Dominated by Jesus

September 19th, 2014 by Steve Pavlina

Rachelle and I watched an interesting documentary this week called Caesar’s Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus. I also met the makers of this documentary when they were in Vegas a couple weeks ago, and we had a delightful conversation about a variety of subjects, including the film.

Caesar’s Messiah explores the character of Jesus and whether he actually existed as a real person or if he was an invented literary figure. Instead of drowning in Church dogma, the goal of this documentary was to search for facts and genuine historical evidence of who Jesus really was.

I found the documentary quite fascinating. It presented a strong case that Jesus was an invented literary figure and that no such person actually existed. I’ve heard that theory before, and I already knew that Jesus was likely a composite character largely derived from similar characters. But what I liked about this documentary is that they also identified Jesus’ inventors as well as the reasons for inventing Jesus and Christianity.

Who Invented Jesus?

According to Caesar’s Messiah, the character of Jesus was invented by the Flavian dynasty for the purposes of pacifying and controlling the ornery Jews of that time, who wouldn’t worship the Roman Emperor and who were frequently engaging in military conflicts with the Romans. The Romans dealt with this problem by gaining control over the Jewish teachings, essentially replacing them with pro-Roman teachings (i.e. Christianity), which urged the Jews to stop fighting and to behave more submissively towards the Romans.

As Caesar’s Messiah explains, Christianity was invented by the Flavian dynasty as an attempt to solve a serious military and political problem they were having with the Jews during that time. Since they couldn’t convert the Jews to worship the Roman Emperor directly, and since the Jews were frequently getting into conflicts with the Romans due to ideological differences, the Romans basically forced the Jewish belief system to pivot in a more pro-Roman direction.

If you’ve read the Bible as I have, it should be fairly obvious that Jesus was a very pro-Roman character. He went around telling the Jews to pay their taxes (“Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s”) and to behave submissively towards their enemies. Jesus taught the Jews to put down their swords and be pacifists, so the Romans could more easily dominate them. This was by design. It’s exactly how the Romans wanted the Jews to behave.

Of course the Jews weren’t stupid. They weren’t likely to swallow this nonsense wholesale from the Romans. So the Romans forced it upon them. The Romans gathered up conflicting Jewish texts and destroyed them, replacing them with pro-Roman Christian texts. The Romans also made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire.

The Romans may have known that the Jews would resist swallowing this new religion, but all they needed for it to succeed in the long run was to provide a sufficient marketing effort combined with coercive force to get this religion passed on to the next generation, so it would become self-perpetuating and subdue the Jews for generations to come. The Romans were already in power, and this was a great way to strengthen their already dominant position.

I knew that the Romans were outstanding conquerors, but this really impressed me. Yes, it’s extremely devious, but it also proved incredibly effective. Why engage in destructive wars when you could dominate and integrate a group by reshaping their belief system?

Who Is Jesus?

It’s already well established that Christianity’s beliefs, symbols, rituals, and teachings are largely borrowed and derived from other sources, including paganism, Judaism, and Roman teachings. The theory that Jesus is a fictional composite character isn’t new either. But I really loved how deeply this documentary dove into the facts of the situation and provided answers to why this character was created, how he was created, and by whom.

So who is Jesus then?

Jesus is a made-up figure — yes — but he’s actually a representation of the Roman Emperor Titus Flavius. Caesar’s Messiah explains in detail that the stories from Jesus’ life are modified versions of parallel events from Titus’ life, occurring in the exact same time sequence. They list 40 such parallels in the documentary. If you have time to watch it, I think you’ll find this part especially eye-opening. It’s rather amusing too when you realize that people have been worshipping Titus Flavius in disguise for so many centuries.

Caesar’s Messiah also points out that the second coming of Jesus already happened. That prediction was by design as well.

When the Flavians wrote up the stories about Jesus, they set his existence to be decades earlier during the previous Roman dynasty. Then they included prophecies about what that character would do when he returned. Of course it’s easy to prophesize about the future accurately when that supposed future is actually in your past. The prophecies were written to match up with previous military campaigns of Titus Flavius, including his successful siege of Jerusalem. So predictions about the second coming of Jesus were written such that Titus Flavius would be clearly identified as the second coming of Jesus, just a few decades later.

Additionally, it was a common practice at the time to deify Roman emperors. The Romans officially declared that Titus’ father was a god, which made Titus the Son of God.

Teaching Submission

So the Jesus character — and Christianity itself — became an effective pro-Roman propaganda vehicle, designed to pacify the Jews and make them easier to dominate.

This approach proved so effective that it survives to this day in much the same guise. People still read about the character of Jesus, not realizing they’re actually reading Roman propaganda intended to get them to worship Titus Flavius in disguise.

