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Great post, Mark! The story about Jesus is powerful and conveys some deep truths that we only dimly understand. If we take St Paul at his word, he had a personal revelation of the risen Lord, yet said that in this life, we can only "see through a glass darkly." The details of the story were changed for theological and political reasons (one need only note the differences between the 4 gospels to see this), so who knows what the historical Jesus was really like or how much of the mythos maps onto any historical reality. But that story!

Something I've entertained as a possibility: would it make a difference in the story's meaning or Truth if (assuming a multiple parallel universes) the story of Jesus actually did happen the way it is believed (or at least the key points of it) in one universe, but just not this one? What if our desire to map the mythos onto the historical and religious record is just some dim, dreamlike intuition about a story that actually did happen in a different universe in another dimension? Would it really change anything for us, in terms of how we should understand and relate to the story? (Honest question; I really don't know.)

Anyway, thanks for the though-provoking essay!

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That's an interesting thought experiment, Dan. I'm going to have to give some thought to it. To be honest, I'm not even sure I know what a parallel universe means, outside of some sci fi scenarios where evil, bearded versions of you and I hunt down Doc Hammer for the crime of being too civilized. I'll get back to you, though.

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deletedMar 20, 2023·edited Mar 20, 2023Liked by Mark Bisone
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Mar 21, 2023·edited Mar 21, 2023Author

"Yet that mind is* a mystery so vast as to be a universe unto itself containing all of us as mere impressions and passing projections (as is yours!). Yet there are Minds beyond minds, and things farther beyond those Minds than minds are to dirt clods."

This entire comment was a stellar way to put it, Jon. I am always impressed with your agile and efficient blend of logic and poetics, by the way. Sorry if I neglected to mention that before. I think more people need to read your work (and plan on trying to make that happen).

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This was excellent, Mark. Insightful and thought-provoking, touching on a number of deep issues. Indeed, this is precisely the sort of conversation I was hoping to provoke.

I'd actually meant to mention in my last piece, but forgot to (I always forget something), Dante's inclusion of Brutus (and Cassius Longinus) stuffed into the mouths of Satan in the 9th circle of Hell, alongside Judas. To me that suggests rather strongly that Dante's sensitive artist's soul perceived some deep symbolic kinship between the two figures. That, or he knew something (but let's not get too Dan Brown....)

Regarding Magdalene, big mea culpa on that one. I think I'd picked up the 'affair' bit via cultural osmosis - I don't think I've ever seen the movie in question. Somehow that got lodged in my mind without getting checked. However, that influenced my inflammatory phrasing more than anything. If I recall, Carotta also draws a connection between Cleopatra and Magdalene as symmetrical dramatis personae in the respective stories, which was what I was drawing attention to.

There's a lot to think about here, some subtle points that I'm going to have to ponder over as I compose a reply. Exactly the sort of stimulation from which the best insights emerge.

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Mar 21, 2023·edited Mar 21, 2023Author

Thanks, brother. And just like you beat me to posting on Deimos, I beat you to Dante. Ha! But again, I think the Dan Brown version would be... well, bad fiction, like the man's own catalog. Occam tells me Dante was looking for noteworthy betrayers, and found some pretty obvious candidates. But that's not to say he wasn't guided to the kind of figures who deserved the label, nor that Julius Caesar didn't contain some Christlike qualities. In a certain reading of the Bible, we all do, being the children of God that we are. That's sort of the point, really.

I'm glad I discussed some of this with you privately beforehand, and went through the grueling process of many rewrites. Frankly, there was at least one version of it that was, in retrospect, very unfair and unkind to your sensibilities. Basically, it included a possible version of Caesar's death that was... different than the valiant version, and, I realized later, in a way that might even be intentionally hurtful. Gotta be on the lookout for that sort of venom. It can really sneak up on us if were not careful.

I admit, I really had no idea what you were up to with the Magdalene thing, and am glad to know it was a simple mistake. That happens too, when egregores mutate and start growing all kinds of funky, postmodern limbs. I'm sure it's happened to me as well. No biggies.

And looking forward to your reply. I agree that this is the way to do it, if there's even "a way" for such things. As you know, I fear no man or robot. Do your worst (by which I mean "your best").

