So you'd like to...

Experience ego death and understand it rationally

A guide by Michael Hoffman (Egodeath.com)
(REAL NAME)   

Products sampled from this guide:
See my Amazon info area for more information and book lists, and links to my egodeath resources and discussion list.


Mythic-only Christ theory; Historical Jesus, or Christ Myth? Jesus figure loosely based on various types of actual individuals
Why were supernaturalist legends piled on top of Jesus? Many reasons -- so many reasons, that authors say "all we know about Jesus is mythical, so all we really know is that he existed" -- but of course, they should conclude that we have no more evidence for his existence than for the existence of Dionysus.

The Jesus Puzzle. Did Christianity Begin with a Mythical Christ? : Challenging the Existence of an Historical Jesus - Most scientific, sober, dry, and compelling of mythic-only Christ books. The least mystical. Unique, essential work providing a shattering alternative to the Historical Jesus bandwagon.
Deconstructing Jesus
The Jesus Mysteries: Was the "Original Jesus" a Pagan God? - Easy, esoterically insightful book on the mythic-only Christ. Contains traces of entheogen theory.
The Fabrication of the Christ Myth - Critical legal study of origins. Patent law insight on questions of dating, priority, originality of material, infringement and copying. Contradiction, impossibility and fabrication of synoptics.
The Jesus Myth - 1998. Straightforward, balanced argument for mythic-only Jesus. Shows the apologist motives of researchers of the historical Jesus.


The allegorical-only, mythic-only Jesus Christ theory: allegory as alternative to supernaturalism and flatland atheist debunking
The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold - Astrotheology dimension of Christian myth-system; most rad Christ-myth'er: even Paul considered fictional; academics know Jesus is fiction but won't admit it. Surprisingly, neglects determinism/fate.
The Jesus Legend - 1996. Explains how the Jesus legendary storyline developed from Paul to the synoptic gospels. Insights on how to critically study history.
Jesus: God, Man or Myth? An Examination of the Evidence - 1950. Mythical nature of Jesus, summary of long ongoing debate between mythicists and historicizers/carnalizers. Mythic-only position is continuous tradition, not novel. Pagan origins of Christ.
Jesus and the Lost Goddess: The Secret Teachings of the Original Christians - Very clear generalization of the ancient pagan/gnostic philosophy, including determinism.
Challenging the Verdict: A Cross-Examination of Lee Strobel's "The Case for Christ"


The Jesus storyline is ego-death allegory allegorized as political rebellion against 'divine' Caesar and imperial Ruler Cult
You'll need to be able to read Christianity as a new version of the Hellenistic mystery-religions that uses historical actual events -- not necessarily a hypothetical single historical Jesus, but the idea of crucified rebels who refused the Ruler Cult that tried to equate divine necessity, God's will, and the ruler in power.

The Jesus Movement: A Social History of Its First Century - Critical sociological approach. Economic, gender, social structure of Judaism and Christianity in Greco-Roman context. Palestian Jewish & urban Greco-Roman social contexts, like Malina's approach.
Bandits, Prophets, and Messiahs: Popular Movements at the Time of Jesus
Paul and Empire: Religion and Power in Roman Imperial Society - Christianity may have included standard Hellenistic/Essene mystery-religion initiation, but was uniquely valued for its socio-political orientation, against Empire-condoning pagan mystery-cults.
The Social Gospel of Jesus
Jesus, Justice and the Reign of God: A Ministry of Liberation
Parables as Subversive Speech: Jesus as Pedagogue of the Oppressed
Conflict, Holiness, and Politics in the Teachings of Jesus
Palestine in the Time of Jesus: Social Structures and Social Conflicts
The Politics of Jesus
Excavating Jesus: Beneath the Stones, Behind the Texts - Good coverage of the socio-political background of the formation and origins of Christianity, supplemented but not dominated by archaeological details.

__________________________


Original Christianity included Hellenistic/Essene esoteric and experiential initiation
You'll need to consider original Christianity as esoteric experiential initiation in which the betrayal, arrest, trial, judgement, scourging, humiliation, crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and co-kingship with God is a description of the sequence of mystical events experienced by each initiate.

The Beginnings of Christianity: Essene Mystery, Gnostic Revelation and the Christian Vision
The Gnostic Paul: Gnostic Exegesis of the Pauline Letters - Early 2-layer Christianity with esoteric and exoteric layers.
A Different Christianity: Early Christian Esotericism and Modern Thought (SU (Suny Series, Western Esoteric Traditions) - Eastern Orthodox tradition with mystical emphasis.
The Foundations of Mysticism: Origins to the Fifth Century (The Presence of God: A History of Western Christian Mysticism, Vol. 1) - Early sources of mysticism in the Jewish, Greek, and Christian traditions.
Jesus and the Spirit: A Study of the Religious and Charismatic Experience of Jesus and the First Christians as Reflected in the New Testament - 1997. Experiential dimension of early Christianity.
The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church - Modern interpretation of Eastern Orthodox mysticism.
The Mystical Sense of The Gospels: A Handbook for Contemplatives
Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God - Holy Spirit and Paul.
Son of Man: The Mystical Path to Christ
Jesus and the Lost Goddess: The Secret Teachings of the Original Christians - Generalized clear portrayal of Christian-style Gnosticism, but equates initiate's experience with Sophia instead of Jesus. Recommended; defines experiential-allegory perspective on Christian origins.


