Movie Reviews: Zeitgeist

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movies

Zeitgeist on Christianity Sep 13, 2009

Zeitgeist: Christianity (2007)
Rating: star star star star star (5 stars out of 5)
Director: Peter Joseph
Genre: Documentary
Run Time: 118 minutes

3-Part Movie
Zeitgeist is a thoroughly researched and controversial movie that's broken down into 3 segments - Christianity, 911 and the Federal Reserve. Every section is choc-full-of-information that I decided to create a separate review for every section, beginning with Christianity.

CHRISTIANITY

Christ Did Not Exist
The basic tenet of this section argues that Christ is a politically manufactured myth as a way for the church to control and manipulate people. It's asserted that Christ is a personified astronomical phenomena, and is supported by the fact that several cultures, some pre-dating Christianity, parallel Christ in its mythology.

Christ's Attributes
Let's take a closer look at the attributes of Christ and the astronomical/astrological phenomena that offer to explain such attributes:

  • Jesus is believed to be the son of God, the truth, the light, the lamb of God - the sun has long been regarded by many cultures to be the giver of life. Through it, the seasons change, dictating the time for planting, harvesting, etc. Without it, life as we know it, ends. The savior is thus as personification of the sun.
  • Jesus has 12 disciples - there are 12 astrological zodiac signs to which the sun (the savior) aligns itself to in the procession of the equinoxes.
  • 3 kings followed the star from the east to lead them to the birthplace of Jesus - on Dec. 24 from the east, the brightest star on the night sky, Sirius, aligns with the 3 brightest stars on Orions's belt (called the 3 kings by many cultures). The 4 of them align to where the sun rises on Dec. 25. Thus the 3 kings follow to where the sun is born (sunrise).
  • Jesus was crucified, lay dead for 3 days and resurrected on the 4th day - Between Dec. 22 to 24th during the winter solstice, a curious thing happens - the sun perceptively stops moving south and seem to hover at its lowest point on the horizon, under the crux (cross) constellation. On the 25th, the sun moves a degree north, foreshadowing warmer days and warmth. So, the sun died on the cross, lay dead for 3 days and then resurrected

One Too Many Christs
The movie cited numerous mythologies that permeated many cultures around the world that closely paralleled Christ: Horus from Egypt (3000 BC), Attis of Greece (1200 BC), Krishna of India (900 BC), Dionysus of Greece (500 BC), Mithra of Persia (1200 BC), the list goes on. Christ's similarities to the Egyptian Horus is so staggering, it's outright plagiarism.

Historical Proof Christ Existed?
So, is there historical proof of Christ's existence? The movie talks of 3 non-biblical historians who had a brief citation of a Christ, not a person but a title, meaning the anointed one. The 4th source, Josephus, has long been proven to be a forgery, albeit still cited as true. Interestingly, the historians who lived during Jesus' time never wrote about a man of miracles who traveled with 12 disciples, healed the sick, brought the dead back to life, died and resurrected. In any day and age, that would have made it to front-page news.

Ending Thoughts
I'm far from being a traditionalist, specially not when it comes to religion. I welcome strong arguments going against popular belief for as long as the logic holds up. To me, the recurring features of a savior spanning time and space across many cultures is the most compelling argument that supports the hypothesis that Christ is simply one of many astronomical personification of early man's deference to the heavens and compliance to the rhythm of nature.

But even at that, I'm saddened to think Christ did not really exist. Even as an atheist, I regarded Christ as a good man (not a god)...someone who walked amongst us...an enlightened one whose heart and thinking transcended the norms of his time.

At the same time, I never doubted the church's intention to use divinity as an instrument of control. Religion has always been a staple used by governments to herd its citizenry to abandon critical thinking and subscribe to blind obedience. Religious myth is by far the greatest and most potent form of control any government has at its disposal.

--- TheLoneRider

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Reader Comments:

TheLoneRiderTheLoneRider
(Oct 8, 2009) ...my dear Faz, your insight is always a refreshing occasion to pause, reflect and evaluate. Thank you for your insight.