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I'm not even really planning on disagreeing with you - after all I agree with almost all of this. Rather, I expect I will build on it. Ultimately the questions you raise here are much more interesting than any one historical interpretation - consequential as that event may have been. It's rather a way of relating to the past, that I think you articulate quite beautifully.

History as mystery - but all knowledge is historical, and so? It is all mystery....

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Mar 21, 2023·edited Mar 21, 2023Liked by Mark Bisone

Says a guy behind you two at the bar, listening to your conversation: Jesus felt every human emotion. He loved like no one else. . . He had a disciple that he loved. . . He saved a prostitute, often thought of as Mary . . . putting them together, as one, is a pretty natural and human thing to inject into our movies.

And since you are both standing there, looking at me, I will continue: both of your essays are amazing, and I am very appreciative of the time, effort, and thought that you put into it. "Bartender, another Jameson, please."

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Cheers, Cin-cin and all the rest, brother. Pouring a double scotch for myself, at the moment (neat, of course).

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Och, it has been way too long since I've been there. "Bartender, these are on me."

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History as mystery. Nailed it, John.

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Dante's critique says Brutus, Cassius and Judas are there :

1. becasue they are traitors of their Benefactor (Lucifer tho, BTW) and

2. because they backstabbed the Heartly and Heavenly Powers, e.g. Imperium (Cesar is considered the First Emperor since Suetonius) and Ecclesia.

I count this score on "team John".

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Ooof. This probably deserves a much longer essay than my job and life provide me time to compose. But a few observations, cast whither they belong.

As much as I love stories and fiction in general, for the real life history matters that mean the most, I've been more interested in what is TRUE rather than what makes a good tale. It's why I've been reluctant to discount later revisionist takes on the tales of Herodotus, Tacitus, even that big sissy Plutarch. The past may be unknowable but and also far stranger than we likely can give it credit for. Troy had been considered artistic fiction...until a German who believed Homer more than Harvard went digging and found it. Mentions of the supernatural in historical events don't phase me or make me inclined to disregard the author.

So how do we know what is true? Well to some extent, we have to rely on those telling us the things. Who are they, what is their character, are they believable, is there corroborations, who are their detractors and what motivates them? There is independent documentation about Jesus Christ than there is for most Roman emperors. My faith does require some degree of trust but it also rings true to me. (I won't go into personal revelations and divine intervention, but that's also a factor)

Which brings me around to Julius. From my readings of him, Julius is far, far too flawed and human to be any kind of divine figure. And I disagree with the attempts to fit his life events into the Monomyth (and oh how I wish I could go point by point here, time, time, time). One thing Ceasar never seemed to lack is self-confidence, yes perhaps to the point of hubris. I can see him either disregarding the warning or...accepting the assassination as fate. Not one he seeks, but not one he feels he can avoid, not if he is to be Ceasar. His dismissal of his bodyguards, and other acts just before his death seem to be almost like him daring fate. Or embracing it. But there I'm straying for history into speculative fiction so I'll stop here.

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As with Dan's comment above, I really need to think about this one. I think I know what you mean, Mark, and even agree with it in some sense that I'm struggling to find the words for. I will reply more thoroughly when I collect my thoughts.

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I remeber a quite squalid HistoryChannel doc according which Ceasar was terminally ill (cystericosis iirc) and let the conspirators kill him. Maybe to create the myth of himself.

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Great piece, Mark!

In my mind-movie, the Gospel dynamics are the heavenly reality; Caesar's life the earthly shadow.

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Thanks, Harrison. I was wondering when someone was going to go full-on Platonic!

I don't think I agree, but mostly because I think this language model leans too much towards "Yeah, heavenly 'reality' (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)" camp for me. At the same time, I know that's probably not what you mean. Squaring the circle there might be an interesting language project, though. For instance, if we were to convert the ideal/shadow of the cave into an object/instance model. how might that change the conversation?

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I had to look up object/instance, not being a programmer, to make sure it meant what I thought. Indeed, yes, I think that is a useful metaphor for thinking about how the temporal matterium event space relates to the archetypal. Importantly, using that metaphor, neither is less real than the other, which isn't so much the case with the shadows on the cave wall.

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deletedMar 21, 2023·edited Mar 21, 2023Liked by Mark Bisone
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I'm hesitant to ascribe more reality to one than the other. A chair without the matter to make the chair isn't a chair, but the matter without the form of a chair also isn't a chair. It's a reciprocal, complementary relationship, neither half of it is privileged over the other.

