Sunday, October 22, 2006

Lee James Hutchinson and Jonathan Mark Tillotson discuss June 2006

The following discussion was the longest of three recorded discussions Lee and I had (and enjoyed) during his recent trip to visit me in Bratislava, Slovakia, where I currently reside. I recorded it on my trusty Creative MP3 player and transcribed it by hand after Lee had left. Though we have tried to keep the spirit of an easy atmosphere of relaxed discussion evident in the dialogue, we have improved and so altered the dialogue on occasions...and excluded elements which we felt would not be appropriate or of interest.

I would like to stress that all of my thoughts regarding the nature of the universe are imaginative hypotheses; ones to which I do not wish to attach the severity of any pretence to dogma or certain truth. That said, they represent attempts that I have made, on the basis of my experience and reading, to make sense of this 'business called life' at the macrocosmic level...and I readily admit to my attachment to them. Nevertheless, I am liable to doubt them sometimes, especially the thoughts regarding Israel. I am not an authority, even if in my more megalomaniacal moments I might want to be:)

Any offence taken by anyone by anything either Lee or I utter is enitirely unintended, for which we apologise.






Jonathan:
My friend Dave Smith, a very good friend from school…

Lee:
He’s of the opinion, is he, that there is no other meaning to life other than procreation, essentially. That having children is the sole meaning to our existence?

Jonathan:
That is what he suggested to me when I met him in Manchester last summer. One thing he’s come to realize is, you know, that there is no real meaning to life other than just having children…I think other people believe that too…and I would think that for Dave and these others the point is that the whole system of nature and existence as we know it..the whole point, the purpose of it, is just to perpetuate itself, because otherwise death ends it all….and that above and beyond that purpose there is none, there is none other than to keep the same system of nature going..and I would suggest that..

Lee:
Would you refute that?

Jonathan:
Well I would say that, you know, it’s good that we keep the system going, as something superior than everyone and everything just dying off..yeah

Lee:
Yeah

Jonathan:
But I would suggest that the true meaning of life is the destruction of…
(a cork pops!...from a wine bottle one presumes) you know, evil and suffering and death and the abyss of division that stands between creaturely and divine consciousness…which has meant that the nature of our lives is not more joyous than we find it to be.

Lee:
So that would indicate another purpose to life?

Jonathan:
Indeed…yeah, that other being the transfiguration of the universe into gold and platinum..from base metals, so its an alchemical transformation of the universe we are looking at, my lord.

Lee:
Yeah, yeah my lord. (chuckling)

Jonathan:
Do you see what I mean?

Lee:
Yeah.

Jonathan:
Something along those lines.

Lee:
From sort of….

(Jonathan laughs)

Er….Electro-plated nickel-silver to, as you say, platinum. Titanium?

Jonathan:
Well, Platinum is the true King of all metals is it not?

Lee:
Really?

Jonathan:
Well, I believe its more valuable than gold..

Lee:
Or silver……I see. So there’d be two strands really….one strand might be the quelling of suffering.

Jonathan:
Oh that’s a good point yeah, which is the first thing to do… and that’s very similar to the Buddhist path and you could argue the medicinal parts of the west… at least as far as the body is concerned…. certainly suffering isn’t a good thing…and what’s the other strand?

Lee:
That would be the reorganization of the heavenly…

(laughter from Jonathan)

Jonathan:
Heavenly….wardrobe, maybe, my lord? Reorganistaion of the what?

Lee:
Well, I’m not sure how we can influence that. You’ll probably argue that we can influence that.

Jonathan:
Er….I don’t know..er…I think we are all slaves of the moon.

Lee:
Yeeah…

Jonathan:
And I’m not the first person to suggest that…Gurdjieff and others. And I think because basically there’s been a fall of human consciousness..and that’s become reflected in an alienation, an internal fragmentation of the human being such that we’re not really harmoniously conjoined with our bodies and our emotions..we’re fragmented within ourselves as individuals and then also as communities we’re alienated from one another..and despite that alienation, or because of that alienation, we hold ourselves together by things like money and trade and law and language..but it’s a kind of strenuous and uncomfortable union which people aren’t really happy about and which does not subsist in love.

Lee:
Yeah…and we’ve discussed before and I for myself believe in the rule of law and democracy..those sort of…

Jonathan:
Yeah, we were talking in the context of this relative world that we live in, sure.

