Disproving a faith is also an option . . .
You have heard people rattling off Bible quotes that a true follower may talk a mountain into throwing itself into the sea. Good proof is lacking. Either the old promise is untrue, mountain throwers do their throw-yourself talk so discreetly that it goes unnoticed, or there are no true followers of Jesus the Jew who insisted his teachings are for other Jews only (Geza Vermes 2012).
Go for handy realism
What seems called for is to develop more candid realism than going on a wild goose hunt. Then, let us talk of Sahara and Atlantis, shall we? Sahara has great future potential, but do Christian throwers of mountains, you may come to wonder. And what about Yogananda followers who figure they are Jesuans - in vain, it seems -, do they qualify as Atlantis-builders?
You have to question a faith to avoid becoming a victim of it.
The Sahara region has repeatedly been like a lush savannah, inhabited by humans and many kinds of animals. However, the climate has changed in great cycles, and since about four thousand years BCE, Sahara has been the greatest desert on the planet. Quite similar cycles appear to have happened earlier too. But there are vast resources of underground water.
[Sources: EB, "Sahara"; Wikipedia, s.v. "Sahara", and "Sahara can become green again"
The Sahara region may again turn into a blossoming idyll, a huge blessing of plant life and animal life. Why waste time? Why not hasten the coming of huge forests, savannahs, lovely lakes and gardens all over the region? Why were followers of Jesus promised so many powers and did not use them too well? They did not throw mountains carefully into the sea by using their tongues and mouths - they have not used their talents, if they ever got any. Some with such majestic powers as stilling wind and waves have been called to surpass Jesus in the right Spirit, if the gospel writers have got it right and not wrong. (John 14:12; Mark 4:39-40).
As for followers who do not use the talents they have been given, they are called wicked, worthless and slothful by Jesus, and their talent are taken away from them, and more too. Then they will be cast into darkness. where there will be "weeping and gnashing of teeth". (Matthew 25:14-30)
An evangelist was exhorting his hearers to flee from the wrath to come. "I warn you," he thundered, "that there will be weeping, and wailing and gnashing of teeth!"
An optimist could say, "At long last I have got teeth again," but it is hardy enough to get a fulfilling and decent life anyhow in such a dark place. Better talk-throw some mountains into the sea in the Right Spirit, to avoid being punished terribly for things you did not do, did not know how to do, and never tried to do. But seriously, you may down and look up, but promises that no one sees anything of, are not reckoned with at long last, when no one throws huge mountains into the sea and still big ocean waves.
Let us focus for a little on the subject of building a new Atlantis instead of wasting a lot on drinking beer until old age. Guess what: New Atlantis has not been formed so far. [Promised powers of real Jewish Jesuan]
Further, evidence is mounting that there was no Atlantis sinking and becoming the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean ten thousand years ago, or longer ago, for plate tectonics says "Not at all" to that idea, roughly. [Consider Old Atlantis].
On the outlook for good ideas throughout life, just discard things that do not help and do not work, to find more time for better pursuits. To any non-Jewish Christian it goes towards this: "Better stop reading sayings of Jesus. Show some respect! His sayings, teachings, salvation and kingdom are for Jews only, he said, and the Missionary Command is a spurious, later addition, which means it is a forgery." (Matthew 17:21; 10:5-8; 15:24;)
The Bible scholar Geza Vermes sums it up thus:
During his days of preaching, Jesus of Nazareth addressed only Jews, "the lost sheep of Israel" (Matthew 10:5-8; 15:24). His disciples were expressly instructed not to approach gentiles or Samaritans (Matthew 10:5-8). On the few occasions that Jesus ventured beyond the boundaries of his homeland, he never proclaimed his gospel to pagans, nor did his disciples do so during his lifetime. The mission of the 11 apostles to "all the nations" (Matthew 28:19) is a "post-Resurrection" idea. It appears to be of Pauline inspiration and is nowhere else found in the Gospels (apart from the spurious longer ending of Mark [Mark 16:15], which is missing from all the older manuscripts). Jesus' own perspective was exclusively Jewish; he was concerned only with Jews. (Vermes 2012)
To clarify these matters still further:
Jesus reserve his teachings and salvation for Jews (Matthew 15:24; 10:5-8; Vermes 2012), but only depraved Jews: those of sound moral and spirit are not called by him, and the healthy do not need him (Mark 2:17; Matthew 9:12-13; 12.11). Jesus further puts his sheep on a path to perdition in that he teaches his sheep what is opposed to sound self-preservation. Thereby eyes, limbs, property, fit living-conditions and life itself soon enough are at risk (Matthew 5: 29-30; 39-42). Finally, marring losses come to those who call him 'Lord, Lord' without doing as he tells. (Luke 6:46)
Thus, no Gentile followers are not really under any curse or Jesus-obligation to try to talk mountains into the sea unless they are depraved Jews. There are many other good reasons for not parroting sayings attributed to Jesus: [Many good reasons are found]
If you have faith and believe Jesus all right, Jesus should be nothing to you other than a dim, historical figure unless you are a Jew, a real Jew, that is. [Matthew 21:21-22; cf. 17:21; Cf. Mark 11:23]
If you don't believe in a scholar's summary and words attributed to Jesus in a gospel, you could be in danger - a long row of dangers. A servant who had got a talent, hid it in the ground instead of putting it to good use. When he returned the talen to his master, the master said, "You wicked, lazy servant! . . . You should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. "Take the talent from him . . . And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 25:14-30, passim])
Have you got unused and even unusual talents? A good master may not do all those horrible things to a servant who after all preserved his talent and did not squander it. - But Jesus was rash and somewhat prone to cursing (even a fig tree that "behaved normally"), and thrashing or whipping money people in Jerusalem and further.
Fit task: Back off from citing Jesus
The solution that all the apostles and a Spirit went for, after Jesus was gone, was to let non-Jewish followers get a better life than the apostles. Acts 15 is about that. Further, observe how no maim-yourself and embrace-poverty commands of Jesus were included in the four requirements for non-Jewish followers, the four "corner-stones" of all Christianity, confirmed in Acts 21:25 too.
Then, when people say they are Christians and surpass Jesus without being Jews, throw high mountains in the sea and so, check for evidence. How many percent of their prayer-demands are not fulfilled, do you think? Some research could be done on that. I would have done it . . .
Those who can throw mountains into the sea, can, and those who can't may throw up bad and insignificant excuses. Therefore, train yourself to consider and reflect. For example, is anyone known to really have thrown mountains by faith? Why are there none around who can really do what their flowering rhetoric and empty phrases say they should be able to? You think about it, and avoid folly and lunacy.
The Old Testement says one should not be shy to put God to the test. He might be eager for you to do it too [Malachi 3:10]. So drop the hundred excuses. Start by commanding a pebble to make a hop-hop when you feel for it. That could teach you something. [John 14:12, etc.].
Specifically: Command some convenient mountain ranges to hop into the Atlantic Ocean west of Sahara or Portugal to form New Atlantis - well shaped, of strong build, perfectly adjusted to ocean currents, with large plains and a range of mountains in the north, middle and perhaps the north-east too, to make the climate very healthy. The size of this new land could be four or ten times the size of Portugal, to give an indication (see the red dot on the map). There is a possible centre for the New Land, which could soon enough be needed.
Go ahead, wonder-boys and wonder-girls, go ahead if you are up to the promises to the real followers, after making sure no one gets hurt, all get satisfied, and the climate in both places gets far better for thriving. Judged by the stark lack of mountain-commanding feats, we suspect there never were any full-faith followers of Jesus around and full of vigour for it. And do you know what the Holy Ghost and all the apostles agreed on right after Jesus were gone? They dispensed with the commandments and sayings of Jesus not to burden non-Jewish believers unnecessarily [Acts 15; Acts 21:25].
It that lies a form of salvation - being saved from futile efforts and self-maiming too.
The Catholic Church says it rejects nothing that is holy and true in other religions. The Hindu guru Paramahansa Yogananda (12893-1952) told his own guru had power over all the forces of nature, and Yogananda's guru writes about powers that some yogis get. Not only that guru writes it, but such teachings of hidden, majestic powers are around in Buddhism and Hinduism alike while big mountains keep standing - Seeing is believing.
Allow some frivolity
According to Matthew 8:22 the dead are good for something, and can be set to work in graveyards, but if that outlook is a false teaching, or a result of a mistranslation, the "gospel truth" once again loses. On the way to better adjustments, ask yourself: "Who arrange and manage funerals around here?" The dead don't do it.