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That's a pithy summary, captures how I conceptualize it quite nicely.

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Apr 1, 2023·edited Apr 1, 2023

⬆️This! In the scriptures and certainly the other pages of human history, there are people who are types of The Christ. Same for the Evil one, whose continuous malfeasance against humanity and the beloved of Christ I put down in large part to an unquenchable jealousy, peppered by an over-weaning vanity.

I’m almost afraid to tap the send button on this comment, especially as I read ahead in the comments to other replies to the post I’m commenting on. I’m definitely punching above my weight here! Lol

Not that I expect to be lam-blasted in any way. I’m drawn to these deep waters for reasons I don’t fully understand, but I’ve never swam in the depths of the pool to the extent I see by the fraternity of philosophical writers I’ve discovered on Substack. Thanks to all for expanding my thoughts beyond my comfort zone.

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The thing about Jesus, is that He knew we (everyone who gives it any thought) expected Him to fight back. And the way that He could win, forever and ever, was through the Akido move of taking the frustration of all of human agency in the form of an attack on a man, praying at night in an orchard; take it with Him, then leave it in Sheol and come back. And it was only by opening Himself up to that attack that He could overcome it.

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This^

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And Paul writes in Romans 8,

If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you,

the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also,

through his Spirit that dwells in you.

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Mar 21, 2023·edited Mar 21, 2023Liked by Mark Bisone

First off, let's address the Gnosticism. There's more than one tradition, e.g. Valentinian Gnosticism, the one I'm partial to: http://gnosis.org/library/valentinus/Brief_Summary_Theology.htm So, not all Gnostics believe the worldview you (and just about everybody else in alt-media) lays out as "Gnosticism". Everybody really needs to stop smearing them (edit: Mark didn't smear them but others have, and I'm writing this when I'm tired, cranky, and easily triggered).

Now, onto the question of JC...

The story of Jesus Christ is similar to the story of Hercules, which is similar to Gilgamesh. So there's that.

If you read The Naked Bible (Mauro Biglino) you'll get a very different, literal interpretation of the Old Testament than the one in the KJV, done by someone who the Vatican and head Rabbis have gone to when they need some fragment translated from ancient Aramaic or protohebrew (AKA 'First Tongue'). You'll also get a lesson on how much those texts were interpreted, edited, and perhaps just plain made up.

If you read the Codex Odra Linda, you'll find a reference to man named Yesus, who was also known as Buda. He traveled through the Holy Land to the East, and back, buying people out of slavery and spreading a reputation for righteousness.

So, who's got the truth? We may never know. But I'm less inclined to trust a warmongering Roman emperor (Constantine) than the people he tried to wipe out (Gnostics) and the texts he tried to wipe out (Nag Hammadi Codexes). In fact, I'm more inclined to believe them, than him. I'm also inclined to include other texts' references to him from those that may have known of him.

Funny thing is, despite the fact that everything the Christian churches teach of Jesus may well be bunkum, his name still casts out demons - and I'm a huge fan of whatever works.

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Hey Dave. I never smeared the Gnostics. I mentioned them twice in the entire piece. The first mention was as a summary impression of many of the reactions to John's essays that I read. The second (and only other one) was this:

"First off, I don’t have the temerity to go around accusing others of blasphemy. If the search for truth was as easy as reading a book aloud and shouting down anyone who dared to question or differently interpret of any part of it, then Creation is precisely the prison many Gnostics believe it is, and I would gladly seek out a million “lies” with them instead."

Was the smear in your opinion contained in the word "many"? In other words would "some" have been more accurate and/or less provocative in your opinion? Or was it my (admittedly brief and undetailed) characterization of the demiurge-prison that made it seem like a smear? It certainly wasn't intended that way, in any case. This article has nothing to do with gnosticism, in big-G or small-g forms.

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OK, my bad. I get easily triggered when it comes to the Gnosticism. It's got a very rich history and fascinating worldviews, and suffers IMO from a lot of unfair criticism from Christian dogmatists. I'm going to edit that.

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I don't think anyone can accuse me of blasphemy when I never believed their dogma in the first place, but I'll happily wear the title of heretic. Fortunately we're all mostly civil enough in Christendom that I won't have to pull my gat to defend ma'self.

