Saturday, May 12, 2012

Found a curious ebook on amazon.com...

It is called "The Lives Of Jesus" by Eldon Peat. I can't find much out about the author, and there are no reviews of the book--but it's free, and it's a top-seller in the New Age / Reincarnation category at Amazon.com.

Purportedly, it was channeled from the "Akashic records," a claim that automatically invites skepticism, but it doesn't read like any channeled work I've read. Quite the contrary, it is both scholarly and contemporary. A human being seems to have written it.

The book's claim is one that I happen to agree with: That Jesus was, contrary to myth, an ordinary man, born in a normal way, who lived a normal life, but who had extraordinary charisma and a powerful message. The true history of the life of Jesus has been distorted, twisted, and mythologized, but something happened in the first century C.E. involving this person that, within a couple of centuries, propelled a local Jewish sect to world domination and contributed to the downfall of one of the most odious and brutal empires ever to inhabit the planet.

This singular feat cannot be easily explained away as the act of a simple carpenter's son, which leaves those of us who reject many of the core tenets of established Christianity searching for clues of what, instead, it was.

Part of me wants to dismiss the book as a fabrication, yet I can't disagree with its principle arguments, and the historical data seems to check out.

As an example, the author makes a couple of obscure observations about the Essenes that ring true. I have never embraced the mainstream scholarly argument that the Essenes lived an ascetic life, and the invisible author of this book says that they most assuredly didn't. The book also argues that many of the Essene texts that were extant were forgeries--something that "Seth" goes to great length discussing in "Seth Speaks"-- and that these forgeries inadvertently formed the basis of a significant portion of Christian mythology.

For the moment, this book is falling into my self-defined category of "too internally and externally consistent to be true"--on my assumption that "truth" is both messy and ambiguous--but I welcome any input from any stumblers-upon this entry who might wish to instruct me otherwise.

Postscript: I've decided that "The Lives Of Jesus" is a well-written fictional narrative that reminds me of the alternative history genre. It reads too much like a novel. (The preface hints that Eldon Peat was not the actual author, which, if I am interpreting this correctly, is strange.) And I doubt that it's channeled, for the reasons above.

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