Lee:
In the context of this world…

Jonathan:
Well, I’m still criticizing it from an absolute perspective…

Lee:
Oh yeah..

Jonathan:
I mean I criticize the world we live in from an absolute perspective while affirming from within the relative world that certain systems are better than others. Do you see what I mean? You have to talk about things on the appropriate level.

Lee:
Yeah. But all of these constraints and restrictions indicate a flaw.

Jonathan:
Exactly, oh yeah.. .there should not be law, there should not be government, there should not be money, there should not be private property… not in the way that we understand it…I mean there should be respect of course for individuals. But the point is that everything should belong to everyone…and one’s desires should be… kind of sane... and conform to rationality.

Lee:
Perhaps…….

Jonathan:
I mean quite literally in a perfect world..the things that you would desire would be things that you truly, truly desired, and they would not be destructive of other people, and there would always be enough of them around, that everyone could have as much of what they wanted as they wanted. And whenever anyone asked you to give them something you would give it to them..because not that many people would ask, and they would’t ask for anything you couldn’t give…I mean this is the sensitivity thing. Do you know what I mean..? And you wouldn’t have evil desires, you wouldn’t have destructive desires, so you wouldn’t want to go around killing people..not because you’d be morally disciplining yourself and have learnt how to control your dark passions, but just because you wouldn’t have these dark passions. Instinct itself becomes purified.

Lee:
So communication really would be enhanced within human beings..

Jonathan:
Oh yeah of course..

Lee:
Almost to the point of telepathy..

Jonathan:
You could suggest that….or ….simply just a different way of using language..I mean I don’t know if you’ve noticed, having studied at university, and read a lot of books - maybe poetry and novels less so, but certainly academic literature and newspapers - how dualistic and adversarial the structure of our thought is..how, you know, every proposition or argument is countered by an opposing one..and that people think through oppositions, through arguments, as opposed to expansively and in an adventurous spirit, where they would try to sort of embrace the complexity of reality, peacefully and generously…and from a position of confidence..not seeking to defend or attack.

Lee:
Hmmmm. So this could be like the second strand…

Jonathan:
But this is like life when its free from the constraints of the moon, when you have the higher energies of the universe elevating our consciousness above that of this…where we find ourselves.

Lee:
So once the sufferings on this earth have been overwhelmed..hopefully as they will be one day..

Jonathan:
Yeah sure.

Lee:
There’s then the task of, well, reordering the….

Jonathan:
Well, actually to be quite honest I don’t know if we are or are not alone in the universe..in terms of physical, material bodies. I actually like the concept of matter, but at a certain higher level of velocity or…I like the notion that we will still have bodies but that..you’ll be able to walk through walls, if you want, and you’ll be able to travel long distances and I also quite like the idea of actually body transference, so I could be in your body for a few hours and you could be in mine.

Lee:
Yeah.

Jonathan:
You know what I mean?

Lee:
Yeah…but you weren’t suggesting that there might possibly only be matter..?

Jonathan:
Well, I think ultimately it all breaks down..I think ultimately everything is one..whether you want to call it spirit or matter is largely..semantics. The thing I like about matter is that it is private and unique, and personal and familiar..

Lee:
Yeah, I suppose it’s matter that gives us our individualism.

Jonathan:
Yeah, because otherwise you just join the oneness of undifferentiatedness.

Lee:
Yeah

Jonathan:
And that takes me back to my original question about why God created the universe..which was that he wanted multiplicity of form.

Lee:
So then a perfect world would still include matter.

Jonathan:
Yeah, and it would still include this earth and, like, Cambridge and Oxford. I definitely believe that in the world to come there will still be Cambridge and Oxford,and the Atlantic Ocean..and I like to think so and various places that people are emotionally attached to because its part of who we are..you know we are not just spirit, we are also body.

Lee:
Yeah, that’s good because I’d always imagined until fairly recently that the perfect world would really be the oneness of..the ethereal ocean of consciousness.

Jonathan:
Yeah, and with what within it? I mean, you know, what would that mean? That to me is the vision that humanity has when its so locked in suffering that its so desperately requiring and wanting not to suffer that it can’t get beyond anything more interesting than the oneness. You see what I mean? In one sense its true that suffering is the important thing, now, at our present level, because its such a serious business, because there’s so much real suffering in the world and in our own lives and stuff that, yes, the idea of the oneness is, one might think, enough, you know.

