure has led to an earthly and human imbalance; it has placed him on a collision course with the universal powers.

I think European New Age thinkers such as Eckhart Tolle who authored the book titled, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment and A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose and even Reverend Rick Warren who authored the book titled, The Purpose Driven Life; these Caucasians have come deeply in contact with our indigenous knowledge and are articulating it on a broader scale, but they must not forget that they have borrowed this wisdom from the fathers and mothers of civilization. I was given this little pocket sizes book titled, As Man Thinketh by James Allen that I still carry every place I go, it is full of powerful wisdom and jewels and with little doubt Allen had drank from the fountain of the ancient masters and had adopted their universal principles.

This wisdom affected me differently than the wisdom of Qur'an and the Bible yet, I totally understood that all of this had an interconnectedness with the original divine source although this wisdom contained in the Tao The Ching left know doubt that it had been passed down my many ancient generations and it even predated the Bhagavad Gita ,it sent me on a spiritual journey, it also predated the 'Pslams of David' and from those pages, I was a changed human being—I truly tapped in my Pineal gland. Energy and power source that has baffled Europeans for over 6,000, but indigenous and original people of the earth within their spiritual customs, rites, sacraments, practices and rituals knew how to alter energy polarities and shift energy sources to transcend into Astro-beings this was the highest form of enlightenment. I balanced this off by being exposed to Ra Un Nefer Amen books titled, Metu Neter, Vol. 1: The Great Oracle of Tehuti and the Egyptian System of Spiritual Cultivation and Metu Neter Vol. 2: Anuk Ausar, The Kamitic Initiation System.

Erich Von Daniken in his book titled, The Chariots of the Gods, it would be his white Eurocentric intellectualism that put him in denial of the great Pyramids of Kemet (Egypt) were constructed by the indigenous Nubians who had occupied Kemet for over 20,000 years before European intervention, they were the original Egyptians. These recent wars in Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, etc., have led to the theft, looting and discretion of ancient artifacts of antiquity (these assaults were carried out systematically) but let me be clear these artifacts did not belong to the Semitic Arab imposters nor the Europeans and was not part of the Islamic dynasties.

Black people had established civilizations centuries prior to their arrival on the African continent. Many of these ancient cities like Tripoli, Cairo and Baghdad housed valuable treasures. The Europeans have stolen indigenous peoples cultural artifacts and our linkages with time is in white museums in Paris, London, Berlin, Moscow, Rome, Cyprus, Lisbon, Toronto, etc.. I know the great black archivist and curator Arthur Alfonso Schomburg probably is turning over in his grave at how we have allowed these cultural bandits to steal and house our history and tradition in defiled white institutions.

My next awakened, there was Nation of Islam minister in Durham, North Carolina named Minister Ray Muhammad (Minister Muhammad and I became good friends) he would teach quite often about the importance of submission and surrendering your will to do the will of God; he had a free willing spirit and was a graduate of a HBCU Texas Southern University in Houston, out of the Mid Atlantic Athletic Conference (MEAC) of course I have a common bond with all HBCU graduates and my feelings were no different towards Minister Muhammad. Minister Ray Muhammad would often state where you are right now is where you are supposed to be and no one arrives at these spaces and times of their own volition or by osmosis God brought you there (this was leading me towards my evolution into Free Thinking). He gave me a better understanding of Master Fard Muhammad and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.

The biggest leap into becoming a Free Thinker, is to allow yourself to move beyond the confinement of dogmas, philosophy, theologies, political bias, etc., which taught me not to permit nor allow exclusivity in one school of thought to captivate my ideological imagination because this will erect and create artificial barriers, which could disallow the appreciating of the diversity and the expansiveness of knowledge and truth. Thus, you will also learn through practical experience and through life trials and error the value and ultimate value of principles that are better understood and received by others as positive examples when observed and lived and reflected as transparent ethics for everyone to see our lives as an open book (we should live our lives as living examples of universal good).

Free Thinkers are only loyal to their quest to discover the truth regardless of how painful the findings maybe, it is this clarion call that allows us to escape our natural attachment to familiar shared ideologies. But will always demonstrate the ability, as well as determination and willingness to look beyond those safe and comfort zones, which to objectively weigh all knowledge and thought on the larger scale of determining proof. With the Free Thinker’s mindset there are no safety nets that will stand in their way to determining the truth at all cost. Free Thinkers are ordinarily met with skepticism and suspiciousness because, we have been taught from early on to unquestionably accept doctrines and a worldviews that validates and support the status quo.

