From: "Alice K. Turner"
Subject: Re: (urth) Re: Scylla & Oreb Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2002 03:13:53 -0400 From: "tom" > > Andy Robertson writes: > > > I did note that te one element of the Briah cycle which does *not* fit in > > with neo-Catholic ideas is the frequent transfer of human identity. > > > > In the Bible there is the "possession" of humans by indwelling demons or > > angelic forces, but the idea that a human soul could shift from body to body > > is not found. > > Matt 16:13-17 seem to address the issue. It appears that Jews of the > time believed in some sort of soul-type transmigration, or something > pretty darn weird. And apparently Jesus does, too, as he praises > Simon for getting it right, since doing so requires some sort > of divine assistance. So it looks like the idea of the same soulish > thing moving from one incarnation to another is not anti - or even > extra-Biblical. This is a Pharisees vs. Saducees question, a big Jewish division in the first century which had a major effect on forming Christianity's doctrines. Briefly, the Pharisees, the sort of reform Jewish party, had been picking up ideas from the East (the reason that Matthew puts the Persian Magi--wise men or magicians--into his fantasy of the Conciliator's birth) and also the West, the grain cults of Isis-Osiris and Demeter-Persephone (and you could add Naomi-Ruth if you want to annoy people, as I often do). These had much to do with life after death, and (I gather) there was at the time some question as to whether this would be sequential (a la Hindu) or permanent. The conservative Saducee party together with every orthodox (small o) Jewish party for the last two millennia has rejected both speculations. Jesus, a sort of New Ager of the time, does seem to lean along Pharisee lines especially in this passage. But you have to consider Matthew's own outlook. He is frequently lumped with Mark and Luke, but I think he is very much his own man, a real wild man with regard to eschatology, and certainly a Pharisee with an ax to grind. -alga --