Lee:
Yes…I suppose it’s quite hard to imagine a perfection in a bodily sense, in a material sense, a corporeal….

Jonathan:
I don’t know…yeah, while there’s suffering. Its hard to know. But everything is my opinion and nothing I say should be taken on authority..I mean..test it for yourself..and if it seems wrong then…you know..let me know.

Lee:
Hmmmmmm

(Jonathan laughs)

Jonathan:
Because I don’t want to be responsible for filling your brains full of a lot of nonsense.

Lee:
Yeah….no but…

Jonathan:
But this is ultimately I suppose why I can’t….why I want something beyond Buddhism, something beyond enlightenment, for the human race. Because it begs the question..if the ultimate purpose of human creaturely existence is to transcend creaturely form, and to return to the oneness..it begs the question..why did the oneness create form in the first place?

Lee:
Yeah…it almost renders the creation sort of pointless.

Jonathan:
Exactly. So then you’d start having Gnostic ideas about the creation of the universe being a bad thing…

Lee:
Yeah.

Jonathan:
And of a fall…

Lee:
Yeah…..

Jonathan:
A fall into particularity…

Lee:
And possibly an archonite construction…

Jonathan:
Well, yeah..I’m not sure exactly how it works, but there is on the other hand definitely something wrong with nature, but I would argue that the problems we see in nature are consequences of the non-intimate contact between ourselves and the higher energies of the divine.

Lee:
Sorry, could you repeat that?

Jonathan:
Well, I think that the bad things in nature..like death, like suffering, like war, like conflict, like fear..are the result, are the consequence, of the fact that we are not in communion with…

Lee:
Oh, I see..

Jonathan:
…with the higher energies…so there was some kind of fall

Lee:
And possibly there’s an intermediary energy possibly hindering that process?

Jonathan:
Well I don’t like, yeah….. Ignorance I think is a big part of it, but then ignorance leads to conscious malice..and ignorance leads to pride and defiance, and, do you see what I mean..and then you start having hatred and anger and things like that.

Lee:
So…….. the forces then that are say responsible for the way of nature on this planet haven’t in your opinion killed the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Trinity?

Jonathan:
Well, I sort of take it for granted that that which preceded the creation of the universe is not capable of being destroyed by the universe.

Lee:
Yeah, I hope not…I don’t see how it could be..

Jonathan:
No, I don’t think it’s possible, I don’t think the created can destroy it….but then the glory of the incarnation of Jesus Christ is that the creator becomes the created and allows itself to be killed by the created.

Lee:
The creator becomes the created..and allows itself to be killed by the created.

Jonathan:
So that then eternity as it were is then put into the quarks and the subatomic particles of matter.

Lee:
Yeah…

Jonathan:
Such that the resurrection of God from death, the return of God to the transcendent brings the whole creation with it.

Lee:
Not in order for the created to become like the creator…

Jonathan:
To become like, yeah, but to remain the creation.

Lee:
Yeah..so embodying the creator in a created form.

Jonathan: Yeah, because I don’t think God has given up on the idea of creation.

Lee:
Maybe it’s still in process…

Jonathan:
Well, this is another idea..that the creation has never been finished..that it got somehow blocked and was suspended, and that we haven’t actually finished the 'Sixth Day'.

Lee:
It’s quite possible

Jonathan:
I mean, you know the food chain…with reference for example to humans eating fruit and animals eating berries..I mean, has this ever happened in the past? I doubt it. The standard Christian tradition is that there was a golden age in the past that we have fallen from, and maybe that’s the wrong way of looking at it. Maybe this golden age has never happened..
but it was prophesied, so it was put at the beginning of the Bible, but it’s never actually occurred yet. But I’m not being a dogmatist, because I could be wrong..and I feel slightly anxious and nervous saying these things as if they are sort of…

Lee:
But I think it’s ok because life on earth is flawed in many ways..and that in itself is indicative that creation is yet to reach its full potential.

Jonathan:
Yeah

Lee:
Yeah

Jonathan:
But whether this struggle and this dualistic attrition and oppositional dynamic was necessary for the creation of a perfect world or not I’m not entirely sure about.

Lee:
The struggle, my lord?

