This is a study of comparison between Shanti Deva, an 8th Century Buddhist teacher and Ignatius Loyola, a 16th Century Roman Catholic mystic, founder of the Society of Jesus or Jesuits, a male religious order of the Roman Catholic Church. This study was originally laid out so that it could be printed and the pages placed side by side for an synoptic view. Copying to the website lost the spaces for viewing synoptically.
As an Introduction we begin with one of the Dances of Universal Peace.
Opening Dance: The Mind Can Go In A Thousand Directions – Thich Nhat Hanh 
Ignatius Loyola - 1491-1556 Basque Country of Northern Spain
A loyalist to the Spanish Crown, in battle, Ignatius was stuck in the leg by a cannon ball. It did not heal properly and so he had them break it again. During his convalescence he was bored and had no chivalrous tales at hand and so he read the life of Christ and lives of the saints. In reading the lives of these saints he was deeply moved and asked himself, if they could do it, why not I? He set out to imitate them and was blessed with mystical experiences, perhaps the most profound of which was on the banks of the River Carbonear in France. He undertook great penance for his sins as he had been a wild man courtier and very interested in women. Out of his quest and reflection upon his experience he wrote the “Spiritual Exercises,” which is a spiritual retreat of 30 days. The time is roughly divided into 4 weeks, the length of each week depending on the progress of the retreatant. Week I (which will be our main focus) reflects on “sin,” “repentance,” and commitment to the unconditioned Love of God. Week II concentrates on the life of Christ from birth through the public life. Week III brings one into the passion and death of Christ Week IV is on the resurrection of Christ All of this to deepen one’s commitment to God through Christ.
We will be mainly concerned with the First Week of the Spiritual Exercises using the First Week as a basis of comparison with the Buddhist approach through Pema Caldron and her presentation and commentary on the “Way of the Bodhisattva.”
Shantideva “God of Peace” 8th Century India [1a]
Destined to inherit the throne. 2 stories:
1. The night before his coronation he “had a dream in which Manjushri (bodhisattva of Wisdom) appeared to him and told him to renounce worldly life and seek ultimate truth. Thus Shantideva left home immediately, giving up the throne for the spiritual path, just as the historical Buddha had done” (p. xi, No Time To Lose)
2. “The night before his enthronement, his mother gave him a ceremonial bath using scalding water. When he asked why she was intentionally burning him, she replied, ‘Son, this pain is nothing compared to the pain you will suffer when you are king,’ and on that very night he departed.”
Shantideva lived the life of a “renunciate.” Eventually he arrived at Nalanda University, the largest and most powerful monastery in India, attracting students from all over the Buddhist world. (p. xii)
1. Shantideva was not well liked there. He never participated in any of the classes and gatherings so he was presumed to know nothing and would be shamed and humiliated into leaving.
2. In order to get him to participate they invited him to give a lecture. They built an unusually high throne with no steps. Shantideva got up on the throne with little difficultly and asked whether they wanted to hear traditional or something they had never heard before. They chose the latter. So he delivered “The Way of the Bodhisattva.” After that he left Nalanda and never returned, living as a wandering yogi for the rest of his life.( p. xii)
Similar words are used by Ignatius and Shantideva but the implications are very different 
Ignatius Spiritual Exercises
#47 "...here in a meditation on sin the representation will be to see in imagination my soul as a prisoner in this corruptible body, and to consider my whole composite being as an exile here on earth, cast out to live among brute beasts. I said my whole composite being, body and soul.” [Having a body is clearly not seen as a natural state. This probably goes back to Augustine the influence of Manichaeism on him. In that philosophy, matter is evil and spirit is good. Augustine’s carnal indulgence before his conversion was a great source of guilt and shame for him.]
#48 (what to pray for) “Here it will be to ask for shame and confusion, because I see how many have been lost on account of a single mortal sin and how many times I have deserved eternal damnation because of the many grievous sins that I have committed.
#55 (what to pray for) “Here it will be to ask for a growing and intense sorrow and tears for my sins.” #57 “I will weight the gravity of my sins and see the loathsomeness and malice which every mortal sin I have committed has in itself....” #59 (4) “I will consider all the corruption and loathsomeness of my body.” (5) “I will consider myself as a source of corruption and contagion from which has issued countless sins and evils and the most offensive poison.”
