So, what would the world look like if Jesus had yet to be born? Okay, let’s play it out and let our minds expand. First, I’ll set some guidelines. I’m going to assume that it is likely our world is older than we think, perhaps millions of years old. Since this isn’t an academic paper I don’t feel compelled to provide references but if you inquire I’ll do my best.
Some traditions maintain that our planet has seen at least two prior civilizations on a large scale, one about a million years ago, called Atlantis, and the other as much as 15+ million years ago, called Lemuria. How Lemuria came to be is like watching STAR TREK on steroids, but again, according to some, over the next 850,000 years the Lemurians spread across the face of the planet. They founded daughter colonies such as Atlantis, Yu which is now Central China and Tibet and the Libyan/Egyptian colonies. Understand that again according to some these people were highly advanced, using force fields, etc, and equally spiritually advanced. For instance, Atlanteans, during some portions of their evolution were clairvoyant and guided by Great Teachers. Unfortunately, the people allowed darker groups to gain control and bad things began to happen. The Divine Teachers were banished and several global catastrophes occurred, the worst being that Atlantis sank into the ocean. This occurred 800,000 and 200,000 years ago, and the tail end of that great civilization saw FLOODS in about 75,000 BC and then finally, in 9564BC. World religions almost universally speak of the flood, even though but a fraction of the reality has been preserved or recorded.
The story of Atlantis was told by Plato (more on him later) and goes like this: Once upon a time, there was a mighty power based on an island in the Atlantic Ocean. This empire was called Atlantis and it ruled over several other islands and parts of the continents of Africa and Europe. Atlantis was arranged in concentric rings of alternating water and land. The soil was rich, the engineers technically accomplished, the architecture extravagant with baths, harbor installations, and barracks. The central plain outside the city had canals and a magnificent irrigation system. Atlantis had kings and a civil administration, as well as an organized military. But when it waged a war on the remainder of Asia and Europe, Athens showed its excellence as the leader of the Greeks, and triumphed over the invading forces. After the battle, there were violent earthquakes and floods, and Atlantis sank into the sea, and all the warriors were swallowed up by the earth.
Before you say, “this is insane,” there is mounting evidence that the Sphinx and Great Pyramid are hundreds of thousands of years old, predating the widely accepted start of humanity. If true, does this mean that Atlantis might have existed?
My conclusion is that no matter how far fetched I might consider history, all things are possible (well, at least many).
No matter the names, we have always had Guides to follow—or not. In Greece during the third and fourth centuries before Christ, the Greek philosophers Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle were concerned with how people could live a virtuous life that was in harmony with their city, their culture, and the natural world. Disciples of these great teachers would later form a number of schools of philosophy. By the time of the early Christian church, the teachings of these schools had spread throughout the Mediterranean world.
Socrates lived from about 469 to 399 B.C. and believed that philosophy could tell people how to live a good life. Because of his interest in virtue, he is often considered the founder of ethics.
Plato, a student of Socrates, lived from about 428 to 348 B.C. and started a school called the “Academy,” which continued for more than nine hundred years. Plato's teachings, written in his Dialogues, have been among the most influential in the history of Western Civilization. Plato believed that Reason (in Greek, called logos) was the nature of the universe, controlling things from within. When he thought about how the world was constantly changing, Plato looked for things that do not change, which are represented in the things that do change. He called these “Forms” or “Ideas.” Plato thought that when we call things by a general name, such as Beauty or Courage, we do so because there is a permanent Idea or Form of Beauty or Courage underlying each individual example of it. He believed that these Ideas or Forms, which are the meanings behind physical laws and material things, are what is truly real. Plato also believed that the human soul was immortal, and that the soul is superior to the body. According to Plato, it is the soul that makes us what we are, and that the highest responsibility of people is to “tend the soul,” so that it is acceptable to the gods.
Aristotle lived from about 384 to 322 B.C. and was a student of Plato at the Academy. When Plato died, Aristotle left Athens and became a teacher of Alexander the Great. When Aristotle returned to Athens, he began a school called the Lyceum, where he taught that the knowledge of a thing requires an understanding of what caused it. Unlike Plato, he believed that form caused matter to move, and that the only pure form was God, who was the cause and goal of all motion. Aristotle's teachings, recorded by his students, cover many fields, including ethics and logic, the natural sciences, politics, physics, and poetry.
It is interesting to see the relationship between these philosophers, especially Aristotle, and the leaders of Judaism, which had been around nearly a thousand years. A lot of present day Judaism thinking is based on the philosophy of Aristotle. The medieval Jewish scholar Maimonides went so far as to write that with regard to mundane topics Aristotle’s views are superior to the opinions on such topics of the prophet Ezekiel, in other words it is not the task of a prophet, but of a philosopher and scientist, to explore and explain the natural world; the prophet’s task is to bring God to the world. He states that Aristotle reached the highest level of understanding a human being can reach short of prophecy, and calls him the greatest of philosophers, though he refuted many of Aristotle's basic tenets of philosophical speculation, especially his postulations regarding man's duty in the world.
Well, this is surely enough for one article and should either pique your interest or send you running away. Anyway, I just wanted to show that there is a lot of history to visit when playing the “what if” game. The next article will talk about the prevalent religions just prior to the change from BC to AD. (What would the calendar look like without Christ? I don’t know.)