Is the Bible the inspired word of God? Well, yes… if you believe that a Roman emperor is akin to a god. The Christian God is actually the Emperor of Rome, by design. God the Father is a Roman Emperor. So is God the Son.

I’ll bet that Titus would be pretty impressed to discover how well his family’s pacification efforts worked. I also imagine he’d be pretty proud to know that he’s still being worshipped as the Son of God today. That is some marvelously effective propaganda. It makes you wonder what of today’s propaganda may still be around centuries from now, with people believing it as true.

How did it work so well?

In the beginning force and coercion were used to get people to practice the religion and to pass it on to their children until it became self-replicating. I think a really effective part of this ideavirus was to include propagation aspects as part of the belief system, such as encouraging people to convert others and building a priesthood (controlled by Rome) into the religion. This is much like how a modern computer worm operates, whereby one computer infects another. You could say that the Romans basically used Christianity to build a botnet across people’s brains, one that was controlled by Rome. This botnet still survives and thrives today.

When people would start growing too ornery, the controllers could clamp down and alter the religion and its associated propaganda as needed to make it more dangerous to dissent. Some religions use this kind of violence today. It seems a little silly to me that Christians object to seeing other religions use violent coercion to keep their members in line when Christianity has a long history of doing this as well. Christianity doesn’t necessarily need to be as violent today since it’s done a pretty good job of allying itself with media, government, and business, so it has effective alliances with powerful partners. But violent coercion remains an option to keep people in line.

Religion still remains a very effective tool for convincing people to behave submissively, which makes it easier to dominate and govern them. A belief system that teaches people to be passive, submissive, docile, and generous is also helpful in creating a large pool of slave-like workers.

Thinking for Yourself

If these ideas interest you, I think you’ll find Caesar’s Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus to be an eye-opening and thought-provoking film. It will get you thinking more deeply about how social conditioning may have sculpted your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and behaviors. And it will encourage you to question your overall philosophy of life.

I happen to like some aspects of Christian teachings, but as it turns out, those aspects are just restatements of common wisdom from the Romans. As for the parts that tell me I should be submissive and obedient and worship the Emperor as my god, I’ll pass.

I feel very lucky to live in a time and place where I have some freedom to think for myself and to decline religion as a part of my life, without the immediate threat of lashings or crucifixion. Usually the worst I must deal with is the occasional email from a member of some religious botnet trying to convert me. Christianity and Islam are the main ones that target me. To such botnets I’m an especially juicy target since I could potentially help to infect many more brains. It’s a little creepy knowing that these botnets are targeting me, but when they do so, they also risk picking up the ideavirus of living consciously and thinking for themselves.

Give some thought to what you’ve been taught by others that may now be woven into your current philosophy of life. Where did those ideas and beliefs come from anyway? Is it possible that you’ve been living by a moral code that was actually rooted in ancient propaganda? Is this how you want to live?

I’ll be the first to admit that walking away from the herd can be a bit scary at first. There’s the tendency to feel like you’re stepping into a void and that you’ll be all alone if you go that route. Of course that’s what the old conditioning teaches you to believe. Any effective system of keeping people in line trains you to fear and avoid what may happen if you abandon that system.

But the reality is that once you leave, you’ll soon meet plenty of other people who’ve moved on from such submissiveness and powerlessness.

Conscious Submission

This may surprise you, but I actually think that being submissive is a wonderful thing — if you do it consciously and deliberately. There are wonderful growth lessons to be learned from exploring such a path, which can also be labeled the path of devotion. So if you feel like being submissive for a while, embrace that path and do it to the best of your ability. If you’re going to subscribe to a religion, then don’t do a half-assed job of it. Really go for it and be one of its best adherents. If you’re going to get a corporate job, then be the best employee you can. Be loyal and obedient, complete your tasks, and please your superiors.

If you’re going to join a botnet, such as in the form of a modern religion or corporation, then be the best bot you can be. Know that you’re a slave, and be an outstanding one. Obey and worship your Emperor. Don’t succumb to denial by pretending you’re free when you clearly aren’t.

When you’re finally ready to move on from enslavement, then move on. Create your reality. Be your own Emperor. Be free.

Steve Recommends
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The Journal - Record your life lessons in a secure private journal
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Life on Purpose - A step-by-step process to discover your life purpose

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The Evil Exit

September 18th, 2014 by Steve Pavlina

One of your most difficult challenges on your path of personal growth will be dealing with the consequences of seeing your values shift away from the people who are already in your life, such as your family, friends, roommates, or even your spouse.