#63 (1) “A deep knowledge of my sins and a feeling of abhorrence for them; (2) An understanding of the disorder of my actions, that filled with horror of them, I may amend my life and put it in order; (3) A knowledge of the world, that filled with horror, I may put away from me all that is worldly and vain.”
Buddhism - Shantideva and Pema Chodron’s commentary No Time To Lose [2a] Shantideva: 5.60 (p. 137) “...this body, claiming it as though it were yourself? You and it are each a separate entity. How ever can it be of use to you?” (when you are dead)
5.66 (p. 140) “ As second best, it (the body) may be kept As food to feed the vulture and the fox. The value of this human form Lies only in the way that it is used.” Pea: (p. 140) “The value of this human form is in the way we use it. Without our bodies, we can’t attain enlightenment. But if we lie in hope and fear about its condition, it won’t be a useful vehicle for getting to the other shore.” 5.70 (p.141) “Regard your body as a vessel, A simple boat for going here and there. Make of it a wish-fulfilling gem To bring about the benefit of beings.”
Sin: Shantideva: 2.31 (p. 39) “All the evil I, a sinner, have committed. The sin that clings to me through many evil deeds; All the frightful things that I have cause to be...” Pema: (p. 40) “Trungpa Rinpoche,..translated the Tibetan word dikpa as ‘neurotic crimes’ rather than ‘sin,’ choosing a psychological rather than an ethical interpretation. Words that identify us as fundamentally marred don’t seem helpful. Without them we’re more likely to feel inspired to connect with our inherent strength and goodness.”
Shantideva: 5.32 (p. 119) “...a sense of fear and shame.” Pema: (pp. 119, 120) “‘Fear’ refers to understanding the consequences of giving in to the habitual tug of the kleshas (stuff we are really hooked on). It is not fear of anything external; it is the fear of causing our own suffering. We know we don’t want to keep going in that direction, that we want to stop.” “Shame is a loaded word for westerners. Like most things, it can be seen in a positive or negative light. Negative shame is accompanied by guilt and self-denigration. It is pointless and doesn’t help us even slightly.” “Positive shame, on the other hand, is recognizing when we’ve harmed ourselves or anyone else and feeling sorry for having done so. It allows us to grow wiser from our mistakes. Eventually it dawns on us that we can regret causing harm without becoming weighted down by negative shame. Just seeing the hurt and heartbreak clearly motivates us to move on. By acknowledging what we did cleanly and compassionately, we go forward.” Pea: (pp. 36- 37) “When we do something we wish we hadn’t, we don’t’ remain oblivious. We acknowledge it with what Dzigar Rinpoche calls ‘positive sadness.’ Instead of condemning ourselves, we can connect with the openhearted tenderness of regret. Thus the habits of self-deception and guilt have a chance to whither away. This is the essential point of the practice of confession. [see below for a consideration of the practice of confession.]
Shantideva: 5.61 (p. 138) “Why do you protect and guard an unclean engine (your body) for the making of impurity?”
#65 Meditation on Hell: “...see in imagination the length, breadth, and depth of hell.”  (What to ask for) “Here it will be to beg for a deep sense of the pain which the lost suffer, that if because of my faults I forget the love of the eternal Lord, at least the fear of these punishments will keep me from falling into sin. #66 “..to see in the imagination the vast fires, and the souls enclosed, as it were, in bodies of fire.” #67 “To hear the wailing, the howling, cries, and blasphemies against Christ our Lord and against his saints.” #68 “With the sense of smell to perceive the smoke, the sulphur, the filth, and corruption.” #69 “To taste the bitterness of tears, sadness, and remorse of conscience.” #70 “With the sense of touch to feel the flames which envelope and burn the souls. [Aquinas states: “...sin itself is already a punishment.” Summa Theologica II, IIae, q. 30, art. 1, ad. 1. ( as quoted in Gandhi on Non-Violence, introduction by Thomas Merton, p. 12.]
Confession: Ignatius: #44: urges a general confession Catholic versions of the act of contrition:
1. Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended thee. And I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell. But most of all because I have offended thee, my God, who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen
2. Used at liturgy: I confess to Almighty God, to Blessed Mary, ever virgin, Blessed Michael the Archangel, the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul and all the saints, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, and deed. Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore I beseech Blessed Mary, ever virgin, Blessed Michael the Archangel, the Holy Apostles, Peter and Paul and all the saints, to pray to the Lord, Our God, for me.