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My movie of Julius ends with him accepting that if he can't trust the people closest to him, he no longer wishes to serve in this world of men. He knows many who surround him are weak and venal, but is only surprised that even his friend Brutus joined in the attack motivated by so many base desires. A similar dynamic to Socrates drinking the hemlock. I am content to let the story of Christ be it's own movie, and one that I enjoy very much. I have to admit I am continually perplexed by the degree to which people are impressed by someone willing to sacrifice themselves for all of humanity. I think there must be many ordinary humans who have made such a sacrifice for less. In fact, I think many of us will need to if we're to have any hope of vanquishing the evil we face.

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I understand the death that I will ineluctably encounter at the end of my journey as a welcome relief of the burdens and responsibility inherent to walking the righteous path. This is how I imagine the end of Caesar and Socrates.

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Deep stuff, Mark. You and John are of a clan, a Christian clan if I may. The parallels John writes of a clear to a degree, but your point that 'there are no facts' speaks volumes. Ultimately, what we have, what we share now, in the future, and in history, are narratives, the stories we tell each other that give meaning. The mythos aspect is crucial, and as mythology is the key to Campbell, it's those mythical meanings that give life purpose. I can't say this strongly enough. When we look at the state of the world today, the propaganda of the media, the political blah blah, it's all stories. It's nothing to do with facts, even the fact checkers are confirming the stories. Could it be that Christ and Ceasar, John and Mark, are themselves just stories in flesh? As for the latter pair, I believe we will never know. We can interpret as we wish. There is no need for consensus.

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Excellent.

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I’ve been thinking a lot recently about historical truth vs. metaphorical truth, specifically related to the Bible, but the lessons are universal. As you point out, historical truth is virtually impossible to corner, capture, and bring into the light in the ways that we often fool ourselves to believe.

And the verification of historical hypotheses is by definition impossible to carry out, and interestingly is subservient to the vagaries of metaphorical truths, the “movies in our heads” that take perceived accounts of the historical “Actual” and codify them into the filing system of metaphorical spirituality. That is the point of all perception to some degree, to determine future courses of action. And what happened does determine what will happen, but only from the scope of our limited islands of perception, from the “movies in our heads.”

This, I think, is foundational to all functional epistemics; the most true is that which focuses our attention and changes our future courses of belief, thoughts and actions. That is what metaphorical spirituality is, an “at-one-ment”, a convergence of self(present), truth (past), and Christ (perfect future).

The idea that knowing perfectly about what was and what is will elucidate perfectly what can and should be is a hopeless and impossible endeavor, not just due to the limits of perception and measurement, but also because we are looking in the wrong frame of reference. The manifestation of the (virtually) limitless possibilities of the future is a fundamentally spiritual act that we cannot escape through reductionism or measurement, but only through prayer, worship, epistemic humility and self-reflection. In many ways the modern age is defined by this hubris of knowledge, thinking that if we dive to the bottom of the pool all will be self-evident. The problem is, we’ve been diving in the wrong pool.

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"In the mythos of Christ, we see a hero who stood unbowed before every form of human evil simultaneously, completed the underworld journey and conquered Death itself on both sides of the Veil."

That is why, despite that I was raised evangelical but am no longer, I see Jesus as the greatest of the gods. And while I recognize that is blasphemous to many Christians, I have only love for the Christians I know.

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You can't see it, but I am stomping my feet, hooting and hollering. You get a standing ovation on this one! Bravo!

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Thank you Jeff. I had more to say, but man-oh-man was this getting long. Glad it still landed for you.

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Mar 20, 2023Liked by Mark Bisone

You liked this very much. It nicely summarized the problem I had with John’s posts.

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Thanks, Eric. I was always wondering if John would ever finish, because I promised him a proper response if he did.

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I hate to pull the “as a…” card, but “as an historian”, I am somewhat disturbed by this, but it also resonates with me.

I’m not truly an historian, just a guy with an undergrad degree who used to teach high school history. But I do believe the past is in SOME sense knowable, even if many details won’t be known for sure until we have an eternal perspective. But it just seems properly basic to me to believe, in the same way that the data being communicated by my senses are largely trustworthy and that other minds than mine exist, that the data we have on history are largely trustworthy. At the very least, we can say “it’s a historical fact that so-and-so CLAIMED such-and-such happened”.

