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If Christianity be true, even to itself, devoid of all deception and hypocrisy, guiding men along the best possible road, then it must be given the utmost in loyalty and devotion. If, however, it is none of these things, there is no alternative but to oppose it. Would to God that I be granted guidance!

Reason and logic confirmed what The Book of Gwineva stated, but somewhere at the back of my mind niggled memories of men I had known. True Christians, dedicated, good living men. The dogma of Christianity I could reject – living human beings I could not. I turned again to The Book of Gwineva and read:

“There are certain things that pertain to your relationship with Christians, particular points where you must differ concerning Jesus the Christ, son of Joseph and Mary. We cannot accept that he was born of a virgin, for this is a carry-over of pre-Christian religions. The Christian Bible makes two irreconcilable claims regarding Jesus and we have to choose between them. They are that through His father He was descended from David, His claim to messiahship being largely based on this. That He was born of Mary, a virgin, who had known no man. We accept the former view.

We cannot accept that His death was a divine pre-requisite essential for the redemption and salvation of humanity, or that He was sent under divine decree destined as a sacrificial offering in order to obtain forgiveness for men.

There are points on which we do agree. That Christ did exist historically and was a Great Master and Teacher. That He possessed spiritual powers and insight of a highly evolved order, these being an endowment from a source beyond Earth.”

I paused again and reflected that surely Jesus meant to lead men to feel at home in the world; he meant to deliver them from the slavery of taboo and to teach them that the world was not fundamentally evil.

The question might well be asked, “What, then, should a rich man do? Sell up all his possessions and give the money to the poor?” This, of course, is the actual Christian doctrine, but like so much else, it is given only lip service by practicing Christians. The biblical statement is unequivocal, yet the great mass of Christians shut their eyes to it despite the fact that the rich are precluded from their Heaven.

‘It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.’

What of a marriage in a Christian community? No- where else in the in the world are marriages disintegrating so rapidly, yet the highest ideals, hopes and aspirations of man are enshrined in the home and family. People marry irresponsibly, giving little thought to the many duties marriage entails. They are often young and unprepared. What appears to them to be ‘love’ is seldom a true expression of the word. Can they be blamed for not understanding when the Bible depreciates the word, using it where it was not originally intended – a fact arising through misinterpretations?

I found myself turning once more to The Book of Gwineva:

“The tragedy of your society is that the word ‘love’ has been so bandied about, sensationalized, commercialized, prostituted and down- graded that everyone thinks they know all about it when, in actual fact, the vast majority have no conception of it. What they call ‘love’ is no more than its shadow or even its distorted reflection.”

Shakespeare has written, “First to thy own self be true”, while the ancient exhortation was “Know thyself”. This was before the era of modern psychology and now, with greater insight, we know the near impossibility of really knowing ourselves and our motivations. The vast majority of people have one set of beliefs in their subconscious mind and quite a different set in their conscious mind.

Some years ago I was associated with a social unit dealing with severe psychological and personality problems. One of the patients was a member of a well-known minor Christian denomination noted for its dedicated and fervent evangelistic activities. The patient was recovering from the effects resulting from a term of imprisonment and attempted crude brainwashing (which was unsuccessful), during the time he had been serving in a ‘developing’ country.

In the course of treatment it had been necessary to regress him, under hypnosis, to early childhood. Buried deep within his subconscious, completely forgotten because it occurred very early in life, was an incident which, although totally unrelated to anything religious, nevertheless became the basic motivation for his religious fervor in later life. It would have been quite possible, during hypnosis, to change him from a fervent Christian to an equally fervent atheist. He would not have known that the change came otherwise than from within himself. The subconscious mind keeps its secrets. Of course nothing of the sort was done; the cure simply eliminated the after-effects of his ordeal.

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