Hellenistic, Essene, Gnostic, Jewish, and Christian use of an entheogenic sacrament or eucharist
Sacred eating and drinking is found prior to the onset of core mystical experiences in all the Hellenistic mystery religions.

Mushrooms and Mankind: The Impact of Mushrooms on Human Consciousness and Religion - Broad-ranging. Psychoactive mushrooms are fundamental to Christmas symbolism, ancient Egyptian religion of experiential rebirth, Christianity, Vajrayana Buddhism.
The Mystery of Manna: The Psychedelic Sacrament of the Bible - Ergot and other use of entheogens in Jewish origins.
The Apples of Apollo: Pagan and Christian Mysteries of the Eucharist - Covers entheogens in Hellenistic and Christian myth. Evidence for entheogens in art & myth, emphasis on Amanita.
DMT: The Spirit Molecule: A Doctor's Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences
Cleansing the Doors of Perception: The Religious Significance of Entheogenic Plants and Chemicals - Collection of writings on entheogens by a popular and widely respected comparative religion scholar.


Entheogen theory of the origin of religions: a sober, evidentially proven, fully plausible and rational alternative to mysterious onset of mystic states
Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred, Healing and Hallucinogenic Powers
Entheogens and the Future of Religion (Entheogen Project Series, Number 2)
Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution
Persephone's Quest: Entheogens and the Origins of Religion
Psychoactive Sacramentals: Essays on Entheogens and Religion (The CSP Entheogen Project Series, 3)

__________________________


Determinism vs. free will: the central issue in religious revelation and in philosophy

The mystery-religions were centered around encountering, apprehending, and in some sense "transcending" determinism. This is particularly true for timeless block-universe determinism rather than the more familiar causal-chain determinism.

Metaphilosophy and Free Will - Excellent, profoundly insightful about the debate. Shows the moralist rather than philosophical motivations of freewill advocates.
Elbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting
Free Will (Oxford Readings in Philosophy)
The Illusion of Conscious Will (Bradford Books)


Reformed/Calvinist theology: a religion of determinism unwilling to abandon genuine moral culpability
Willing to Believe: The Controversy over Free Will - A history of the free will/determinism debate, which is central to Christian theology.
The Freedom of the Will (Great Awakening Writings (1725-1760)) - Early 1700s U.S. Calvinist denial of free will while retaining guilt, sin, judgment, and retribution.
Chosen by God


Better and more extreme alternative to causal-chain determinism: 'timeless block-universe determinism' with a single, pre-existent future; tenseless time, timelessness, eternity, Necessity, and divine predestination
The Fourth Dimension: A Guided Tour of the Higher Universes - Includes diagrams of the block universe and timeless personal worldline interactions.
The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries: Cosmology and Salvation in the Ancient World - Mithras was a savior to rescue from cosmic astrological fatalism/determinism.
Time and Eternity: Exploring God's Relationship to Time - The author also wrote Tenseless Time. Determinists need clearer model of time. Most "determinism" is causal-chain determinism, tenseless time supports what I call "timeless block-universe determinism".

See my Amazon info area for more information and book lists, and links to my egodeath resources and discussion list.