If you maintain a strong commitment to personal growth, such shifts are inevitable. As you gain more clarity about what’s most important to you in life, you’ll notice increasing contrast between your values and those of others. How you deal with such contrast can really put you to the test.

For instance, you may grow up within a certain religion or culture, but as you mature you may find that those beliefs no longer ring true for you, and you feel the need to shed them and move on.

Or you may grow up with certain eating habits and find yourself shifting away from your childhood diet as you learn and grow.

Or you may have been taught to adopt a certain lifestyle path by default, such as the expectation that you’ll go into the corporate world and get a job working for a large company, but later in life that option may not seem so intelligent to you.

Exploring the Contrast

When you notice this type of contrast beginning to surface, I encourage you to explore it consciously. It may seem a little scary at first — it was for me on many occasions — but I think you’ll find as I have that tremendous growth is to be found within that contrast.

When I was 17 years old and beginning to grasp that my Catholic upbringing was filling my mind with beliefs that didn’t satisfy my intellect, I felt that my only other valid option was to be an evil person. I was never exposed to other possibilities at that time. In my mind I was either Catholic (good) or non-Catholic (evil). So the only valid way I saw to grow beyond this point was to give myself permission to be evil, so I could explore other perspectives. This may seem like a silly choice to someone who’s never experienced that kind of conditioning, but it was very real to me at the time.

Giving myself permission to explore what I previously labeled as evil kicked off an incredible path of growth for me. I shed many false beliefs along the way, had my best year academically, and felt much freer and more alive. The best part was expanding my social circle to include non-Catholics and getting to know them. I dove into evil and found that it was nothing of the sort. It was simply freedom. I soon realized that I’d been brainwashed into thinking that an alternative path was evil by those who were invested in my lack of freedom and self-determination.

For me at the time, there was no other way out. I had to give myself permission to walk through the door labeled evil. That was the only exit I could see.

The Evil Exit

I later found that this is common in many belief systems. The interior of the belief system is frequently labeled good, while all of the exits are labeled evil (or variations thereof). So in order to escape, you have to do what you’ve been taught is evil. The more you accept these labels as real, the more trapped you become.

Which exits are labeled evil in your life right now? Which paths do people tell you are wrong, foolish, crazy, etc?

Is it possible that those paths aren’t actually evil? Is it possible that the so-called evil exit is actually the path to greater freedom? Is it possible that you’ve been conditioned to believe that such exits are evil by those who benefit from your lack of freedom? Who gains from your staying put?

Permission to Be Evil

Another situation where I had to choose the evil exit was leaving my marriage five years ago. Culturally speaking, ending a marriage, especially one with kids, is frowned upon, even though most married people eventually find themselves going that route.

That exit was covered with lots of evil-sounding labels. There’s a ton of social conditioning against leaving an unfulfilling marriage.

One thing that helped me, once again, was to give myself permission to be the bad guy. By this point I knew I wasn’t really doing something I felt was wrong, but allowing myself to be labeled as such anyway, and to accept and own that judgment both from myself and others, made it easier to move forward.

By giving myself permission to be evil instead of trying to resist or deny such a label, I was able to make what I felt was an intelligent choice, even if others might vehemently disagree. Sometimes I found it helpful to exaggerate the path in my own mind and to accept the exaggerated versions, which made it easier to accept the reality.

You’re so right — I’m a quitter!

Yup, I’m abandoning my kids. Total deadbeat!

Why yes… I’m doing this so I can sleep around. Such a slut!

Worst husband and father ever!

Yes indeedy… I’m evil! No good person would ever do this…

Being True to Your Own Values

Giving myself permission to choose the evil exit makes it easier to clarify and stay true to my own values, especially when my values diverge from socially conditioned values. I gain the freedom to choose the less popular path without drowning in struggle and resistance that would otherwise keep me stuck.

You see… from the perspective of someone with certain values that are in opposition to mine, I am in fact evil. Relatively speaking, the judgment is accurate. If I seem to be in denial about my obvious evilness, such people will often feel a strong need to criticize, condemn, or convert me. But if I simply agree with them — if I can “yes-and” their point of view — it saves us both a lot of time.

You cannot invalidate a perspective since a perspective is simply a lens through which reality can be viewed. In order to attempt falsification, you have to use a different lens than the original one. No lens can falsify another lens except an outside-in manner, meaning that falsification is lens-specific and certainly not universal. In fact the very notion of falsifiability only arises within certain lenses; without other lenses the notion of falsifiability is meaningless.

It is an artifact of many lenses, particularly persistent belief systems, to define the interior perspective as good, right, and correct and the exterior as bad, wrong, and evil. Subscribers are right. Non-subscribers are wrong.

