Sunday, December 28, 2008

Book Review: Deceptions and Myths of the Bible

Tonight I want to talk about Deceptions and Myths of the Bible by Lloyd M. Graham. I bought this book about 8 years ago, when I was still in my atheist phase. The title appeared to me, but I put the book away after reading a few pages and concluding that the author was a total crackpot. I'm not sure why I kept the book around all these years, but I picked it up again recently and was surprised to discover that the author was actually very knowledgeable about hermeticism. You wouldn't know this from the title, but the major theme of the book is the Bible as an allegorical creation story: not just the first part of Genesis, but most of the Old Testament, and major portions of the New Testament.

According to this book, Genesis is about involution, the descent of spirit into matter, and Exodus is about evolution, the development of the resulting combination. Involution was done by God; evolution is our responsibility, but we have help. If Graham harps on the deception and politics involved in writing the Bible, it's just because continuing to interpret the document literally gets in the way of our evolution.

This is all perfectly compatible with the model of religion given in Cloud upon the Sanctuary. At some point we're supposed to question things. We're supposed to ask why there are two conflicting stories of Noah's Ark. We're supposed to ask why the four Gospels don't agree about what happened on the first Easter Sunday. We're supposed to ask why it was so important to Yahweh that the Hebrews took no prisoners in their battles to claim the Promised Land. When we ask the questions, we're ready for the next level of interpretation. This book can help with understanding the next level.

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