It is clear in these forms that sin is primarily an offense against God. The resolution is found in the sacrificial death of the Incarnate Word. The practice of blood sacrifice goes back to the invading nomad tribes from the Russian Steppes and out of the Sinai Desert who bred animals and women. It is evidenced by war lords found buried with their things, animals, women and children. [see Appendix I] The practice of human sacrifice comes up in the Hebrew Scriptures but is not ultimately looked upon favorably, but then there is the story of Abraham and Isaac which then gets high attention in the “Sacrifice” of Christ to the Father to make up for human sin. [see note 1, Appendix I]
There is, of course, always the danger of rote institutional practice of confession, leading to the rote individual practice of confession as well as the rote recitation of prayers which does not require attention and focused attention.
Shantideva: 4.25 (p. 89) “And when the body burns so long In fires of hell so unendurable, [3a] My mind likewise will also be tormented–Burned in flames of infinite regret.” 5.2 (p. 104) “Wandering where it will, the elephant of mind, Will bring us down to pains of deepest hell. No worldly beast, however wild, Could bring upon us such calamities.” 5.4 (p. 106) “Those who guard the prisoners in hell,...” 5.7 (p. 107) “ The hellish whips to torture living beings– Who has made them and to what intent? Who has forged this burning iron ground? 5.20 (p. 113) “For fear of being crushed beneath the cliffs of hell?”
Sin and forgiveness from the perspective of the Aramaic language and spirituality of Yeshua:
Sin: Gospel of Matthew: “debts, offenses,”(from te Greek); from Aramaic also, “hidden past,” “secret debts,” “hidden stolen property,” “any ‘inner fruit’ that affects the intelligence and the soul negatively.” Luke: usually translated as “sins,” also, “failures,” “ mistakes,” “ accidental offenses,” “ frustrated hopes,” or “tangled threads.” Forgiveness: “forgive,” “return to its original state,”– very Buddhist! “reciprocally absorb,” “reestablish slender ties to,” “embrace with emptiness.”
Confession: Pea: (p. 36) “...Shantideva presents the practice of confession or, as Trungpa Rinpoche translated it, ‘laying aside our neurotic crimes.’ Whenever we do something we wish we hadn’t we give it our full, compassionate attention. Rather than hiding our mistakes from ourselves and others, we forthrightly declare them. By acknowledging them to ourselves we avoid self-deception. In certain circumstances, we may also declare them to someone else, as witness to our wise intention. To see clearly how we strengthen or weaken our crippling patterns, we have to bring them to light... The role of others, whether it’s the great protectors or our friends, is simply to hear us out, without judging or needing to fix us. In this way confession overcomes ignorance, or lack of self-reflection.”
Shantideva: 2.27: (p. 37) “To perfect buddhas and bodhisattvas, In all directions, where they may reside, To them who are the sovereigns of great mercy, I press my palms together, praying thus: 2.28: In this and all my other lifetimes, Wandering in the round without beginning, Blindly I have brought forth wickedness, Inciting others to commit the same.
2.29: I have taken pleasure in such evil, Tricked and overmastered by my ignorance. Now I see the blame of it, and in my heart, O great protectors, I declare it.”
2.65: (p. 51) “l pray you, guides and guardians of the world, To take me [3b] as I am, a sinful man. And all these actions, evil as they are, I promise I will never do again.”
The four powers of confession: (p. 37) 1. recognition of misdeeds with positive sadness, 2.28 2. reliance on basic wisdom, 2.27 3. remedial action, 2.29 4. the resolve to do our best to not keep making the same mistakes. 2.65
The 3rd power: Remedial Action or “Opposing Power” Having recognized the unfortunate things we do, this action allows us to resolve the past, thus freeing us to move beyond repression and guilt.” “Examples of remedial action range from classical to contemporary practices. The Vietnamese master Thich Nhat Hanh, for instance, worked with an American veteran of the Vietnam War who could not shake his overwhelming guilt for having killed innocent bystanders. For him, the healing action was to return to Vietnam and spend time helping people in distress. In the same spirit, if we’ve killed animals in the past, perhaps now we could protect them.” (p. 38)
Death: Spiritual Exercises: #71 “If the one giving the exercises judges that it would be  profitable for the exercitant, other exercises may be added here, for example, on death and other punishments of sin, on judgement. etc.”