Products mentioned include:
Mythic-only Christ theory; Historical Jesus, or Christ Myth? Jesus figure loosely based on various types of actual individuals
1.  The Jesus Puzzle. Did Christianity Begin with a Mythical Christ? : Challenging the Existence of an Historical Jesus  by Earl Doherty
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4.2 out of 5 stars   (80) | 1 customer discussion
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2.  Deconstructing Jesus  by Robert M. Price
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3.  The Jesus Mysteries: Was the "Original Jesus" a Pagan God?  by Peter Gandy
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4.  The Fabrication of the Christ Myth  by Harold Leidner
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5.  The Jesus Myth  by George Albert Wells
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The allegorical-only, mythic-only Jesus Christ theory: allegory as alternative to supernaturalism and flatland atheist debunking
6.  The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold  by Acharya S
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7.  The Jesus Legend  by George Albert Wells
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8.  Jesus: God, Man or Myth? An Examination of the Evidence  by Herbert Cutner
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9.  Jesus and the Lost Goddess: The Secret Teachings of the Original Christians  by Peter Gandy
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10.  Challenging the Verdict: A Cross-Examination of Lee Strobel's "The Case for Christ"  by Earl Doherty
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The Jesus storyline is ego-death allegory allegorized as political rebellion against 'divine' Caesar and imperial Ruler Cult
11.  The Jesus Movement: A Social History of Its First Century  by Ekkehard Stegemann
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12.  Bandits, Prophets, and Messiahs: Popular Movements at the Time of Jesus  by Richard A. Horsley
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13.  Paul and Empire: Religion and Power in Roman Imperial Society  by Richard A. Horsley
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14.  The Social Gospel of Jesus  by Bruce J. Malina
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15.  Jesus, Justice and the Reign of God: A Ministry of Liberation  by William R. Herzog
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16.  Parables as Subversive Speech: Jesus as Pedagogue of the Oppressed  by William R. Herzog
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17.  Conflict, Holiness, and Politics in the Teachings of Jesus  by Marcus J. Borg
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18.  Palestine in the Time of Jesus: Social Structures and Social Conflicts  by K. C. Hanson
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19.  The Politics of Jesus  by John Howard Yoder
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20.  Excavating Jesus: Beneath the Stones, Behind the Texts  by John Dominic Crossan
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Original Christianity included Hellenistic/Essene esoteric and experiential initiation
21.  The Beginnings of Christianity: Essene Mystery, Gnostic Revelation and the Christian Vision  by Andrew J. Welburn
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22.  The Gnostic Paul: Gnostic Exegesis of the Pauline Letters  by Elaine Pagels
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23.  A Different Christianity: Early Christian Esotericism and Modern Thought (SU (Suny Series, Western Esoteric Traditions)  by Robin Amis
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24.  The Foundations of Mysticism: Origins to the Fifth Century (The Presence of God: A History of Western Christian Mysticism, Vol. 1)  by Bernard McGinn
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25.  Jesus and the Spirit: A Study of the Religious and Charismatic Experience of Jesus and the First Christians as Reflected in the New Testament  by James D. G. Dunn
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26.  The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church  by Vladimir Lossky
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27.  The Mystical Sense of The Gospels: A Handbook for Contemplatives  by James M. Somerville
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28.  Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God  by Gordon D. Fee
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29.  Son of Man: The Mystical Path to Christ  by Andrew Harvey
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30.  Jesus and the Lost Goddess: The Secret Teachings of the Original Christians  by Peter Gandy
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Hellenistic, Essene, Gnostic, Jewish, and Christian use of an entheogenic sacrament or eucharist
31.  Mushrooms and Mankind: The Impact of Mushrooms on Human Consciousness and Religion  by James Arthur
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32.  The Mystery of Manna: The Psychedelic Sacrament of the Bible  by Daniel Merkur
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33.  The Apples of Apollo: Pagan and Christian Mysteries of the Eucharist  by Clark Heinrich
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34.  DMT: The Spirit Molecule: A Doctor's Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences  by Rick Strassman
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35.  Cleansing the Doors of Perception: The Religious Significance of Entheogenic Plants and Chemicals  by Huston Smith
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Entheogen theory of the origin of religions: a sober, evidentially proven, fully plausible and rational alternative to mysterious onset of mystic states
36.  Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred, Healing and Hallucinogenic Powers  by Richard Evans Schultes
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37.  Entheogens and the Future of Religion (Entheogen Project Series, Number 2)  by Robert Forte
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38.  Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution  by Terence McKenna
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39.  Persephone's Quest: Entheogens and the Origins of Religion  by R. Gordon Wasson
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40.  Psychoactive Sacramentals: Essays on Entheogens and Religion (The CSP Entheogen Project Series, 3)  by Alexander Shulgin
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Determinism vs. free will: the central issue in religious revelation and in philosophy
41.  Metaphilosophy and Free Will  by Richard Double
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42.  Elbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting  by Daniel C. Dennett
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43.  Free Will (Oxford Readings in Philosophy)  by Gary Watson
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44.  The Illusion of Conscious Will (Bradford Books)  by Daniel M. Wegner
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Reformed/Calvinist theology: a religion of determinism unwilling to abandon genuine moral culpability
45.  Willing to Believe: The Controversy over Free Will  by R. C. Sproul
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46.  The Freedom of the Will (Great Awakening Writings (1725-1760))  by Jonathan & Darlene Edwards
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47.  Chosen by God  by R. C. Sproul
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Better and more extreme alternative to causal-chain determinism: 'timeless block-universe determinism' with a single, pre-existent future; tenseless time, timelessness, eternity, Necessity, and divine predestination
48.  The Fourth Dimension: A Guided Tour of the Higher Universes  by Rudy Rucker
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49.  The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries: Cosmology and Salvation in the Ancient World  by David Ulansey
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50.  Time and Eternity: Exploring God's Relationship to Time  by William Lane Craig
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About this Guide

 

Author

Michael Hoffman (Egodeath.com)
(REAL NAME)   
Qualifications: theorist of ego death
Last updated: 3/23/02
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