- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: The Overlook Press; 1 edition (February 14, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1590200373
- ISBN-13: 978-1590200377
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 22 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #764,079 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Gospel and the Zodiac: The Secret Truth about Jesus Hardcover – February 14, 2008
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The use of parables to illustrate a literary or rhetorical device was common in antiquity and remains so to this day. Equally common was the practice among the inner circles of a religious cult to inculcate the esoteric bases on their beliefs into initiates little be little in secret ceremonies. Scholars of comparative religion tell us that in the mystery cults of the Mediterranean this was done through the performance of allegorical plays or scenes from myths. As an initiate advanced through the ranks of "believers" he was granted ever more access to this "hidden knowledge." In modern times similar practices are continued in religious sects such as Mormonism, Scientology, or Freemasonry.
Darlison's contention is that the gospels themselves are allegories containing hidden knowledge available only to those who have been initiated into the esoteric secrets of Chrisitanity. Darlison further posits that the gospels were structured around the zodiacal year and can be read as our species-wide and individual spiritual journey to follow Christ. He believes that the astrological structure of the gospels was more or less common knowledge to initiates into early Christianity but was lost over time as the esoteric strain of religious thought with its allusions to astrology was suppressed by orthodoxy. The core of this secret doctrine is that we are all "sons of God" and that we all must follow the example of Christ to enter "the kingdom or heaven," which is within us.
Although some reviewers would argue that the thesis that the gospels are an allegory based on the zodiac is a case of allegoresis forced on the reader despite the original author's intent, which was to present an objective account of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, I believe that Darlison makes a cogent case. In a Wikipedia article it is pointed out that the German philosopher Scheiermacher, considered the father of modern hermeneutics, taught that the interpretation of a text must proceed by framing its content in terms of the overall organization of the work. One must take into consideration the hermeneutic viewpoint, the hermeneutic consistency, and the hermeneutic objective to accurately reconstruct the author's intent. Darlison makes a convincing argument that all these criteria are met in interpreting the gospels- or perhaps a document underlying the gospel of Mark- as an astrological allegory.
Darlison readily admits that reading the gospels as a spiritual journey based on the zodiac is "only one way of looking at it." One is reminded of the parable of the blind men trying to describe an elephant after eaches touches just one part of the animal. Another interesting take on bible exegesis is to consider the New Testament as based on numerology. In his study titled Jesus Christ; Sun of God: Ancient Cosmology andEarly Christian Symbolism, published in 1993, almost thirty years before Darlison's book, David Fideler explores how Pythagorean number theory and Hellenistic gematria were interwoven into the Christian gospels. Unravelling the symbolic use of numbers in the gospels, Fideler explains the meaning of such "miracles" as the feeding the five thousand and the catch of 153 fish- allusions which become clear only to one who knows the theory underlying sacred geometry. Such explanations remind us that an allusion is understandable only to those with prior knowledge of the covert reference in question. To "the crowds on the outside," such allusions remain "mysteries of God." In Mark, Jesus is reported as speaking in "mysterious" parables to mirror (structurally) and "fulfill" (theologically) the prophecies found in Isaiah 6: 9,10. It is likely that the author of Luke is also "speaking in parables."
Darlison's exegesis is definitely a valuable piece of the puzzle in the quest to discover the meaning and provenance of the Clhristian scriptures, and I give it a five star rating. Of course, there are many other paths one may take in interpreting the gospels, from physics to metaphysics to theories of consciousness. In his book Neurotheology, Laurence McKinney writes, "The question is neither, 'Did God create mankind?' nor "Does mankind create gods? The question can only be, "When did mankind develop a consciousness that could conceive of God, and what step in brain development mgiht have made this possible?" Or,as Pope wrote in an Essay on Man nearly three hundred years ago, "Know then thyself, presume not God to scan, the proper study of Mankind is Man." But to follow these threads would take us far from Darlison's thesis. The reader might like to read some of my other Amazon reviews for hints on where to find more musings on these and related subjects.
Just how much of the Old and New Testament is based on astrology and the inner workings of the human mind and body. Humanities grave mistake was to believe any such story as presented in the pages of that great book as being literally true-as having happened any time in our world's history. Countless times these stories have been told-thousands of years before Christianity as SOLAR allegory, We get ahold of it-don't understand it's symbolic-AND KILL IN THE NAME of it. We've just been told not to question anything and if we do....there's another mental construct called HELL where the DEVIL is. Just for that sort of thing!