| Constantine - The Making of a Saint|
|9 Aug 2006 @ 15:56, by Andras Nagy|
This paper isn’t merely about history or religion alone. Much of the information discussed in this paper as historical fact cannot be proven or refuted. Philosophers and Religious Historians have argued about these same issues since Jesus’ time. Beginning with the publication of Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code, interested parties have formed two opposing camps of opinion. One camp says that Brown’s novel jut might have some historical basis or at least may be plausible. The other camp says it is impossible that Jesus could have had a wife and a child, let alone have chosen Mary Magdalene for that purpose.
Individuals who do not subscribe to either camp wonder what this dichotomy is all about. What difference does this debate matter? Would the true message and teachings of Jesus be any less meaningful if he actually had been the father of a little girl? The author of this paper belongs to this third, neutral camp. It really does not matter if Jesus was a father or a lifelong bachelor.
What matters to religious thought is whether or not we understand and follow Jesus’ message today or have we given up on the message for so long we can talk about the messenger? Which is more important to the public? This author generally does not subscribe to preaching or teaching any philosophy or creed unless he is approached and asked to do so. Most of the subjects in this paper are esoteric and near the occult. They are only stated because the author thinks the whole controversy of the Da Vinci is in danger of being hijacked by some political motive.
This author’s spiritual philosophy is older than the tenets of either Christianity or Judaism. Many of the sources of these ideas and knowledge were lost at the time of the first destruction of the Library of Alexandria. This knowledge was taught by the ancients in the mystery schools and was often handed down through generations to maintain the secrecy and avoid corrupting the Truth. Naturally, during the long period of the Dark Ages, any non-conforming ideas were considered heresy and were punishable by burning.
This author would like to ask the reader to research and question everything in this paper, but to read with an open mind. He asks that nothing be taken at face value. Question what you read here and accept it if it makes perfect sense, but only after serious contemplation.
This author does not wish to belittle, or any way hinder the importance of The Da Vinci Code. Rightfully, that book has proven to be one of the most important literary works of the decade. The Da Vinci Code raises religious consciousness and encourages people to think, to ask questions and to seek answers. There is nothing more any serious author could wish to accomplish via his work.
The Making of a Saint
Gaius Falvius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus was born c. 274 A.D. During his lifetime, the future Constantine the Great would change the course of Christianity, leading to his being dubbed “the father of organized religion”. Constantine encouraged tolerance of Christian practices and initiated laws that were unknown until his rule. Additionally, he proved to be one of the most important patrons of Christianity.
Constantine was born to Constantius, a military officer, and Helena, who is rumored to have been a Christian. When his father left the family to marry Theodora, the Emperor Maximiam’s stepdaughter, Constantine joined the military and eventually served with his father. Constantine’s father became Emperor after Maximiam’s death and, upon the death of Constantius, Constantine was declared Emperor by his troops. Constantine spent the next six years in a bitter civil war and finally won control of the Western Roman Empire.
Along with Licinius, his co-emperor (of the Eastern Roman Empire) and brother-in-law, Constantine issued the Edict of Milan in 313 A.D. The Edict of Milan basically legalized Christianity and had been considered one of the single most important factors in the spread of the Christian religion. Licinius however, continued the persecution of Christians after the Edict of Milan, which angered Constantine. In 324 A.D., Constantine the Great defeated Licinius in battle to unite the Western Roman Empire with the Eastern Roman Empire and to become the ruler of this united land until his death in 337 A.D.
It is often said that Constantine mandated religious tolerance because his mother was a Christian. True or not, it certainly would provide at least some explanation as to why this man, who was a pagan himself, had such a soft spot for what was, at the time, an alternative, and unrecognized, religion. It is also said that Constantine had a conversion of sorts, if not an actual conversion to Christianity, before a major battle in 312 A.D. Constantine had a vision which inspired him to place a symbol composed of the Greek letters Chi (X) and Rho (p), the first two letters in the word Christ, on the shields of his soldiers. Winning the ensuing battle is said to have convinced Constantine of the reality of Christ.
Constantine’s actual conversion to Christianity, via baptism, occurred on his deathbed. Some surmise that this is because Constantine never actually accepted Christianity and that his edicts concerning religious tolerance were either politically motivated or were in respect for his mother. Others argue that Constantine was baptized on his deathbed because it was the practice of the times to do so. Baptism absolves the convert of all pre-baptismal sins and therefore many individuals of the time waited until impending death to accept baptism so as to allow the forgiveness of a lifetime of sins. The reality may be that Constantine’s conversion was actually motivated by a combination of many reasons.