Jonathan:
The struggle between things.

Lee:
Lucifer?

Jonathan:
Well, yeah..some people, for example John Hick, and those influenced by Hegelian thought, would suggest that evolution, and the struggle of things, toward higher forms was necessary.

Lee:
Ok..to what end?

Jonathan:
To the perfection of the created order.

Lee:
I’m not sure I follow that..

Jonathan:
That struggle and conflict was an integrally important part of the progression of the universe towards an omega point of perfection…I’m not sure that I’m comfortable with that notion.

Lee:
No, I’m not entirely comfortable with that…it suggests that struggle and conflict was wanted by the creator

Jonathan:
Yeah, I'm not happy really about that to be honest.

Lee:
I mean why would he create an imperfect…

Jonathan:
Yeah, no…..I think things went wrong because there was a rebellion. I’m more happy with the idea of a rebellion.

Lee:
Hmmm

Jonathan:
Of the higher orders of the creation..

Lee:
Yeah, which…which resulted in..

Jonathan:
Things going wrong..

Lee:
Yeah, very early on

Jonathan:
Yeah, sure I mean I don’t know, but quite conceivably yeah.

Lee:
Hmmmm…and really yeah within, just taking the Christian faith alone, things went quite wrong early on in the organization of that…

Jonathan:
Well yeah, but that’s something separate, yeah, but it’s a separate issue..but then I would also want to argue that things going wrong in terms of the Christian revelation….did they go wrong or was it merely that Christ was just given to everyone, including Babylon and Greece and Rome. So basically, they made of Christ what they were capable of making of him..

Lee:
And still continue to do so to this day…

Jonathan:
And so its misguided and its flawed in its conceptions, in that its different from how God would like to be represented but it’s kind of inevitable that that’s what would have happened. I mean I like the idea that God both opposes Christian Babylon, or opposes the world, and loves it at the same time..I mean that’s what a parent is like to a child..I mean we see it in our own lives..you love your child even though you…

Lee:
Think it’s a prat..

Jonathan:
Disapprove and think its doing something wrong.

Lee:
Hmmm..

Jonathan:
And you also honour its free will in a sense so you recognize that the only way of forcing yourself on it would be to kill it..and maybe God doesn’t really want to do that very much…

Lee:
Yeah…would be a terrible shame..

Jonathan:
Particularly now that Christ has come and identified himself with the fallen creation..

Lee:
Yeah..

Jonathan:
So God has now put himself inside the darkness of the creation in a way that means it becomes very difficult for God now to hate his creation, because he sees very much that it is him.

Lee:
Hmmmm… the matter we discussed last night..I think both of us feel…

(Jonathan laughs)

that the notion that Revelation, as described by John, would result in the wholesale destruction of mankind, and the separation of the sheep from the goats..

Jonathan:
Well, the wholesale destruction of most of mankind apart from an elect few..

Lee:
Is inconceivable, it doesn’t tally with..

Jonathan:
Well, I hope it’s wrong..it doesn’t correspond with my understanding of divine love..

Lee:
No…nor mine..

Jonathan:
But then we could be wrong…aaah!:)

Lee:
Oh, you think there could be an argument for the…

Jonathan:
Well, I don’t know…maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think..I hope not.
I mean, I’m not going to start saying things which I don’t know for certain

Lee:
Would you mind me saying that, to quote you from a few years back, I think probably about 1994 when you said that the Christian notion of Hell…...or is that something we shouldn’t dwell on…

Jonathan:
No..yeah, I mean the idea would be that God created these people, these human beings, and, if you take Augustine’s Theology of Grace seriously, you have to basically believe that God decides whom he calls to salvation..and he doesn’t call everyone…so therefore you have to conclude that God creates people for the purpose of torturing them forever..

Lee:
Hmmmm..

Jonathan:
Er…and I think that’s a little bit more sadistic than simply killing people, which is what Hitler did…

Lee:
Yeah…

(Jonathan laughs)

and also…

Jonathan: Do you see what I mean?

Lee:
....and also just the scale of the thing

Jonathan:
Of course yeah..

Lee:
It would be ..panoramic.

