Karmic updates via
Jumpin' Jupiter!

Make today your lucky day! Find out where the planet of good fortune is right now and how to use Jupiter's positivity in your own life!

St. Paul and the Hill of Aries

Spring Equinox

Ring in Spring!

Learn all about the meaning and
energy of the Spring Equinox. Go »

Paul Obrien's Blog

Paul Obrien
0

St. Paul and the Hill of Aries

Thu, 05/12/2011 - 01:00 am PST by Paul Obrien

Mars Hill near the Parthenon, Athens, Greece.

The other day during my first visit here, I took a tour of the Acropolis, the hill on which the monumental Parthenon -- symbol of the glory of Greece -- still stands, huge and magnificent. Close by is the much smaller hill of the god Aries -- a mound of solid marble with beautifully carved steps leading up to its flat top.

There, civic leaders of democratic Athens would meet to take evidence and hammer out decisions ... or to conduct selected trials -- including all murder trials, which were required to be held outdoors, because the Greeks feared contagion from extreme evildoers if they were enclosed with them.

Paul of Tarsus, the prime stimulus of Christian orthodoxy as we still know it, asked for a Mars Hill meeting with the democrats of Athens to present his case for a new God, one who had incarnated in human form. Now, this Paul was a crafty zealot ... he had noticed that the Greeks had one statue dedicated to "the unknown god" -- kind of like the "tomb of the unknown soldier" -- because, in their liberal way, the Greeks were willing to consider there might be some god(s) they didn't know about yet. Paul saw an opportunity to preach his visions to the Greeks by appealing to their remarkable broad-mindedness. The elders of Athens granted him a hearing.

Paul's presentation was going OK, until he presented his idea of a human son of God, who rose from the dead and bodily ascended into heaven (Elysian Fields to the Greeks). On top of this, Paul argued that the end of the world was going to happen any day now, at which time the gentle Jesus would come back as a victorious warrior, to smite non-believers, while true believers would also ascend bodily into heaven, in a state of rapture (evidently unaffected by the suffering of their "left-behind" neighbors).

Altogether, these fantastic notions were too much, even for the open-minded, mythology-oriented Greeks. Although they gave him a fair hearing, they could not countenance such ideas, and Paul was dismissed. In this particular instance,  he was not able to put "the fear of God" into his audience, and the wise men of Athens never invited him back.

Considering the modern rise in fundamentalism (in all three western religions), there may be a lesson in this for us today. Let the fundamentalists say their piece, refuse to be infected by fear-mongering, politely point out the absurd inconsistency of their beliefs, deny them power and send them on their way. The fact that Paul's belief system gained ascendancy 300 years later, and formed the basis of Christian doctrine, east and west, speaks not only to the power of his fanatic personality but also to the power of fear combined with magical thinking about personal salvation and even ascension (72 virgins, anyone?)

Except for the likes of Athens' brightest minds, the ancients were ripe for this combination, for hardly anyone living in that brutal world was educated or literate. The promise of a personal redemption and salvation in exchange for the acceptance of one's suffering was fairly irresistible to many who had no hope otherwise.

Paul left Athens and marched further into the pagan world. He eventually reached Rome where he was imprisoned (for the umpteenth time) and beheaded (way before the Second Coming).

 

by Emily Trinkaus

The Sun moves into Aries on March 20, marking the Spring Equinox -- the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere -- and the Astrological New Year! Light and darkness are equal this day, and from that point on the days grow longer. ... continued »

by Astrology Detective

The Sun bursts into ebullient Aries on Monday, marking the official start of spring and the Astrological New Year. A reawakening to the social world will stir in the upcoming weeks and especially at the weekend, when the ... continued »

by Stephanie Dempsey

Spring is here and we're eager to get outside and put our green thumbs to work. If you’re planning a garden, give careful consideration to your Sun sign. It can provide valuable clues about what to plant and how to use your space! ... continued »

It's almost here! Spring Break once was about getting some much needed rest and relaxation -- not just a bunch of college kids running amok in bikinis and shorts at the beach. At its core Spring Break is meant to be a reward for all your hard winter work ... continued »

More for today

Get more insight into your day!

Horoscope
Horoscope
Tarot
Tarot
Number
Number
Hexagram
Hexagram