Penance: Spiritual Exercises #82: “The tenth Additional Direction deals with penance. This is divided into interior and exterior penance. Interior penance consists in sorrow for one’s sins and a firm purpose not to commit them or any others. Exterior penance is the fruit of the first kind. It consists in inflicting punishment on ourselves for the sins we have committed.”
There are people who have been recognized as saints who have done extraordinary penances. They have lived on a pillar, they have beaten themselves, worn chains, eaten no food or water while being sustained only by Eucharistic Bread. They have eaten glass and pus. Remarkably, God has honored this in some cases by sustaining them. Ignatius himself, did so much harm to his body that at the autopsy, doctors wondered how he could have lived, in view of what his insides looked like. Ignatius had the gift of tears, the only mystic to have been noted for this gift. However, his doctor had to tell him to cool it because it was going to cost him his sight. So he did cool it and retained his sight. Because of the overboard nature of his own penance, he comes up with clear guidelines of prudence for those making the Exercises.
Shantideva: 2.32: (p. 40) “Before my evil has been cleansed away, it may be that my death [4a] will come to me.” 2.33: (p. 40) “The wanton Lord of Death we can’t predict...” 2.34: (p. 40) “And we must pass away, forsaking all, But I, devoid of understanding, Have, for sake of friend and foe alike, Provoked and bought about so many evils.”
Shantideva: 5.18: (p. 113) “...I will seize This mind of mine and guard it well. What use to me so many harsh austerities? But let me only discipline and guard my mind.” 6.2: (p. 161) “No austerity (is there) to be compared with patience.”
Pema: “Just as harshness doesn’t work to tame a wild animal, it also doesn’t work to tame the wildness of our minds. Rather than the austerities of some traditions, Shantideva encourages us to use gentleness to train the mind.” (p.113)
Meister Eckhart: Original Blessing, p. 205 “Asceticism is of no great importance. There is a better way to treat your passions than to heap on them practices which so often reveals a great ego and creates more instead of less self-consciousness. And that is to put on them a bridle of love. The person who has done this will travel much further than all those the world over practicing mortifications together would ever do.” W. H. Auden: Original Blessing, p. 287 “As a rule it was the pleasure haters who became unjust.” ____________________________________________________________________________ My way of Integrating Christianity and Buddhism in the light of the above Godde is love and intimately present to each of us uniquely intimately and personally. Godde does not take sin personally. Forgiveness is always offered, and the out-stretched crucified arms of Yeshua are the affirmation of Godde’s forgiveness which is ever-offered. Yeshua is also offering the model that we eat and are eaten. In Eucharist, we commit ourselves to become what we receive. Forgiveness is always offered, before, during, and after our destructive behavior. It is up to us to do the process of acknowledgment and ownership, forgive ourselves as gratitude to Godde for Godde’s unconditioned, unlimited forgiving love. We are empowered and companioned by Godde’s love and cherishing to wake up and live consciously and intentionally. The practice, on the cushion and off the cushion deepens our self-cherishing and the cherishing of other people and all creation. This is to the glory and praise of Godde who is love. Listen to song from “Missa Gaia” by Paul Winter: “Mystery. Closing Dance: Nada Te Turbe -- Taize (Theresa of Avila)
It lives in the seed of a tree as it grows You can hear it if you listen to the wind as it blows It lives in a river as it flows into the sea It’s the sound in the soul of a man becoming free.
It lives in the laughter of children at play And in the blazing sun that gives light to the day It moves the planets and the stars in the sky It’s been the mover of mountains since the beginning of time.
Oh Mystery, you are alive, I feel you all around You are the fire in my heart, you are the holy sound You are all of life, it is to you that I sing Grant that I may feel you, always, in everything.
I can hear it in the waves as they crash upon the beach I have seen it in the gods that men have tried to reach I feel it in the love that I know we need so much I know it you your smile, my love, when our hearts do touch.
But when I listen deep inside I can feel you best of all Like a moon that’s glowing white, and I listen to your call And I know that you will guide me, I feel you like the tide Rushing through the ocean of my heart that’s open wide.