Jonathan:
Hmmm

Lee:
Hmmm

Jonathan:
And so, the irony is that Christians are often, although they tend to drop bombs on people, you know, and put people in electric chairs in certain states, and have engaged in acts of war; but they are not necessarily bad, certainly not more than other people, it must be said….Er, generally speaking Christians are quite nice people and do mean well and do do good things..; it’s just that in their behaviour they can do good things but that in their belief structure they believe things which are totally hideous…and I find that irony quite arresting..

Lee:
Hmmm..

Jonathan:
That paradox arresting.

Lee;
Yeah..it’s almost as though they overlook the hideous element..

Jonathan:
I think maybe it’s to do with the shadow side of their own consciousness, and they haven’t quite integrated the shadow side of their consciousness. Maybe it’s because they are so good and loving, that the only way they are able to be that is by having this dark side, which they diabolise and project away from themselves, which they call hell, and that allows them to focus on the light amidst persecution or disappointment or amidst frustration….. I mean, for example, a Christian is called upon to love his enemy and not retaliate against those who hurt him. Maybe for certain Christians a motivating power that allows them to do that is the knowledge that these people who are persecuting them are going to get their just deserts in the next life..because, you know, it can be quite difficult to…er..u know, to forgive your enemy.

Lee:
Hmmm

Jonathan:
..and to love those who persecute you. So the idea of hell can give you motivation, or give you reassurance, that there is justice in the universe..

Lee:
Or maybe these Christians could be in very profound denial..and that they are therefore not aware of the interpretation..

Jonathan:
Yeah…the other problem that I have with the whole idea of hell is that I don’t believe that God calls people to his service in order to save them from the devil, or to save them from hell. I do believe that God calls certain people to his service but that he does that only for the purpose of using them to save other people, and to change the world…..u know transform the universe..do you see what I mean? So, the ultimate force and trajectory of God’s having “a people” is actually, the meaning of it is, other people, beyond the people of God..that’s the meaning of it. So, for example, God chooses Israel not to save it, not because he only loves Israel and because Israel is what matters and everything else can just go to hell…but that through Israel, Israel as his workmanship, or as his tool, he uses Israel to bring light to the ends of the universe, to the ends of the world….do you see what I mean? So, it has to be universalistic in its focus, in its goal…

Lee:
Do you think he chooses those people through the Holy Spirit?

Jonathan:
I don’t know. I’m not going to start saying things I don’t know about. I mean, in a way I don’t know about any of this..I have strong hypotheses and suggestions, and ideas, but I don’t have an idea about that so I’m not going to suggest anything…

Lee:
Perhaps it could be some visionary involvement for the chosen..

Jonathan:
Oh yeah, sure, though I don’t quite know why he would choose certain people and not others..but I think it’s also important that people have to agree. I mean the thing in the Old Testament that you get time and time again is not God just forcing himself on people, but they agree, they agree to the covenants.

Lee:
It’s difficult.

Jonathan:
You know, Jacob and Abraham and Isaac..you know, God said “will you do this”…if you do this then I will…blah, blah, blah..

Lee:
It’s difficult because the electing process risks the danger of becoming divisive.

Jonathan:
Sure, but then there are many times in the Old Testament that makes it clear to Israel that they are only special because of the election, not intrinsically, and that they are only special insofar as they, you know, abide with the covenant. Because otherwise they don’t deserve their privileged status, do they? I mean, why should Israel have all these blessings if they’re no different, they’re no better than the Assyrians, the Babylonians, and the Greeks and the Egyptians, because God also loves those other people, so why should Israel have any special rights if it’s not devoting itself to the service of others. And that is what I think is at the heart of what Israel means, you know, that it is the servant nation, and it hasn’t always co-operated with God. In the Old testament, time and time again they don’t follow the covenant and they misbehave themselves, and eventually they get booted out by, well, originally by the Assyrians, and then by the Babylonians and then finally by the Romans.

Lee:
…and then by various dynasties in Europe.

Jonathan:
I beg your pardon? What dynasties?

Lee:
Royal houses..

Jonathan:
I don’t understand..

Lee:
...in Europe

Jonathan:
I don’t understand, sorry

Lee:
..have expelled Jewish

Jonathan:
Well, yes, but I subscribe to the somewhat controversial idea, which I’m not 100% sure about, that one cannot equate the Jewish people with the entirety of Israel.

Lee:
Right, ok

Jonathan:
But the J-J-Judah, it comes from the 4th son of Jacob

Lee:
I see, so you see Israel as a much more, larger scale.

