We have noted the way buddhism and ur-hinduism show the relation of stream and sequence.
A similar commentary can help to understand the relationship of Judaism and Christianity. In fact we are talking about three or more religions, Israelitism, Judaism and Christianity.
And Israelitism shows a series of stages:
Israelitism…the whole history of Canaan since early Sumer. We see Abraham myths referring to that…This has been so mythologized that it is hard to understand.
3.Israelitism 600BCE (550 or so)
The Exile period
The return period
a steady history until the turn of the millennium
Christianity emerges, the state of Israel falls and Judaism comes into existence, running in parallel to Christianity.
This is a classic case of the ‘sequence’ effect taking over the incoming stream, from Abraham to Moses, to the period after 900BCE as the Israel/Judah drama plays out. The ‘sequence’ interval is completely enigmatic and almost stupendous. The real facts beggar the myths. The take off starts after 900BCE and Israel disappears as the Prophets emerge in Judah. The emergence of a new literature comes to a climax just before the Exile, which then blends Israelitism with strains of Zoroastrianism. In the return, the Bible undergoes final codification, and the Israelitism stalls, as the politics of empire stir the centuries of confusion up to the Roman Empire.
We can make the same stream and sequence picture in India as the emergence of Buddhism is crystallized from an obscure period starting with the Upanishads, but the occidental picture contains a hint. In both the east and west after a three century interval from about 900BCE to 600 BCE something gestates, and then after 600 BCE two religions set sail as they move back into the stream.
The around the turn from BC to AD, Israelitism and Hinayana buddhism go into overdrive and generate universal religions, Christianity and Mahayana buddhism. In the west, a unique experiment freezes the starting point, Israelitism, to move in parallel to the successor universal religion. This Israelitism rapidly sheds its primitive remnants (like animal sacrifice) as it becomes a deterritorialized parallel religion to Christianity. This effect seems like a world historical experiment, one that made sense: preserve the starting point (albeit transformed) next to the expanding successor. But almost immediately this effect of two structures in parallel created confusion, and we have the sad legacy of the collision of the two over the centuries.
This is a hard nexus to understand, but the stream and sequence construct can help to understand the large blocks.
Let us note something crucial: the birth of Christianity and Judaism occur after the ‘sequence’ interval (or the Axial Age interval) in the stream phase, and thus the only object of the ‘revelation effect’ in the sequence is the 1,2,3 steps of Israelitism. But this still relatively primitive set of phases, although it undergoes a rapid evolution in the creation of a challenge to polytheism and idolatry (the history is so backdated we can’t see the way it happened, but relatively clear in the titanic efforts of the prophetic era). But this evolution stalls after the 600 BCE dividing line, as if the effort weren’t complete.
This strange dynamics goes a long way toward explaining the hopeless muddle of later periods, looking backward. The supercharged early phase made it hard to rationalize and upgrade in the later period. But we can see how a basic insight was roughly right, but the obsession was born to take the Old Testament so literally, tenaciously holding on to the materials generated in the sequence interval. The Israelites are unique in world history. The parallel Greeks in a directly analogous ‘sequence transition’ produced a stupendous amount of innovation, but they never detected the overall progression from the period ca. 900BCE to the time of Solon, just before Classical Greece, after 600 BCE. The Israelites are unique in detecting a historical transformation in their history (actually Judah and Israel) in the period from Abraham/Moses to ca. Solomon or slightly later, and then the core interval to the Exile, three centuries. They had almost all the pieces of puzzles and put that in the Old Testament, correctly, without understanding why, distinguishing the stream lead up, the sequence interval, and the return to the stream, thence to the era of the emergence of Christianity and Judaism.
The stream and sequence approach correctly organizes the pieces into a coherent pattern, but still leaves a mystery. We can construct the same identical analog in the emergence of buddhism in India which leaves the mystery unsolved.
Note the confusing way the Israelites suddenly began creating monotheism, the output of the transformation, and then applied it self-referentially to the history that was happening to them. Confusing themselves. Did Jehovah also create buddhism?
In any case, the record of the emergence of a world religion in the Old Testament is the real task accomplishment: a record for all time of the rapid emergence of a new religion in the ‘sequence’ interval. A world historical first, and if we look at the periods of the Neolithic we can see religions emerging, but we never see the rapid emergence phase due to the lack of written records.
We will move this over to the other blog, Gurdjieff Con, tomorrow to finish the discussion there.
No other model can explain the complexity of the phenomenon in question, but we are still in the dark as to the real dynamic. We should note that a parallel history of Persian history is needed, to show how the Zoroastrian theme influenced the Israelites and then slowly gestated its own versions of monotheism, climaxing finally in the emergence of Islam. That the two are connected at the source is clear. Israelitism is a rationalization of Canaanite paganism, and Zoroastrianism a rationalization of an Indo-European pantheon.
This history we can see requires a ‘secular’ sort of interpretation. The religious version is profound, but with confusions that turn Jews and Christians into phases of muddle.
We are rapidly entering a new age period, and our modernity is itself a ‘stream and sequence’ effect. A careful study of Axial antiquity might help to see the way to some understanding of the dynamics here.
This kind of history is brutal: you can get it wrong, for millennia. We see already how in the modern world the interpolation of Darwinism into the accounts of religion is generating hopeless confusion.
It would be helpful if a group of scholars could sit down and learn this model as a measure on clarity in the dynamics of history. But the obsessive hold of a new fake religion of darwinism is taking hold, and its confusions are almost worse than what it attempts to replace.