Missa Gaia (Earth Mass) by Paul Winter
“The Old European (Neolithic) belief system focused on the agricultural cycle of birth, death, and regeneration, embodied in the feminine principle, a Mother Creatrix. The Kurgan ideology, as known from comparative Indo-European mythology, exalted virile, heroic, warrior gods of the shining thunderous sky. Weapons are non-existent in Old European imagery; whereas the dagger and battle-axe are dominant symbols of the Kurgans, who like all historically known Indo-Europeans, glorified the lethal power of the sharp blade.” [ Journal of Indo-European Studies, 5, Winter 1977, Maria Gimbutas and found here in The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future, by Riane Eisler, HarperCollins Publishers, Inc, 1987, p. 48] Note here the reference to the contrasting agricultural and herding peoples. See the story of Cain and Abel, The Book of Genesis, chapter 4, verses 2a-5a. “We also read in the Old Testament of indentured servants, what the King James Bible calls menservants and maidservants, and how the law provided that a man could sell his daughter as a maidservant. Most tellingly, when a man servant was set free, according to biblical law his wife and her children remained behind–the master’s property.” [See Numbers 32; I Chronicles 5.] “But the men who made the rules that would maintain this socioeconomic order did not talk in such crass economic terms. Instead, they said their edicts were not only moral, righteous, and honorable but the word of God. And to this day, having been brought up to think of our Sacred Scriptures as the product of divine, or at least moral, wisdom, it is hard for us to objectively look at the Bible and see the full significance of a religion in which the supreme, and only, deity is male.... The Bible is indeed primarily concerned with what is right and wrong. But what is right and wrong in a domination society is not the same as what is right and wrong in a partnership society [see Appendix II] ... To the extent that it (teachings of Judaism and Christianity) reflects a dominator society, biblical morality is at best stunted. At worst, it is a pseudo morality in which the will of God is a device for covering up cruelty and barbarity.” (Eisler, pp. 95-6) [See Numbers 31.]
Note 1: (see Genesis 22) In the famous Abraham incident, God is here clearly male in the relatively new but now strong cultural tradition. It would be unthinkable on Abraham’s part to do anything but what God commanded. God changes his mind and provides a ram to be sacrificed in place of the beloved Isaac. The male God just wanted to see if Abraham would comply. Astoundingly (or not), this story becomes useful in Christian Sciptures, providing a context to explain the forgiveness of human sin. Yeshua, the innocent “lamb” (see Hebrews 9:11-14), like the “scapegoat” on the Day of Atonement, (see Leviticus 16:20-21) carries the sins of all humankind for all ages. The Father God arranges his murder( by the most barbaric painful method known by the Romans of the time) to atone, make up for, forgive all this sin. And, as the doctrine goes, since sin is primarily a personal offense against an infinite divine Father God, the sacrifice of the infinite, divine, Son is alone sufficient to re-establish balance. Thus the long barbaric tradition of blood sacrifice continues. Appendix II
Gematria as employed by the writers of the Synoptic Gospels
In the ancient world of Greece, the famous philosopher, Plato, received from a previous era the meaning of certain numbers. This system was called gematria.. Gematria is based on the fact that there are no separate characters for numbers in classical Greek. Each of the 25 letters of the Greek alphabet was used as a number and each number value carried a symbolic meaning, based on the symbolic numbers of their cosmology, universal numbers. The first 9 letters of the Greek alphabet represent the numbers 1-9. The 10th through 17th letters represent the numbers 10 through 80. The 18th through 25th letters represent the numbers 100 through 800. For example, then, the first letter, alpha, has the value of 1, and the last letter, omega, has the value of 800. Hence, to speak of Godde as the ALPHA and the OMEGA would have the value of 801. The fundamental number associated with the eternal feminine or lunar principle in the ancient canon of sacred geometry was 1080, the oriental Yin. The fundamental number associated with the eternal masculine or solar principle in the ancient canon of sacred geometry was 666, the oriental Yang. The following words or sets of words are familiar from the Gospel material: The nine Greek letters of the word translated as dove, have the numerical value of 801, an anagram or alternative for 1080, (i.e. backwards plus a “0") The ten Greek letters of the two words translated as fountain of wisdom, have the numerical value of 1080. The thirteen letters of the two words translated as the Holy Spirit, have the numerical value of 1080. The ten Greek letters of the two words translated as the Magdalen, have the numerical value of 153. [153 is the universally recognized number of the “measure of the fish.” This number was commonly used as an abbreviation of the fraction 265/153, the ratio used to represent the square root of three (just as 22/7 was used for the ration of a circle’s circumference to its diameter— “pi”). A Vescia Piscis ( ) with a horizontal axis of 1 has a vertical axis of 265/153. Among Greek mathematicians, this shape was called simply the “153.” The measure of the fish was formed when two circles intersect, and the sacred ( ) shape was extremely important in ancient geometry, for it represented the “womb” or “matrix” of all other geometric derivations.] The fourteen Greek letters of the two words translated as mustard seed, have the numerical value of 1746. 1746 is the sum of 1080, the feminine principle, and 666, the masculine principle. Its meaning is integration”. [The above material is taken directly from The Goddess in the Gospels, by Margaret Starbird, Bear and Company, 1998, pages 155, 156, 157, 158, 159, 160.] ______________________________________________________________________________ Ancient Middle Eastern tradition paired the feminine and masculine in divine characters. Three sets are 1) Inanna and Damuzi, of Sumerian origin; 2) Ashera and aye-Asher-Aye (what Moses heard at the burning bush) of Hebrew origin. Ashera was worshiped in the Jerusalem Temple for 3/4 of its history. She was the counterpart of the One whose name was not to be pronounced and whose image was not to be made.); 3) Ast and Usari, of Egyptian origin. [This bottom section is taken from the tape by Neil Douglas-Klotz, “A Native Middle Eastern Cycle.”]