Jonathan:
Oh yeah, Judah is just, Judah is the southern Kingdom, yeah, which was taken into captivity and destroyed by the Babylonians in the 6th century BC, and allied with Judah is Benjamin, and some of Levi, and most of the Jewish people today are descended from Judah and Benjamin..I don’t know some people will dispute that, but they tend to be anti-semites, with their own agenda so, we’re not sure about that..but its not just non-Jews, its not just people who claim to be from Ephraim who say that they are Israelites its also now some Jewish people, for example Yair Davidy, who are sympathetic to these ideas.

Lee:
So what’s holding back the coming together of the tribes?

Jonathan:
I don’t know. Why should I know that? You’re looking upon me as an authority again..you know, I only have notions, I can only guess and speculate..I mean, everything that I’m saying could be wrong.

Lee:
Do you think there are flaws in the Judaic tradition?

Jonathan:
Well, yeah, I mean the main flaw for me is the fact that they reject Jesus Christ, but then on the other hand I would argue that that’s actually part of the plan, I would wager,

Lee:
Plan? Whose plan, my Lord?

Jonathan:
Well, the divine plan..the divine plan requires Jesus to be rejected of his own people.

Lee:
Really? In what manner of speaking?

Jonathan:
Well, crucifixion for example?

Lee:
Hmmm?

Jonathan:
Crucifixion?

Lee:
Yeah, but why does it require rejection, my Lord?

Jonathan:
(laughter) Because God wants to identify with the criminal and the lost, and the least, yeah?

Lee:
Yeah, oh I see.

Jonathan:
Through Jesus Christ God is humiliating our pompous, proud hierarchies, yeah?

Lee:
Yeah.

Jonathan:
And showing that he identifies with all creatures, not just human creatures but also animals..

Lee:
Including criminals..

Jonathan:
Not because he approves of crime but just because love conquers all and..

Lee:
Is all pervasive..

Jonathan:
And there’s also the sense that Judah is a very special tribe, they’re the fourth tribe, the Royal tribe, very precious and they always were, but they are a very proud people, and they are aware of their specialness….but the fact is it was these people who killed God..

Lee:
Right, yeah

Jonathan:
Now, this sounds a little bit like the old Deicist accusation, and that now I’m going to become all anti-semitic..only on the contrary, I think if God can love the very people who killed him, then it shows again, once again to the world, how loving he is; I mean if he can protect and preserve and glorify even people who killed him, again it shows his solidarity with humanity.

Lee:
Indeed, he may have even chosen Judah to do the killing, of himself?

Jonathan:
Well, he was himself of the tribe of Judah.

Lee:
We are talking about Jesus..

Jonathan:
He was a Jew.

Lee:
Yeah…oh, he was of Judah.

Jonathan:
Of course there are now Jews who accept Jesus, Messianic Jews

Lee:
Who accept him as the Son of God

Jonathan:
Yeah, and they accept him as the Jewish Messiah

Lee:
And they still correlate that with their faith, Judaism?

Jonathan:
Well, it’s interesting, isn’t it. They tend to believe in hell and all that sort of stuff, and they tend to be quite, I would say, Babylonian and Constantinian and Ireneus like in their outlook. So I’m not sure whether they are really introducing something new into the Christian tradition. I often get the impression that they are just Jews that become Christians.

Lee:
Ok

Jonathan:
And say for the sake of it: Oh, we’re Jews, when really they are just Christians, who are just using Jewish vocabulary to talk about the same stuff that Christians are always talking about..

Lee:
So u think that after 2,500 years, sorry 2,000 years we may

Jonathan:
Well, there were two events. 2,500 years ago would be the rise of Babylon, the rise of the empires, the retreat of God from history

Lee:
With the coming of Babylon? Oh, so relatively recently..

Jonathan:
And then 2,000 years ago you have the incarnation of the Son, or the different dimension of God, equal but less distant, in Jesus Christ. So, I see the two covenants overlapping, so the Old Covenant has been suspended and has yet to be reactivated. Though people could argue that we see it being reactivated, with the State of Israel and with what Yair Davidy is doing, and for example with the technological material, extraordinary things which are happening and with the rise of innocence, I would suggest, and the childlike nature of a lot of developments, and the crumbling of Babylonian systems of authority..