Constantine never totally abandoned Paganism even after his vision. However, he was an influential patron of Christianity. At times he called himself a Christian, and even dabbled in preaching in his later years, yet he never openly condemned Paganism and was known to continue to worship pagan gods. Historians agree that his mother Helena, a saint in both the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Christian Church and known for her pilgrimages, was influential in many of Constantine’s decisions regarding religion. And, considering the relatively small number of Christians at the time, it is difficult to believe that politics were his only motive for this particular stance. However, Constantine was a brilliant politician, therefore discounting motivation spurred by politics would be a grievous error.
A Saint or a Monster?
Even after his conversion before the Battle of Milvian Bridge, Constantine was well known for his brutality when confronting his enemies. Although his joint Edict of Milan afforded some protection from what were formerly acceptable practices of torture and deprivation of citizens for a variety of reasons, Constantine led a warlike life. Constantine was wont to quell uprisings quickly and brutally. Constantine dealt with civil unrest on the offender’s own turf to obtain the element of surprise and to add insult to the victory. Known both for his tolerance and merciless punishment, Constantine was rumored to have spared Licinius from death after his defeat in 324 A.D. only to have him executed by strangulation a year later after accusing him of plotting against him.
Perhaps the most famous of stories took place in 326 A.D., and involves the controversy surrounding Crispus, Constantine’s son from his first marriage to Minervina, and Fausta, then the current wife of Constantine. It is said that Fausta accused Crispus of attempting to seduce her and that Constantine ordered his death because of this supposed betrayal. Constantine’s mother, Helena, then informed Constantine that Fausta had lied about the betrayal of Crispus and was then murdered herself, probably also on the orders of Constantine. Some historians have surmised that Crispus and Fausta indeed did have an affair and that Constantine executed them for this. These historians offer, as explanation as to why Fausta was murdered almost a year after Crispus, a hypothesis that Fausta became pregnant as a result of the affair, and that Constantine did not have her murdered until after the birth of the child, said to be a female. In either event, the deaths of both Crispus and Fausta were swift and brutal. It has been said that Constantine had Fausta locked in a steam room and boiled alive and that Crispus was beheaded on Constantine’s orders. These brutal acts were committed after Constantine’s visionary conversion and have therefore been referred to when discussing the sincerity of Constantine’s personal acceptance of Christianity.
Arius (256-336 A.D.) was a Christian priest, based in Egypt, who was purported to be responsible for a massive division in early Christian thought. Arius had asserted that Jesus Christ was not divine as the Christian church had heretofore taught. Followers of Arius subscribed to this belief, thus forming the first challenge to existing church doctrine which taught that God existed as a Trinity – The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. The divide in the church that resulted from the different viewpoints of Arianism and Trinitarianism came in the early fourth century and culminated in the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D.
The truth behind the doctrine of the Holy Trinity
Constantine and his contemporaries, with the advent of the Arianism controversy, uncovered the first misunderstanding of the trinity. The real trinity is , according to the esotric doctrine of Ancient Wisdom, a symbolism of Sprit, Matter, and Motion. This is a foundation of the known universe and the explanation of the ever-present conflict between Creationism and Evolution.
The largest problem with explaining the Holy Trinity is that Christians will frequently get a different answer depending on the flavor of the denomination. This is not an intellectually sound practice for people who possess common sense and rationale. The sad reality is that organized religion is offers no true philosphical answers and acts only as a weekend social circuit for many.
First Council of Nicaea
First Alterations of the original teachings
The controversy created by the divide between the followers of Arianism and Trinitarianism became too profound for Constantine to ignore. In 325 A.D., Constantine took steps to resolve the matter by calling the First Council of Nicaea. This conference was the first time leaders of the Christian Church gathered to define and dictate doctrine. Unfortunately for Arianus, more than ninety nine percent of the attendees voted against him and he was declared a heretic, excommunicated, and exiled, along with his followers. Additionally, all of his writings were burned.
The Council of Nicea was important for several reasons. Beside bringing together church leaders, the council was the first time that church and state had melded. Constantine, via his position as head of the council, was the first to assert political power over the Christian Church. And, many church laws were formed at the Council. Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code discusses the council as the time at which Jesus was declared more than just a charismatic prophet.
During the Council, church leaders made decisions regarding the alteration of the Gospels. Clarification of doctrine takes place in all religious organizations and the early Christian Church was no exception. The reasons for these alterations were primarily political. Church leaders were given the opportunity to edit the gospels to form what they believed to be a more accurate and acceptable religious testament. Mary Magdalene was, at this time, declared to be an undesirable. Many historians believe that this was more a grievous error than an intentional slight. Jesus Christ was declared the immortal son of God. The dates of important Christian celebrations were changed to align with current pagan holidays. And the all-important observance of Easter was formally separated from the Jewish observance of Passover. These changes undeniably changed the Church.
