This time of the year, when the Sun starts shining longer and longer for each day, has been attributed to the birth of a very special Saint and thus I always think about Jesus Christ, his life, Jesus as the embodiment of an archetype of the “perfect man” and philosophy and what christianity as a belief system has given to the western world aswell as it’s negative sides.
It’s sometimes easy to forget that before Europe was “christened” between the year AD300 (South) and AD1000 (North) society had little to no compassion for the less fortunate in society: disfigured children was sometimes left in the forest.
Female children was sometimes aborted or murdered because in those times; not being able to do physical labour was a economical liability and within the philosophical worldview and paradigm of those days murder was justified.
The sick (mentally or physically) was left to die in the streets and the existing paradigm was that the soul inhabiting that particular body deserved it because of actions in previous lives etc.
It’s the example of Jesus in his interactions with the sick and the people scorned by society as “sinners” that gave the example and the philosophy of the Gospel according to Saint John that gave the theory upon which much of the current mainstream view of the less fortunate still rests in the west.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
In him was life, and that life was the [U]light of all mankind.[/U]
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
There’s still alot of value in aspects of what is contained in christianity and the reverence for all human life, no matter how lowly they might appear before the human eye is the most beautiful and profound to me.
These days fewer and fewer people can accept something as true which they have not personally validated and thus one of the pillars of christianity (as well as other abrahamitic faiths) is philosophically less and less relevant.
In the era when christianity was conquering the philosophers of the roman empire, Saint Basil wrote a paper to students on how christians could make use of philosophy and science made by “pagans” without having to accept something which is contrary to their conscience and this is something that might apply to this day when spirituality is a “free for all” and whole religious systems are almost packaged in an “easy-to-use” format and put on shelves in the supermarket of ideas
For just as bees know how to extract honey from flowers, which to men are agreeable only for their fragrance and color, even so here also those who look for something more than pleasure and enjoyment in such writers may derive profit for their souls. Now, then, altogether after the manner of bees must we use these writings, for the bees do not visit all the flowers without discrimination, nor indeed do they seek to carry away entire those upon which they light, but rather, having taken so much as is adapted to their needs, they let the rest go. So we, if wise, shall take from heathen books whatever befits us and is allied to the truth, and shall pass over the rest. And just as in culling roses we avoid the thorns, from such writings as these we will gather everything useful, and guard against the noxious.12 So, from the very beginning, we must examine each of their teachings, to harmonize it with our ultimate purpose, according to the Doric proverb, ‘testing each stone by the measuring-line.’