Lee:
And that could take…

Jonathan:
You know, I mean, and the innocence which we see, like the hippy movement I would see is a part of the kind of collapse of Babylon..

Lee:
On a small scale.

Jonathan:
I think the 20th century is full of all kinds of sort of indications of the collapse of Babylon, all kinds of things like feminism, u know communism was a part of it, the whole hippy thing, the whole breakdown of authoritarian structures..

Lee:
Yeah

Jonathan:
You know, because to me, God is all about liberation, not just of human beings but of the animal kingdom, because he is the creator of the universe after all, he is not something that human beings have dreamt up, in their pride.

Lee: Even the anti-capitalist movement, which may be misguided in some ways, as they seem to be attacking institutions..

Jonathan:
But the problem is that all this anti-Babylonian stuff is still atheist you see, it’s still Godless, it’s still materialistic but that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t work through these things. Basically you could argue that even since the Reformation what we are seeing is a kind of crumbling of Babylon, now accelerating rapidly, and we are beginning to see weird things happening, strange things happening….I mean I see it in terms of the rise of ancient Israel.

Lee:
So, you’ve got the suspension of the Old Covenant.

Jonathan:
Which is beginning to be reactivated at the moment

Lee:
And that is heavily Jehovah influenced

Jonathan:
Well, yeah..and the basis and application of the Old Covenant, the focus of its concern is not the individual, the focus of its concern is international politics…it’s the ‘world’…its in the newspapers, its to do with broad historical movements, its not about the individual.

Lee:
So fairly material and..

Jonathan:
Well, no, its mainly about groups of nations and peoples, and communities…like what the ‘Economist’ writes about. It doesn’t write about the fates of individual people. Its focus is international politics, international concerns between nations, and the peace of the world, and the state of the world, that is what I see the Old Covenant as being concerned about. I mean the Old Testamant does talk about individuals, it does give individual teachings, in the Prophets and Proverbs but its the story of the people of Israel and it’s a story about Egypt and Assyria and these other countries and big names and big groups of people, tribes.

Lee:
So, political really..

Jonathan:
Basically its about economics, society, politics, and not concerned with individual salvation.

Lee:
Or enlightenment…well, it is enlightenment, but of organizations.

Jonathan:
Well, the ultimate focus of the Old Covenant is the spreading of peace and love and joy and the destruction of suffering to the ends of the earth, so that the knowledge of God fills the Earth as the waters fill the sea. And other prophecies, such as the “Lion lying down with the Lamb” and peace, genuine peace, being indisputably evident in the earth. Now, this has not happened.

Lee:
So, in some ways you could equate it to the motivations of the Roman Catholic Church? Do you think?

Jonathan:
No, I would say its different from that. I would suggest that the Roman church, like most churches, is fundamentally concerned with the salvation of the individual. I’m just suggesting that the new Covenant is basically about Jesus Christ coming down to Earth and introducing something radically new, which is that God, who had formerly lived in the heavens and had given instructions and commandments to humanity from a great distance, and was mainly concerned with tribes and large groups of people, is now a human being talking to basically ordinary people like fishermen and carpenters and tax collectors, and hanging around with prostitutes. And he identifies with ordinary people, and he gets killed, and identifies with criminals and gets crucified..so its stuff like that, so it’s very different from the God on his throne above the heavens.

Lee:
It’s very much to do with the individual.

Jonathan:
Yeah, exactly.

Lee:
And the sensibilities..

Jonathan:
The Gnostics would say this contrast is too extreme, and that these are two different Gods. I don’t think so, I think it’s the same God but in two different applications.

Lee:
I see, yeah..

Jonathan:
Because the whole “international politics” thing is “on ice” because Israel basically said ‘No’ to God.

Lee:
Hmmm

Jonathan:
So for two and a half thousand years Israel has been put to one side and we have the rise of Bablyon, and the Babylonian system, and in the middle of that comes Jesus Christ.

Lee:
Yeah.

Jonathan:
I mean the Babylonian system is fully up and operational; the matrix of the Babylonian system is fully functional and operational when Jesus comes.

Lee:
Yeah..

Jonathan:
And he is killed by Babylon, by the Babylonian system and is then adopted by it.

Lee:
So do you think the time is right for some sort of, are we arriving at a juncture?

Jonathan:
Yeah, because what I think what needs to happen is that the Old and the New covenants need to cross over.

