Today is Christmas, but just like the recent years being passed, and if you take off all the delicious food, as if it's gone. Gone is the spirit of christmas when we're young, and ever since I've never felt the "religious character" of this holiday.(tell me the truth, do you feel it?)
I would like to share one of the most unforgettable lectures I have heard since college. From a former seminarian and now a sociology professor.
First, the Bible, being a scripture is factual as a historical document. And it means to say that it also records the events during the life of Jesus Christ and in the land of Palestine (today known as Israel).
And the Liberation Theologists said that, based on the research of the Vatican during the decades 50 and 60s, you can't see in the Bible anything "metaphysical" just like "afterlife". And real persons, places, and events were being recorded in the Bible.
By the way, the word "Meta" in Greek means "Beyond", so the word "Metaphysical" means "Beyond the physical world", and being used to pertain things beyond to man's physical understanding.
So where does this metaphysical thing in the Holy Bible arise?
As we remember, one of the famous writers who wrote about "heaven" in the "afterlife" is St. Agustine of Hippo. To those who remember world history, St. Agustine lived during the last part of the Dark Ages, and the lessons in which the intellectuals at that time being studied (since the church are the educated gentry during the Dark Ages in Europe) are the Greek Philosophers, such as Plato.
So what? Remember that the Greek philosopher Plato is the very first Philospher to create a concept of a "place" wherein the "spirits" go. He's also the person who create the concept of the "soul" so isn't it amazing for St. Agustine to create a concept of "heaven" and of the "soul", for that was what they have studied then! So isn't it mysterious that the writeups written are full of those kind.
But it was a wrong implication, for the church hath disposed off the old teachings, especially of "values" like blind obedience to the authorities and of being contented in poverty, for there is no "heaven" whose basis of entering is of being approved by a "metaphysical" being, and so is no reason for a person to scare in being oppressed by the authorities-especially to those who really felt from it, specifically the masses and not the rebels.
And therefore, "Heaven" is not a place far from the moon, sky or whatsoever, but rather a metaphor for a humanistic society.
And as we think of it, if Jesus Christ lives today, he'll be called as a "terrorist" by the government.
For being Anti-Imperialist for being against the reign of the oppressive Roman Empire against the Palestinians (or Jews according to Anton's original Tagalog work)
For being an organizer and an agitator, roaming every part of Palestine in order to preach, and whose people whom he approached and organized? Fishermen like Simon, known as Peter; Government employees like Matthew, and others.
For being a Feminist, since he accepted women in his own fold like Mary Magdalene.
And think of it, he even said that the rich and poor are equal. For at that time, that phrase was so radical-that back then the nobility and the royalty are ought to be born and be treated as them.
But come to think of it, that idea was and is radical even until today?
I couldn't amaze that after the birth of Christ is the foundation day of the Communist Party of th Philippines.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
CHRISTMAS EVE RAMBLINGS
CHRISTMAS EVE RAMBLINGS
A work by Anton Dulce
Loosely translated by Paul Smirnoff