Or maybe you feel called to surpass Jesus as he said true followers could [John 14:12], and put dead ones to work to build Atlantis. That would work, according to the gospel statements on belief and one in getting greater power than Jesus - in the Right Spirit (cf. John 14:12; Mark 9:23; Matthew 17:21). The said, formidable powers did not help the martyrs. They did not think it was all right to shout, "Cut the crap!"; they were molested to death.
To be a maker of Atlantis and Sahara Gardens means to have a fit faith. To claim to be a follower without showing any of the signs and powers that are to accompany followers, looks like being disoriented, to put it mildly.
A hundred years or more after the time of Saxon king Alfred, the Danish king of England was called Canute. The great men and officers who were around King Canute were always praising him.
"You are the greatest man that ever lived," one would say.
Then another would say, "O king! there can never be another man so mighty as you."
And another would say, "Great Canute, there is nothing in the world that dares to disobey you."
The king was a man of sense, and he grew very tired of hearing such foolish speeches.
One day he was by the seashore, and his officers were with him. They were praising him, as they were in the habit of doing. He thought that now he would teach them a lesson, and so he bade them set his chair on the beach close by the edge of the water.
"Am I the greatest man in the world?" he asked.
"O king!" they cried, "there is no one so mighty as you."
"Do all things obey me?" he asked.
"There is nothing that dares to disobey you, O king!" they said. "The world bows before you, and gives you honour."
"Will the sea obey me?" he asked; and he looked down at the little waves which were lapping the sand at his feet.
The foolish officers were puzzled, but they did not dare to say "No."
"Command it, king! and it will obey," said one.
"Sea," cried Canute, "I command you to come no farther! Waves, stop your rolling, and do not dare to touch my feet!"
But the tide came in, just as it always did. The water rose higher and higher. It came up around the king's chair, and wet not only his feet, but also his robe. His officers stood about him, alarmed and wondering all at once.
Canute took off his crown, and placed it on the sand.
"I won't wear it again," he said. "And you, my men, learn a lesson from what you have seen."
There you have ample wisdom in handed-over Nordic traditions. As for Fathers of Orthodoxy, for many centuries in Europe, none or very few had the time to muse as they had.
One may suggest that you avoid trying something rash till your dear faith is strong and effective. Emulate Canute the Mighty first, for example. That should be better than drinking deadly poison in the name of Jesus and find out how the faith is. Compare the Korean girls who believed they could walk on water on the word of Jesus and were drowned according to their seemingly drastic and "first-class faith".
A good-looking idea should be tested - Are some of Yogananda's gurus almighty just because they say it or their emissary Yogananda decrees so? Ask for a wonderful Sahara Desert demonstration.
A Wonderful Sahara Demonstration
Let the man of "strong almightiness" take a plane (better: fly with wings or soar like a balloon as a fit token of doing greater works than Jesus [John 14:12, etc.] and thus having the faith Jesus said all his true followers must have - he who was merely "lifted up" above the clouds one say, the New Testament makers decree) - and fly, fly away to the Sahara desert and soak it with well sustainable freshwater till desert travellers cry "Hurrah!" and settle in a growing, park-like woodland with ponds, rivulets and such basics of good living. Freshwater is much wanted in other areas on earth too . . . Letting it flow could be done with no harmful side effects and so on. And such feats are what any regular, full-faith follower of the Christianity of Jesus is said to be able to. He is to cast mountains into the sea and better. Oh yeah. So there you are: At least great and overgrown promises are not wanting [cf. John 14;12.].
Why not let all those empowered followers allow a river of freshwater to flow permanently upwards from the salt ocean? Could that a big deal for a Christian who is told he should command mountains to cast themselves into the sea and do greater deeds than Jesus in the right spirit? Turning sea water into sweet water is such a noble feat [John 14:12, etc.]
Caring for the body, mind and spirit may go well along with these miracles, whereas much braying may not help very much. Allow yourself an idea: There is a difference between saying one is almighty and actually being it.
Further, if you want an idyll, conform to its conditions and slow down the abuse of nature and of people. Slowing down, stress little, and having an ample surplus may be had by peopling the arable and sparsely, but not too sparsely. Time will show what is enough. Getting trapped in consumerist living is no good deal. Many nowadays lose comrades and friends as a result of commercial business enveloping most of us - or consumerism. Nuisance deals often reflect our inward problems.