Lee:
Yeah.

Jonathan:
And one of the fundamental parts of this is what has been traditionally known as the ‘conversion of the Jewish people’. You see because what I see at the moment is that if what we say about the twelve tribes is true, the Northern Tribes have been Christians for a very long time..; ok Babylonised Christians, dominated by mystery, notions of heaven and hell, and the afterlife and oppression, and all kinds of problems but still Christians.

Lee:
Quite insidious..the Babylonian Christianity..

Jonathan:
But it’s part of the whole system that arose inevitably because Israel was disloyal and broke its side of the covenant.

Lee:
Hmmm

Jonathan:
You know, don’t blame Babylon too much. Someone had to regulate the world. The point is, it’s not as things should be..

Lee:
So an intermediary but necessary phase in the evolution of the Earth.

Jonathan:
What the Babylon?

Lee:
Yeah.

Jonathan:
Well, basically what God says is “I want to help the earth through my people Israel and they will be a light and all the people will see Israel and the light of Israel and all will be well with the world; but they say no.”

Lee:
Yes..so until they say ‘yes’

Jonathan:
Other people have to be given the opportunity to rule the world..like the Greeks and the Romans and the Assyrians and the Babylonians. I mean its all a part of Babylon. I mean the Roman is the biggest thing, that has lasted the longest…indeed until this day to an extent.

Lee:
But then there can be a collaboration between Old Covenant and New Covenant.

Jonathan:
Yes, but the link is the Northern Tribes, because that is the connection. You see the unique thing about the Northern tribes is that they are both Israelite and Christian. Whereas the Jews are Israelites without being Christian and the non-Israelite Christians are Christian without being Israelite; you see, so the key is the lost ten tribes – that is the link between the Old and the New Covenants.

Lee:
So you see a role for the Lost Ten Tribes then?

Jonathan:
Oh God, yes.

Lee:
And to do….?

Jonathan:
Well, many things really. To reanimate and reactivate the Old Covenant by uniting Israel, the twelve tribes of Israel, and also to purify Christianity of Babylonian notions, because to be fair and to give thanks to the Jewish people, they have kept alive a lot of non-Babylonian understandings of the Godhead which Christianity hasn’t. I think everybody has got something good, I want to be charitable to everyone. You know I’ve said some nasty things about the Jewish religion, but they have done a lot of good. They have kept alive pre-Babylonian understandings of the deity and they are perhaps the only ones in the world to have done that, so I think they could purify Christianity..and ultimately it’s all about the transformation of consciousness, isn’t it? But I definitely believe in providence, I believe that there is a secret plan being worked out, but on the other hand I could be totally mad..that’s what I’m saying, I could be totally mad, so I’m not, you see, so I don’t want to be responsible for what I’m saying; I don’t want you to turn round and say “Oh my God, Tillotson deceived so many people..he led them into a pit of hell, because he was wrong. No”.

Lee:
So you are not categorically…

Jonathan:
Well, even if I did, you know, people should test ideas for themselves. To me, I see problems in Christianity, I see problems in Judaism, I see problems in the world, and for me this is my imaginative sense of making sense of it all. And the missing link in history, and in theology, seems tome to be the lost ten tribes.

Lee:
My concern is, say, where would Muslims and Hindus..

Jonathan:
Do you want any more wine?

Lee:
No, not yet thanks..where would non-Christians..where would the non-Judeo-Christian peoples fit…

Jonathan:
Well, again you’re phrasing your question as if you expect me to know. I mean, as I say, I don’t like this idea, which is why I don’t want to be a priest..because you phrase your questions as if you expect me to have answers.

Lee:
Well, in your model?

Jonathan:
Well, I’m not sure…er some of them will be Israelites no doubt...and of course you have to remember that Israelites are in no sense intrinsically superior or more valuable to God; but merely have a particular role to play. As for God working in other ways through non-Israelites, yes indeed and why not, especially given, as I say, Israel’s somnambulance as it were and historical rejection of the covenant. And as for Islam well, I don’t know about Islam; I mean I see Islam as the religion of the children of Ishmael.

Lee:
Ishmael was the son of Abraham?

Jonathan:
Of Abraham and Hagar. Isaac’s elder brother.

Lee:
He was a bad sort was he?

Jonathan:
No.

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