So I think the “history is a mystery” agnosticism can be taken waaaay too far, in the same way that people doubting their senses. Both ways lead to unfalsifiable states of mind I would characterize as “madness”.

I’m moved by the emphasis on story. I’ve been mulling this over as I introduce my boys (8 and 5) to the Alamo mythos. Is it better to believe that Travis drew a line in the sand with his saber, even if it’s historically questionable? Isn’t it better for a young lad to believe something that’s MORALLY true, even if not FACTUALLY true (to quote the scholar AOC)? Or would feeding them noble lies cause a corrupting counter reaction when they get old enough to question?

I don’t think we have to worry about that with the story of Jesus. Here is the perfect intersection of historical fact and beautiful, wonderful story. The myth that became fact, to reference Lewis and Tolkien. And it DOES actually matter if the resurrection is an historical fact. The Apostle Paul says, if Christ wasn’t raised (literally, bodily), then we Christian’s are fools and to be pitied above all men.

Anyway, great write up

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I totally understand why you would be disturbed by this. I wish more would be. History is not "up for grabs", rather, narratives and stories men tell are up for grabs, but history is not. "Rome was fake" I thought that was just a tictok meme.

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One last thing…has anyone here ever read Motel of the Mysteries? I bought if for one of my boys as a gift years ago. Although marketed as a children’s book, it immediately sprung to my mind as relating to the ideas being discussed in Marks’s article and the comments by others. A humorous take on how easy it is to think we’ve figured out what was going on in the past.

I can hardly understand the present!

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Most comments were positive, so I felt it was important to add my own views to the conversation. None of this is an attack on you or Christians personally, but rather a criticism of the thought-experiment played out in your article and John's, and some of your specific comments.

I simply find this article to be silly. The whole idea that "history is just a story" allows for major extremes to be held in society, from "nothing is real" to "everything is real" which we can see with extreme apathetics, and extreme perennialists. A tree has a history. A road has a history. A body has a history. A story has a history. History is supposed to be a representation of real events, but rarely is due to people like yourself who think its just a story. History, or rather, real events, can indeed be discovered using a myriad of ways. We are not apes, we are humans. 1000 years ago you tell a man we will fly and decode genes, and he would mock you in the same way as "Oh, mankind cannot know the unknowable" hahaha sure, sure. History, that annoying little thing, proves that given enough time and effort, we can know quite a lot. Surely not everything in the cosmos is knowable, but we can indeed know most things which are deemed unknowable. History is one of the easier things for us to know, because of the massive amount of resources available to us in nature. It is only hard because people cannot put aside their emotions. Since Christians are such an emotion based group, it would make sense why history gets in the way and they have to come up with "my truth, and your truth" type of word game, while still falling back on "but my truth comes from Christ, so nyah!"

Why not make your truth based in nature? At least, then it would be real.

Julius Caesar could be fake... "If we accept that there was a Actual Roman empire and an Actual Caesar who captured it for virtuous reasons..." Sure, its a fun thought experiment. It is ultimately silly though. "Rome was fake" is a tictok meme, now being seriously thought about by modern writers. A fun experiment, but to what end? I guess that since John played around with the idea about Jesus being faked, a single rabbi, then it is fair to say an entire empire was faked. A fun experiment.

"But if you do find yourself in such a room and hear such a person, gleefully and disingenuously assailing Christians for our most deeply held beliefs, consider this question:

Of the two of us, which do you think will be more likely to defend you, even at the cost of his or her own earthly life?"

I would not expect de-racialized Christians who cannot even defend their own women on the streets to defend me, but only my racial brethren who recognize their duty in life to their race. Whether they are Christian or not is *almost* irrelevant, but still relevant to a degree because most Christians are actually not of my race. They would do nothing to defend me. I am a "heathen" and "racist" and Christians have historically (haha, history is just a story though, so who cares) attacked both types of White man. Only the rare Christian can stand with his brethren on natural grounds rather than Christian religious grounds. Christians will indeed fight for their values, but those values do not align with protecting my race. In fact, they align with a transcendental idea of grace which they so fervently hope exists, and will commit terrible, traitorous acts to defend this idea. History, that annoying little thing, is rife with this.