This Creed of Nicea not only clarified the position of Jesus Christ in the church. By changing the dates of Christian celebrations to those of pagan holidays, the Church facillitated the conversion of pagans to worshippers of Christ. Additionally, Constantine viewed the Jews as the murders of Christ, therefore the separating of Easter from Passover was of special importance to him. There is no doubt that the Creed of Nicea and the First Council of Nicaea was wrought with politics and political motives.
What is the Third Theory?
Burt Wilson’s book, The Third Theory[i]is about the begininng of all - the emanation of the known universe. I use the word emanation because the concept behind third theory is different from both creation and evolution. The Third Theory explains creation in respect to the oldest wisdom that was taught in ancient mystery schools. Organized religion purports that a supreme being is personally responsible for creating the universt. Science tells us that the universe was formed during a huge explosion. Both the religious perspective and the scientific perspective ignore any merits that the other may have and theorize that their own perspective is the only rational explanation for creation. The Third Theory neither denies, nor glamorizes either the religious or the scientific perspectives. Rather, The Third Theory combines the best of both theories and expands on them using ancient philosophy.
Inventing the personal God.
Much of ancient Roman customs and religious practices were in fact not inferior to the new, and altered, version of organized Christianity, as neither have monopoly on the Truth. What Christianity did accomplish was to invent the concept of the personal God. People who have a finite existence and finite mind cannot comprehend Infitity and matters that are transendental in nature. This personal God can answer prayers 24/7 and listens to six billion people. He also gets angry and upset just like Uncle Leo, whom you know to be very sensitive.
This new God however, did not have the imagination and appeal that the existing pagan religions had. Constanting understood the political importance of a state sponsored, unifying religion. Creating the personal God, and meshing pagan holidays with Christian ones, enabled Constantine and Christianity to take hold in the minds of the public. Constantine was not the only one to continue to worship his pagan gods. Christianity continued to encounter resistance for some time. More than a cursory glance at Christianity gives way to its pagan origins.
The good aspects of Constantine
A military and political genius, Constantine’s concept of using religion as a unifying force may be his most unique contribution to history. Spiritually, of course, pushing a bastardized religious concept onto a mostly uneducated and naïve population was not the right thing to do. It can only be surmised that, as the head of a declining Roman empire, Constantine viewed a unifying, state-sponsored religion as a necessity.
Constantine did not earn his subtitle “the Great” as a result of his military prowess, although it would have been well-earned. In fact, it wasn’t until after his death that he became known as Constantine the Great. This title was bestowed upon him by Christian historians because of his merits in forwarding the cause of the Christian church. Constantine is still referred to as a saint by the Eastern Christian churches, again, because of his lifelong unification of his empire and its religion.
Some individuals, historians and laymen alike have drawn a parallel between Rome in the age of Constantine and the Pax Americana under the regime of George W. Bush. The term “Pax Americana” is Latin for “American Peace”. This refers to the military dominance of the United States and the coinciding relative world peace since the end of World War II. Drawing a line between the two is not as far fetched as it may seem. The reference of Pax Americana, when used in combination with the presidency of George W. Bush, is at the same time a positive and a negative reference. It is the context of the arguments that determines its polarity. Ultimately, the similarities lie in the apparent domination of one super world power. This world power, Rome in ancient times and the United States in present times, is the primary financial source of the reigning peace. In essence, the United States is the top player in maintaining the current, however shaky, state of peace throughout the western world. This peace is viewed as being funded by the United States as well as being “controlled” by the United States. To many, this “control” smacks of imperialism, similar to Constantine’s rule of his Roman empire.
The New Dark Ages
Any ground that Constantine gained through his political visions was soon lost as Rome fell to the barbarians. The practice of inquisitions, witch-hunts, and genocides of pagans and non-conformists became the norm. Christian leaders were responsible for identifying, prosecuting, and sentencing suspected heretics. Often, these heretics were simply freethinking individuals who dared to question the state religion or politics. Church leaders, who then possessed almost as much political clout as the leading political party (sometimes more, as political leaders were often “advised” by biased church liaisons), achieved prosecution of heretics by bloody and brutal means. Continuing Constantine’s practice of quickly and brutally quelling any uprising, church leaders put an end to any dissention amongst the public. The church remembered well the divide created by Arianism, and thought it best to avoid a repeat of that ordeal. By papal decree, any dissenters were to be dealt with swiftly. The Da Vinci Code makes frequent reference to the witch-hunts and systematic elimination of pagans and non-conformists, and the subsequent need for secret societies that maintained historical secrets while appearing to conform to what were the current religious and political standards.
