Did Jesus Live 100 B.C.?by George Robert Stow Mead
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WHEN some five and a half centuries before the Christian era the Buddha arose in ancient Aryavarta to substitute actuality for tradition, to break down the barriers of convention, and throw open the Way of Righteousness to all, irrespective of race or birth, we are told that He set aside the ancestral scriptures of His race and times, and preached a Gospel of self-reliance and a freedom from bibliolatry that will ever keep His memory green among the independent thinkers of the world.
When the Christ arose in Judaea, once more to break down the barriers of exclusiveness, and preach the Way to the 'Amme ha-aretz, the rejected of the ceremonialists and legal purists, we are told that He extended the aegis of His great authority over the ancient writings of His fellow-countrymen, and cited the Torah as the very Law of God Himself.
We are assured by Traditionalists that the Incarnation of Deity Itself, the very Giver of that Law, explicitly attested the genuineness of the Five Books; He, with His inerrant wisdom, asserted that Moses wrote them, just as it was believed by the people of His day.
Whereas, if there be anything certain in the whole field of Biblical research, it is that this cannot be the whole truth of the matter.
It has been said in excuse that the Christ did not come on earth to teach His disciples the "higher criticism." This may well be so, and yet it is a fact of profound significance that, as we shall see in the course of the present enquiry, even in His day this very Torah, and much more the Prophets and Sacred Writings, were called into serious question by many.
If, however, the Christ actually used the words ascribed to Him in this matter, it is difficult to understand why a plan so different in thus respect was adopted in the West from the apparently far more drastic attempt that was made so many years before in the East. It may, however, have been found that the effect of a so abrupt departure from tradition had not proved so successful as had been anticipated, for the Brahman, instead of giving of his best, and allowing himself to become the channel of a great spiritual outpouring for the benefit of the world, quickly resumed his ancient position of exclusiveness and spiritual isolation.
So in the case of the Jew, who was, as it were, a like channel ready to hand for the West, whereby the new spiritual forces could most efficaciously be liberated, it may have been thought that if the traditional prejudices of that "chosen" and "peculiar" people were more gently treated perhaps greater results would follow. But even so the separative forces in human nature were too strong, and the Jew, like the Brahman, fell back; into a more rigid exclusiveness than ever. But thee Wisdom behind Her Servants doubtless knew that this would be, and reserved both Brahman and Jew for some future opportunity of greater promise, while She temporarily utilized them, in spite of themselves, and in spite of the mistakes of their Buddhist and Christian brethren; for all of us, Brahmans and Buddhists, Hebrews and Christians, are of like passions, and struggling in the bonds of our self-limitations and ignorance; we are all children of one Mother, our common human nature, and of one Father, the divine source of our being.
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