Well, go ahead; ask the great "faithees" to make the Sahara desert into a lovely garden overnight - with dams and nice floods - for "God can do it" is a typical refrain where they talk big without any special substance. "Yes, we can," should not become another. [Matthew 17:20; 21:21; Mark 11:23; cf. Malachi 3:10]
Yogananda and the Bad Gardener
"To read and not to understand is to pursue and not take (German)."
Yogananda told that Jesus was a perfect master he "loved to talk of", but a fresh look reveals that Jesus let weeds grow unhampered and choke good seed, and he also cursed a fig tree that did not bear fruit out of season when he chanced to pass by. Further, he held wrong ideas about mustard plants. How could he be perfect? [Matthew 13:3, 7, 8-9, 22-3]
More alarming still, the gospel accounts of Jesus contain many signs that blaspheming Jesus was raving mad" [Matthew 9:3; John 10:20]. After some time he was executed for such reasons.
A gospel tells how most of his seventy first disciples left him for some of his harsh statements. Only twelve remained. After Judas had killed himself in two mutually exclusive ways in two places (in a gospel and Acts) the remaining apostles and the Holy Spirit agreed to drop the commands of Jesus to benefit non-Jewish followers [Acts 15:19-29; 21:25]. Not to be duped by psychopaths and tense bosses with their power, decor and pomp, is also wise. [Jesus Diagnosis]
As for his "sell all to follow me" teaching, we might profit more from leaning on the nearest ant-hill than lose sight of how good the villa and farm can be for man.
You may further see that nearly everybody who calls Jesus "Lord, lord," are not Jews, although he said his teachings were for Jews only (Matthew 15:24; 10:5-8). So many people make do with following their leader, even toward the brink of a sharp drop. However, according to the Apostolic Decree and the material surround it [see Acts 15:19-29; 21:25], there are only four requirements for non-Jewish followers, and no to blood food is one of them. Those who delight in traditional blood food as usual during Christmas, are they better, worse or on par with adulterers in the light of the Apostolic Decree? (See Wikipedia, "Counsil of Jerusalem")
Slavery, thistles, and Jesus
From his gardening teachings it stands out that Jesus favoured thistles, and from his sermon on the mount he helped bullies by teaching followers not to retaliate and let demaning ones get all one's property on brutish demand, and so on. That is a hard part of his teachings. Those who claim Jesus as their "Lord, Lord" without doing as he tells, are not good enough for him, he says. Many so-called good Christians may be in for a surprise. His gospel message has not changed. That gardener was perfect for thistles - but not for decent folks. He did not come for them either, but for sinners - for Jewish sinners. That is what he says. [Matthew 9:13]. One may add, "It is not good to be partial to the wicked or to deprive the innocent of justice. [Prov 18:5]"
Yahweh and Paul did not dissolve slavery, nor did Jesus for his Jewish followers - and he reckoned with no others. [cf. Exodus 20 ff and Philemon; apart from Matthew 15:24; 10:4-9]. What perfection is perfection as a slave-holder? It may get near the "perfection" of a bullying robber or thief.
What kind of perfection is had by cursing and letting weeds take over everywhere?
Speaking of gardening, SRF who says they try to teach "original Christianity as taught by Jesus Christ", they do not qualify to be called followers of Jesus, on his words alone. Besides, SRF is governed by Hindus. So SRF might do good to some and not always let weeds choke their best plants (Yogananda words, etc). Byt SRF's claim to stand for "original Christianity as taught by Jesus Christ" is doleful window dressing and introduced for getting more widely accepted in the United States.
"We do not really know what is right or real ... we are often incorrect in our judgements." - Yogananda (1982:414). "We do not find fault with Paramahansa Yogananda's guidelines . . . we believe that . . . his wisdom is flawless." - Self-Realization Fellowship. [Documentation of the dogmatic stance]
So Yogananda says he doesn't know what is right or real (1982:414) and SRF says he's right, that they find no flaws with his too bossy guidelines. Its a poor fellowship that falls victim to the dogmatic tone . . . What is more, if you succumb to the verbiage, you get in a sluggard fix.
Christians got another deal to heed than wondering about what Jesus might have said or commanded. Acts 15:29 tells what the conditions are for Christians. That deal still stands; that ought to be clear enough. Apart from getting the Spirit on board - which equals being saved according to the faith - there are just four requirements. No to blood food, strangled poultry and immoral sexuality are three, and embarrassing to all too many. Then comes another topic: Those who get a gentle deal and goes on to break it in large groups and numbers, are they stupid? To highlight it a bit:
Have you sinned? eaten wrangled chickens unawares? Are you better than an adulterer, then?