Christians like to claim they are the reason for the civilizational advances in the West. White men accomplished great victories in spite of Christianity, not because of it. Rome was well on its way to advancing Europe before it crumbled, due to a myriad of reasons it crumbled. It existed before Christianity, yet I guess maybe I should play around with the idea it never happened.

"It is not so simple to rule the mind unchallenged across many ages, or for very old stories to survive and thrive. Otherwise we’d see far more of those survivors. We may even still see large, well-organized cults to Jupiter or Mars, or Hellenists still guided through the Eleusinian Mysteries. We do not."

We do actually, not for Grecians but for Northwestern and Northeastern Europeans, but Christians tend to deride such people. The AFA has multiple hofs in America. They are not alone. Due to Abrahamic and now liberal domination, these pagan religions went from being societal religions, to personal or community religions. That is a good defense of Christian religion though, so be proud! Christians pushed European pagans to the corners of society and claimed temporal victory! However, Christians converted the Lithuanians pretty late, and now that liberalism knocked Christianity from its pedestal, paganism is eekeing back in. This is for a reason, a reason most Christians cannot face. When Whites who don't hate their ancestors turn from Christianity, they commonly revert to some form of paganism, or to some form of platonic esotericism. Many Christians join the liberal religion of materialism. The game is not over, the competition is not over. Christians are failing the West, and we shall see what comes out on top when the next break occurs. I am fine with Ragnaroks and Erdathe, Apocalypse is a part of nature. I am fine with the gods dying and being reborn. It is the Christian who cannot accept that his god may die again, and perhaps not be reborn. He will claim victory even as his civilization is in ashes.

Gods who had their founding before the Bronze Age are still being worshipped today in their Iron Age forms, done through two methods: continuance, and reconstructionist. Reconstructionist is more popular in some pagan religions, and continuance is more popular with others. Odin is still worshipped, mostly by Northwestern Whites. The Dagda is still worshipped, mostly by Gaels. Platonism is still followed, heavily among esotericists and even many gnostic and gnostic adjacent Christians are basically neo-platonists. Heathenism is one of the fastest growing religions amongst Whites, if we look at Britain at least. Islam, due to immigration caused by Christian failure, is the fastest growing religion in Britain. Woot! Christian victory! Christian strength! "Your gods are dead and unpopular!" is something I have heard Christians say in defiance of a racialist pagan. What makes me laugh is that today our civilization is burning to liberalism and internationalism, and Christianity is being utilized far and wide to accomplish this. I do not think popularity of our religions matter. One is forced by the state, the other has withstood the tests of time and is rearing its ugly pagan head again. We shall see where it goes.

"More importantly: whose story survived and flourished, in all the centuries since? Which man’s God is still worshipped, however imperfectly or unwisely?"

Odin and the Dagda and Zeus are still worshipped by mostly Whites, albeit with the odd non-White pretending. Your above question is dishonest trite. Christianity is mostly practiced by non-Whites today. I know there are lots of White Christians, but combine all the South American, Asian, and African Christians and you guys are outnumbered. I wonder why Christians don't care? Oh, that's right, because they are de-racialized. They deny nature. They deny their own tribes to join Christendom (mostly Whites deny their tribe though, African Christians tend to remain very tribalistic).

I wonder how that will play out. Let us see who still believes an extremist rabbi in 2000 years, and who will carry Gods who can be traced to before the Bronze Age, who's very names are indicative of their divine nature. Let us see who stands the test of time: a relatively new religion, or a myriad of native religions born thousands of years ago and still carried and remembered today? Let us see how the God of Mercy survives in a merciless world. "Tradition is not the hoarding of ashes, but the preservation of fire." - Ghustav Mahler, a jew, but a clever one. We pagans do not hoard ashes, but preserve fire. Christians hoard the ashes of Western civilization and call it flame. How many Christian ideas are actually pagan in origin anyways, or at least heavily influenced by paganism? Christians will make a Frankenstein corpse of a religion and call it truth, much like they do with history. Most Christians don't know how pagan elements were taken by Christians, because they hoard ashes, not flame. I am reminded of Tacitus speaking about pagan Rome here, funnily enough: "They make a solitude and call it peace."

A fun thought experiment, but very Christian and silly. I am just expressing my views after reading your article, and felt like they should be expressed. I mean no disrespect. However, I denounce your god as being a foreign man, and that is disrespectful. So, I understand if I ruffle some feathers.

Hail victory.

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