What I believe to be the authentic “Yeshua Tradition” diverges sharply from mainline Christianity in many ways. One central divergence is the Trinitarian Doctrine of male plenitude—Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Margaret Starbird thinks that the Book of Revelation or Apocalypse (“lifting of the veil”), warns the Yeshua-following communities of the time, not to divinize Yeshua, thus re-enforcing the already male dominant model. Starbird interestingly points out that the Book of Revelation NEVER refers to Yeshua divine. [see note 1] The Holy Spirit conveniently (to the male dominant system) changes gender from feminine in Aramaic, Hebrew, and Arabic, to neuter in Greek, to masculine in Latin—the official language of the Roman Catholic Church. The language may change in other Christian churches, but the masculine Spirit remains, because it strikingly contributes to the “male” bias of institutional Christianity. The more a denomination tends toward fundamentalism, the stronger the commitment to the male dominant model.
note 1: “But the beliefs of Christians about the identity of Jesus were not formulated overnight. They were the result of decades and finally centuries of Christian experience and revelation, struggle, and soul-searching. Christians of the “Johannine”community, centered around the Gospel teaching of the fourth Gospel traditionally attributed to the apostle John, equated Jesus with the “Word of God” (Logos) and developed a relatively “high Christology.” They considered themselves more enlightened than those Christians who followed the apostolic tradition of James and Peter, who had a comparatively “low Christology,” denying that Jesus and God were one and the same being. For these “Jerusalem” Christians, there was only one God, the Holy One of Israel, the God of Jacob and Moses. Disciples of the apostles in the Jerusalem community regarded their Hellenized brethren with apprehension; they perceived them as idolaters. The closer one remained to Jewish roots, the less likely one was to share the high Christology of the so-called Johannine school.” Margaret Starbird, Magdalene’s Lost Legacy: Symbolic Numbers and the Sacred Union in Christianity, Bear And Company, 2003, p. 90.
“The term theos– “god” in Greek–is never applied to Jesus in this book (Revelation). While God is referred to by the name pantokrator (“almighty”) nine times in the text, the term is never applied to Jesus. Clearly the Jewish author of the Apocalypse does not ascribe absolute equality with God to Jesus, nor does he embrace the high Christology of the Johannine community. The visionary of the Apocalypse encoded in his work the belief that it is wrong to attribute equality with God, the Almighty One, to his human “anointed” servant and lamb, the historical person Jesus. Numerous ancient texts were written by authors who used a pseudonym to increase the prestige attached to their work, and this appears to be the case here. The choice of the name “John”by the staunchly Jewish author would thus be an ironic twist, since the compelling visionary experience of this John actually attempts to correct what he believes is the distorted high Christology of certain Christians who in his view have been misled by the other John–the Evangelist–in his theological interpretation of the nature of Jesus.” Ibid. p. 93.
“I believe that the Apocalypse is an attempt by the visionary to warn his Christian brethren that the idolatrous worship of the visibly masculine solar/power principle embodied in the Risen Christ will cause disasters to be poured out upon the earth. Whether the worship is offered to the Roman emperor or to the crucified king of the Jews, according to the visionary John, it is in both cases idolatrous because it substitutes a created image of God for the ultimate “unseen Reality”–the Holy One hidden behind the veil.” Starbird, ibid. p. 96.