Yet, the Free Thinkers possess the courage to engage and upstage contrary perspectives to the popular version of the truth (you will pay a heavy personal cost, if you ever choose to become a Free Thinker) will cause them to be ridiculed, isolated, it could even cause more sinister acts. Once the Free Thinker has arrived at this lofty position, it will often lead them to revisited previous held beliefs and debunk them for more sound information and by this stage in their development, they would have learned to put all emotions to the a side—this makes the dismantling and reconstruction process much easier.

Moreover, admittedly most human beings who are learned and unlearned will never become a Free Thinker, because this is truly a journey less traveled and human beings find it easy to think inside the box, it makes associations more accommodating and it suffices the normalization of this world’s order in spite of injustice, corruption, inequalities, etc., Free Thinkers are revolutionary in their thought patterns—Buddha, Confucius, Zoroaster, Gandhi, Jesus, Mohammed, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Muhammad Ali. They had transcended (or was born) earthly expectations and had moved deep into the spiritual realm, a place that we all should look to obtain and arrive it is the only true gate to freedom.

This spiritual plateau opens you up to be used by the universal forces of good—honesty, self-denial, forgiveness and leads to the greatest expression of love, which is unconditional love. Free Think is teaching me to understand what love truly means on a much higher level and to forgive is the greatest act of human freedom, to relinquish and free others from our perceptions (in particular those whom we believed have transgressed against us) exonerate them that you might release yourself from an unjust self-affliction of imprisonment and bondage that continues to create cycles of pain and suffering in our conscience and sub-conscience minds. This quest often will immediately become conflictive with a world that was built on deception and "ism".

We must seek to look outside of this world that was constructed on disinformation and propaganda and have the uncanny ability to reconstruct a worldview that challenges the popular version of the truth in order to create a new societal and personal paradigm. The true Free Thinker innately either already has these skills of possessing the ability to reason and analyze and/or on the journey they are acquired and developed by way of the experience of various Paths in which the Creator or Supreme Being or whatever Higher expression that is the source of your spiritual inclinations and guide that factor into our lives. Let me not sound contradictory; spirituality is beyond the concepts of Supreme Beings or religious concepts and often functions as an independent variable outside of organized religious terminology and phraseology.

The inclination (of surrendering yourself) to walk your life in a Free Thinker’s space will be a deep evolutionary process for the human being (and was the biggest step that I ever made in my life), it will be more impactful than even the DNA that we inherited from our mothers and fathers (although this plays a factor into our development). However, this goes beyond the meeting of sperm and ova of human biological science. Truly a magnificent God/human and miraculous phenomenon that from an egg coming together with male sperm during conception (new life is formulated) that allows us to extend past our biological substances that was transferred in chromosomes and our nucleus and atomic make up produced an independent human being referred to as our offspring who has a mind and thoughts of their own.

Yes, their parents shared DNA will always be a part of their human essences. Let me stop here; I was a poor student in science, although I started out as a biology major in college. My Science major peers were serious and disciplined students and I wasn’t at that time in my life. So forgive me for recklessly trying to use a scientific analogy to paint a picture in my life. I was learning about concepts of microbiology and organic chemistry and physics. I woke up during that semester and said what the hell am I doing here and I immediately consulted by academic advisor and changed my major. I often wonder where my life would have been, if I had become a scientist or medical doctor; I know that in life nothing was coincidental and as quickly as that thought entered my brain, my Free Thinking immediately absolved those thoughts. I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing; anything else does not exist in my time and space.

Fahim A. Knight-El Chief Researcher for KEEPING IT REAL THINK TANK located in Durham, NC; our mission is to inform African Americans and all people of goodwill, of the pending dangers that lie ahead; as well as decode the symbolism and reinterpreted the hidden meanings behind those who operate as invisible forces, but covertly rules the world. We are of the belief that an enlightened world will be better prepared to throw off the shackles of ignorance and not be willing participants for the slaughter. Our MOTTO is speaking truth to power. Fahim A. Knight-El can be reached at fahimknight@yahoo.com.

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