During this time, many historical facts were obscured by legend, making the truth that much more difficult for historians to uncover and making the truth difficult for citizens of the time to discern. At the time of Constantine, the major source of the Truth was cultivated by Gnostic teachings and studies. Gnosticism, by its very definition[ii], would be classified as heresy during the period of persecution that followed Constantine’s rule.
Gnosticism finds its roots in Egypt and is primarily dualistic in nature. Promoting the war of powers that are polar opposites, i.e., good vs. evil, divine power vs. Satan, etc., Gnosticism created a hell where there were once only deceased souls. Valentinian Gnosticism however, as one of the more philosophical of the Gnostic schools of the time, was primarily monistic[iii]. This school of thought (not without its own editorial controversies), drew attention away from the eternal battle of good vs. evil and directed the philosophical mind toward the possibility that behavior and thought are intrinsically motivated and not necessarily church-directed. Evil, according to Gnostic thought is not a parallel force to the divine good. Instead, evil is inferior to divine goodness. There are no parallels, but instead, there are levels of self-knowledge that bring one closer to the divine.
[i]“Creation According to the Ancient Wisdom” Paloria Press
[ii] The doctrines of certain pre-Christian pagan, Jewish, and early Christian sects that valued the revealed knowledge of God and of the origin and end of the human race as a means to attain redemption for the spiritual element in humans and that distinguished the Demiurge from the unknowable Divine Being. Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth EditionCopyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company
[iii]The doctrine that mind and matter are formed from, or reducible to, the same ultimate substance or principle of being. Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth EditionCopyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company
10 Apr 2007 @ 16:47 by james @22.214.171.124 : Constantine
What did Constantine accoplish that was significant in the time of Ancient Rome?
1 May 2007 @ 14:59 by : what did Constantine accomplish?
The Roman Empire was at the brinks of collapse by this time. The barbarians were at the gate already. The Roman Empire was already split in two and Constantine, like any modern day politician tried to consolidate power and prolong the inevitable - the final collapse. He was very screwed and successful.
The bastardization of Christianity and contortion of the Truth was the sacrificial lamb for the political and geopolitical ambitions of the State. I would say without Constantine the collapse would have happened faster and maybe more violently. The unfortunate result of this alteration of Truth and suppression of Light was the long and ugly, Dark Ages, when Popes had mistresses, were murdered and the church corruption ran rampant.
What way did Constantine alter the Truth?
1) They voted (!) Jesus into a status of "son of god"
2) They invented that he "died for our sins"
3) They suppressed the Truth about Transcendental nature of god and the true story of creation.
4) They suppressed the truth about reincarnation (and Karma) and the fact that we never actually DIE. Without the invention of the Devil and the scare tactics of Hell and sins we would have no been the hostages of the corrupt church for money and power.
1 May 2007 @ 15:46 by : Nice...
Very nicely written, Andras. In all of Judaeic literature (Quite literally an ocean [Mara/bitter sea]) of collected, and redacted, 'book' knowledge, there is to be found only one reference (and that an oblique one) to a Rabbi Yeshua Ben Yosef of Natzeret. It is in a work entitled: "Toldot Yeshua (the generations of Yeshua)." I have seen it, and read i,t in its original having been a student, on Mount Zion, in the Sfaradic 'Machon (college)' Le Kabbala - under the direction of Rabbi Reuben Amyad.
Across the way, and in charge of the Tomb of David, was the Yeshiva called Yeshivat Ha Tfoutzot. I was invited to examine this work by the then Rabbi in Charge... one Rabbi Godsteiin.
The avataric Jesus of the so called 'Christian church' is a composite entity based on the redaction in Yeshaiyahu (Isaea.)
Not that any of this matters at all for we are, indeed, on the eve of all out Nuclear war.
I'd like to encourage you to openly express yourself here as there are many ears that could use a bit of tweaking and do, most happily, welcome you to NCN and I look forward to your renditions of ancient thought.
Here's then to the ancient 'Mystes,' which transcends all borders, and all 're-legiones (to re-enlist in the Roman Legion),' and may your enlightenment be swift, and productive.
Thankyou, Andras. And, again, a most hearty welcome, brother.
13 Apr 2009 @ 06:36 by ALON BEN @126.96.36.199 : the impact of constantines conversion
plis would u give the information of the impact of constantine's conversion on the church as a whole and his conversion to the Theological development.
1 May 2009 @ 12:52 by : constantine' impact
i think this is self-evident. The true message of Christ was hijacked and corrupted for serving political goals. They "carnalized" Jesus and made up a whole bunch of stuff. Essentially voted him to be a "god" and his death for our sin is also a spin and a lie....IT WAS MADE UP!
The truth was suppressed and after finally the Roman Empire crumbled, long dark ages came upon Europe while the other parts of the world flourished. This is what you get when you mix religion and politics.
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