Away from Blind Gullibility at Bottom of Blind Beliefs
Please remember that if a guru says "Honesty will save you" or "Sincerity will save you," and similar things, it is generally unwise to put all your eggs of faith in that basket. Still the Sahara desert is lying there, spreading, spreading year by year. Consider what Buddha teaches in the ground-breaking Kalama Sutta. Below that again is "Believe, but make sure." The latter can be used to climb upwards from blind beliefs too, at least a part of the way.
To tackle bosses, hanker not for the religion they impose on others far and wide, or uphold and are served by somehow. Being reserved can sometimes be all right.
Alarming numbers of troubles, violations, starvation, bad sanitation and lack of good clothing happen daily, and the Sahara Desert is still sand and rocks for most part. It should be fit to wonder why in the light of some of the points above. The Gobi desert in China is a growing desert and a problem as well.
Independent thinkers may appear offensive to cowed persons. And copious reading may not be to much help to slavish persons. Feel free to observe well; think for yourself, and dare to come out of your cocoon if you have any, when conditions are suitable for it.
Man is supposed to be better than a donkey for others to ride on top of. Savoury living is to be fit for the common man, or else there are dangers in the future, as was the case with Atlantis a long time back, according to Plato in two of his dialogues. [Link]
The good thing may be tested, and a notarised certificate for having done miracles may be issued. Read on about it.
A reminder: It is far better for a common Christian to stay away for sayings of Jesus for Jews only, on his word. Here and there I make references to some of gospel sayings attributed to Jesus anyway, for the sake of clarification and exemplification, for, as the Bible scholar Geza Vermes says, the teachings, Kingdom and salvation of Jesus were for Jews only, Gentiles were to be strictly excluded. But there was a with one notable exception in Samaria. Otherwise, Jesus' message was directed towards Jews alone, and centred on the Law of Moses. He upheld it 100 percent - brutal cruelty of slavery and all that. (Matthew 5:17-19: Vermes 2010:37,41 etc.)
❋ Some talk (too) big, and some get fooled by them. And so-called common folks are often not among them! - Well, beware of empty words, and trust so-called, average-based common sense only within limits. Why? Average standards are often not good enough, and not good measures of man's inherent possibilities, as Abraham Maslow indicates (1987, chap. 11)
Yogananda: Crisis Talk
How can you meet the world crisis that is coming? . . . Unless you make drastic changes in your living habits immediately, you will be rudely surprised . . . it is best to accustom yourself now to simple living.
Choose a dwelling place that is adequate, [where] living expenses are reasonable.
Make your own clothes; can your own food.
Grow your own vegetable garden, and if feasible, keep a few chickens to produce eggs [if they grow up].
Work the garden yourself, or you will lose money in paying wages to a gardener.
Keep life simple and enjoy . . . without seeking false and expensive pleasures. . . .
Use your free time to read worthwhile books, meditate, and enjoy an uncomplicated life.
Man has to go back to the land . . .
[R]egardless of where your home and work are, cut out luxuries, buy less expensive clothes, supply yourself with things you really need, grow your own food, and put money aside regularly for greater security. [Which money if the monetary system fails, as he says it will]?
Don't spend foolishly.
Pay cash for everything you buy, and if you don't have the cash, don't buy. Don't borrow; you will have a hard time paying on the principal.
You must learn to save in every way possible [In decent ways that fit many occasions].
Save and have the means to pay your bills.
Vermes, Geza. From Jewish to Gentile: How the Jesus Movement Became Christianity. Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR) 38:06, Nov/Dec 2012.
⸻. The Authentic Gospel of Jesus. London: Penguin, 2005.
⸻. The Real Jesus: Then and Now. Minneapolis, MI: Fortress Press, 2010.
Ap: Mieder, Wolfgang (main ed.), Stewart A. Kingsbury, and Kelsie E. Harder: A Dictionary of American Proverbs. (Paperback) New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.
EB: Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopaedia Britannica 2009 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD. London: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2009.
Pusb: Maslow, Abraham. Motivation and Personality. 3rd ed. New York, HarperCollins, 1987.
Psy: Dasgupta, Sailendra. Paramhansa Swami Yogananda: Life-portrait and Reminiscences. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, 2006. Also: Google Books, partial view.
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