Have you noticed that almost all of our largest religions and modern viewpoints all surfaced in a seventy year window between the the destruction of Solomon’s Temple and and the building of the Second Jewish Temple. (586 B.C. to 516 B.C.)
Yup. No kidding.
Who showed up at this 70 year juncture?
Buddha, Pythagorus, Lao Tsu, Confucius, Sun Tsu and more.
After I discovered this in a World Almanac, I looked deeper into this range of time and found that Mahavira also lived during that time (he was the founder of Jainism, the faith that inspired Gandhi.
Thales (the first acknowledged scientist) also appeared. He was the first person to successfully calculate the return of a comet through calculation. He chose not to follow or appeal to the gods for wisdom, but rather direct observation.
After awhile I wondered if anyone else noticed this? Is this some sort of cosmic joke? Correlation does not lead to causation, so for me, this is a “connect the dot’s” exercise only.
Well, let’s see what you think. Here’s the timeline and feel free to check my facts and dates:
Solomon’s Temple is destroyed. The Ark of the Covenant is lost forever along with the Ashes of the Red Heiffer and other temple artifacts required for Jewish sacrifices. The Jews are exiled to Babylon where life really sucks for a whole lifetime. Jeremiah cries – a lot.
Democracy is in full experimental mode thanks to a poet named Salon. Salon wrote his theory for democracy in a poem. Sadly, the poem is lost.
Sapphos of Lesbos, the famous poet of erotica, writes much about same sex love. Her works were of course purged by other religions later on. Only a few verses remain.
Aesop is 34 years old and telling the wonderful stories that free him from a slavish existence. These stories become “Aesop’s Fables.”
Lao Tsu is born. No set date is available for Lao Tsu because you can’t pin this guy down on anything. He’s “mister vague” as far as his Tao is concerned. He claims the “Tao” is undefinable. Supposedly Lao Tsu dies around 531 B.C. give or take a decade.
Only the Tao knows for sure, but don’t DARE try to explain or name it because HE says you WILL be wrong.
Epimenides is born: a Cretan Philosopher creates the Liar’s Paradox, a key paradox for understanding mathematics: “The next sentence is a lie. The prior sentence is true.”
Nemea becomes the first site for the Olympics: a peaceful competitive event that we practice in the modern era to promote world peace.
Siddhartha Gutama (the Buddha) is born and supposedly attains enlightenment in 528 B.C. But does this enlightened person hire a scribe to write his stuff down? No. He just tells us that our self is an illusion and that we can be free from the cycle of rebirth. Three centuries later monks write down the “Dhammapada” while his teachings are still fresh on their minds after three hundred years.
Jainism becomes a real religion. Jainism is perhaps the most non-violent of all religions on earth. Some of its practitioners even cover their mouths to protect microbes. Unlike Buddhists, Jainists believe in a soul as well as enlightenment. So when THEY become enlightened they are still eternal. Not like those pansy Buddhists who can’t write things down on time.
According to Jainism, Mahavira (the founder) is the last of a chain of 24 enlightened beings to appear on Earth. His life lines up with the likely publishing date of of the Upanishads: one of the most important books of all time. It is quite possible that some of the Upanishads were written at this time or during the chain of lifetimes preceding his. IMPORTANT: In 542 the Fifth Ara is launched according to Jainism – 25,000 years of good will for humankind. So, according to the Jains, we have another 20,000 years of good will ahead.
And that’s a way cooler story than the coming 2012 flap.
Sun Tsu is born. He does hire a scribe to write his stuff down so we can all kill each other really, really, really well. You can always count on those hawkish war types to have well filed paperwork.
Confucius is Born and tells the world to have decent morals and common sense. He gets tenure for that and writes his stuff down by using those funny chinese characters you see in Chinese Restaurants. He puts a lot of these characters into a book called “The Analects of Confucius.”
Pythagorus is born and creates both the method of mathematical proof, the discovery of irrational numbers, the Pythagorean theorem and a creepy, cult-like, vegan, bean-free religious cult that murders its members when they tell club secrets.
The Greek Dramas start being written and performed adding a wealth of wonder and wisdom for the humanities.
The Second Temple is Completed with an Empty Holy of Holies.
Now that that is done, let’s consult the world religion pie chart and see what comes up as being directly correlated with this seventy year window.
The Jews, whose temple got razed, rebuilt and razed again now only make up .22% of all religions of the world. But religions based off of their traditions and prophets of Judaism that tie directly to this temple story make up the largest part of the pie chart: Christianity makes up 33% and bases itself on the fact that the Jewish system of sacrifices was no longer any good from said temple destructions, Islam makes up 21% based on the idea of God’s judgment against the Jews along with sloppy secretarial skills. Buddhism makes up 6% in spite of the late scriptures and “Chinese Traditional” makes up 6% which includes Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism.
Option #1: If we were lucky enough to have some of the Upanishads published at this time, then the pie adds up to 80.22% of all practitioners of religion having major contributions during this window of time. The majority of the rest are non-believers and animists.
Option #2: If the Upanishads did not appear in this window of time, then this area of time directly impacts 64% of those practicing religion today.
And if you count Thales as the creator of Science, that number gets a big boost.
Wow. Regardless, that was quite a temple razing wasn’t it? And look what got out of the barn!
How Different Viewpoint May Look at These Correlating Events:
A scientist (like Thales) will most likely state that correlation is not causation and she will be correct according to the Scientific Method. Connected dots don’t equal truth or even though truth and trends often correlate with dots thus wonderfully connected.
A conservative Christian may believe that during this time, Satan unleashed evil religions on the earth as part of his lie when the presence of God left the Holy of Holies. And that these stories are keeping people from finding the hope that exists in the blood of Christ and the salvation that comes from believing in Him and His resurrection.
A Conservative Jew (like Jeremiah) may have several perspectives on what these correlations mean. But one thing is for sure, the loss and preservation of the sacred artifacts lost in this story would certainly concern him or her.
A Muslim may see the loss of the artifacts in this story as God’s judgement and point to their belief that Allah and His Koran are the way for all mankind to avoid Judgement and find everlasting happiness.
A Free Mason will see this as the end of the world’s greatest edifice: the Temple of Solomon.
A warrior (perhaps a general like Sun Tsu) will see this as the time where formal military theory is formed while holding his thumb worn copy of “The Art of War.”
A Jainist (like Mahavira) sees this time as the beginning of the fifth Ara, a 25,000 year age for the creation of enlightened beings. She also will connect deeply to ending of animal suffrage through the sacrificial rites of Levitical priests. Solomon’s Temple hosed the sacrifice of millions of animals. And for a Jain, such deaths are inexcusable.
A Buddhist (like Buddha) will see that the power of the Buddha’s presence on earth and point to an amazing miracle of his enlightenment experience.
A Pagan Greek (like Saphos) may see the explosive power of the Goddess Feminine during these seventy years and see how equality for women gets strong religious support in more than just one domain.
A numerologist (Like Pythagorus) will fondly remember the Pythagoreans and their religion whose mantra was “God is Number” and then go kill a cult member who talked too much.
A Taoist (like Lao Tsu) will smile from a field and remind us all that the Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.
A believer in democracy (like Solon) can see this as the first dawning of democratic principles in actual use.
And everybody else can come to her or his own conclusions.