To many people with certain religious beliefs, I’m evil because I don’t believe what they believe. I’m an outsider, a non-believer. I’m not saved. I’m going to hell. From within their belief system, these are reasonably accurate statements.

Isn’t it simplest to agree with them?

Yes, I’m evil.

When I die, I’ll be going to hell.

I’m here doing the Devil’s work. Muahahaha!

From my perspective as a long-term vegan, it would be simplest if the flesh-loving people in my life would simply admit that they’re evil. After all, from an ethical vegan’s perspective, it’s completely ludicrous that they should pretend to care about animals, the environment, etc. It would be more sensible for them to say, “Yeah, I totally don’t care about animals at all. Fuck animals! I’m evil and love seeing them tortured and killed for my pleasure.” That would be honest.

Your Relationship With Evil

In the absence of such pre-translated language, you can also do your own translation from another person’s preferred lenses into your own.

Go tell a devout Catholic that you’re an atheist, and don’t be so surprised when your statement gets internally translated as, “I’m a sinner.”

Or tell an ethical vegan about how you like having your favorite animal flesh prepared, and the internal translation of your statement may be, “I’m cruel and unkind.”

From an outsider’s perspective, you may be inclined to label these as unfair judgments. But from an insider’s perspective, they’re reasonably accurate observations.

For whichever doors in your life you may be labeling as evil or wrong, there are countless people who’ve already walked through similar doors and explored beyond them. The first question is: Will you walk through that door too? The second question is: Whether or not you walk through that door yourself, how will you relate to those who already have?

Exploring your own answers to these questions is a significant part of your life’s journey.

Exploring Alternatives

On your path of growth, you’re likely to find many doors labeled evil. It’s a label that one human lens often projects upon another. I think you’ll find as I have that many of these paths which are so labeled don’t actually conflict with your values when you explore them. It can take a lot of reflection to clarify whether or not a potential path conflicts with your values or not. Sometimes the easiest way to find out is to walk through the door and explore what’s on the other side. Then you’ll know.

Giving yourself permission to be evil means giving yourself permission to risk violating your own values. It means giving yourself the opportunity to test alternatives and to make mistakes.

Occasionally you may walk through a door labeled evil, explore the other side, and realize that it’s not for you. While there can be notable consequences to doing this in some cases, much of the time the potential negative consequences are overblown, and the exploration is well worth the learning and growth you’ll gain. Different lenses can distort the way consequences appear.

For instance, if you’re considering a divorce, the interior lens will tend to overplay the potential negative impact on your family. It may encourage you to believe that you’ll be the worst person on earth for causing terrible damage and destruction to a handful of people. This kind of belief can really keep you stuck.

The exterior perspective looks very different, however. By staying trapped in an unhappy situation, such a person is surely spreading stress and unhappiness to many more people and crushing their potential for decades of future contribution. Even if taking the exit door would indeed have a largely negative impact on their family, that consequence must be balanced against the many positive ripples that would be created by seeking a path of greater fulfillment… and inspiring others to do the same.

Take the Evil Door Sooner

On my own path of growth, I’ve learned that in those situations where I suspected that the grass might be greener on the other side, I was usually right. My intuition was accurate. The other side was indeed greener, happier, and more fulfilling. My biggest regrets are of the form: I wish I’d walked through the evil door sooner.

I’m glad I’ve taken risks to explore and clarify my values. Even when I’ve made mistakes, it’s hard to regret them in hindsight because I still learned a lot from my worst choices; they still helped to clarify my core values over time.

When you allow yourself to be evil, you gain the ability to float more freely between different lenses. Doors that are labeled evil exit transform into doors that are merely labeled exit. You’re pre-approved to walk through them without having to worry about judgment or resistance. This gives you the freedom to make more open-minded and conscious choices about which alternative paths to explore.

If you’re feeling stuck, trapped, or stagnant in your current situation, but all the exit doors from that place are labeled evil, then give yourself permission to be evil, and take one of those exits. Become the sinner… the quitter… the betrayer… the abandoner… the loser… the deadbeat… the failure. Wear those labels proudly. They’re all synonyms for explorer.

Steve Recommends
Here are my recommendations for products and services I've reviewed that can improve your results. This is a short list since it only includes my top picks.

Lefkoe Method - Permanently eliminate a limiting belief in 20 minutes
Site Build It! - Use SBI to start your own money-making website
Getting Rich with Ebooks - Earn passive income from ebooks
PhotoReading - Read books 3 times faster
Paraliminals - Condition your mind for positive thinking and success
The Journal - Record your life lessons in a secure private journal
Sedona Method (FREE audios) - Release your blocks in a few minutes
Life on Purpose - A step-by-step process to discover your life purpose

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