Michael Fazackerley"what exactly are you buying...and what are you not buying (the thing you call unbalanced)?" -- TheLoneRider
Michael Fazackerley
(Oct 8, 2009) I certainly would not deny that the story of Christ is not necessarily an historical one. As a whole I feel that looking upon the bible stories as a literal history is...well...I don't want to say wrong. Let us say: limited. There is, of course, much more to Christianity and it's texts than the story of Christ, central as good ol' JC may be. I tend to turn this on its head. That the stories, philosophies, and legends of many cultures over a (relatively) long period of time should coincide makes sense to me. A dominant theme within the nature of reality/religious truth is one of unity. From the many come one, and vice versa. Naturally our search for meaning/religion began with observable phenomena. The sun, the moon, the stars. Because we are human though we have always related and digested the phenomenal world through ourselves, through a human lens. This is where stories come from in the first place, for how can we transmit a sense of phenomenal experience and what it means without a story of some kind. Even when I studied evolution I realized that to come up with an evolutionary explanation required a story. So, we still haven't digressed from a notion that astrological phenomena spawned the story in the first place. That is fine. It can be seen to re-frame the purpose of the story in the first place. Which to me, from the Christian perspective, is that the heavens are a thing of God's creation; and so too are we. I find it is often easy to get bogged down in an either/or sort of scenario. As Barbara Ann Brennan explains, one of the next steps forward in the evolution of human consciousness is to be able to allow for the existence of and/both in the course of phenomenon.

So, to come back to the Messiah lens: Jesus is a procession of astrological phenomenon AND a man who is the incarnation of God. Jesus's message, to my mind and heart anyway, is that so too are we. Don't get me wrong here. I don't consider myself a Christian anymore than I consider myself any other labelled belief system. I see the common themes. You will find this message across many a belief system. Buddhism for example is more popularly renowned for this notion of cosmic harmony and oneness, almost jokingly so. The thing for me is that between astrology, Mayan prophecy, Buddhism, Christianity, Vedic faith, Taoism, and Shamanic practice I see this same message.

The notion of balance I refer to, is that there always seems to be a fight implied by what people present. There isn't an openness. To me it seem obvious that Zeitgeist was created and compiled under the main direction of a single person, or a host of similarly believing people, who come from a 'left wing' anti-oligarchy 'look out for big brother' sort of mentality. This is not to say I do not believe this is not a good perspective to keep in mind. I do believe it is. Content, however, tends to get skewed when you become entrenched to a particular point of view. What I try not to buy, on a continual basis, is that it is necessary for me to surrender to an either/or kind of mindset. It is divisive in it's essence. Neutrality even requires one to believe in the existence of the polarized views that you put yourself between. What I seek to embrace is what could be termed a certain 'truth'. If we put aside this notion of a 1 or a 0 as the only possible way to compile an understanding then there starts to be more unity. That your scepticism is roused by the 911 interpretation seems to me a healthy thing. Certainly there is some truth to what is being said, but the particular lean the message is coming from, and its necessary bias, starts to become more obvious.

Forgive me these run on rants. I would prefer to be more concise and cogent. I still find these concepts hard to 'talk' about because I still wrestle with the concepts involved myself. I hope you find what I have written intelligible.


TheLoneRider "I find I cannot buy their explanation anymore than I buy the story offered in the bible as a wholesale truth either. Thoughts?" -- Michael Fazackerley
TheLoneRider
(Oct 7, 2009) I don't mind buying wholesale as long as the logic holds up. However, on the 911 section, there are just too many red flags in the movie's arguments for me to buy it wholesale....but that is not to say the movie's arguments are not compelling. It's on my review list. I'm more curious to know though, from your end, what exactly are you buying...and what are you not buying (the thing you call unbalanced)?


Michael FazackerleyMichael Fazackerley
(Oct 7, 2009) I happened to catch a reference to Zeitgeist on your facebook page. I am curious to know your thoughts on it. I had a local acquaintance recommend it to me about a year ago. After some time elapsed I finally sat down to watch it. I find I cannot buy their explanation anymore than I buy the story offered in the bible as a wholesale truth either. I never buy wholesale. I like good value but being quick to snatch up a bargain can lead to the acquisition of cheap goods.

Other possibilities have been proposed on the notions of the bible's fabrication of course. Daniel Quinn's Ishmael presents it as a sort of counter-propaganda foisted upon early agrarian conquerors by the hunter-gatherer nomads they dominated. It is not unlike the myth of the indigenous people of north america giving tobacco to 'the white man' as a spiteful gift. A none too subtle 'fuck you'. I do not buy that story either. From what I know of shamanic traditions tobacco is a sacrament that would never be given with spite...but I digress.

Overlaps in mythology and religion are certainly interesting. I have read quite a number of books on these subjects and many of the religious texts themselves. The overlap is certainly notable. For earlier civilizations there is direct evidence that deities where changed in name, position, and/or abilities and attributions based upon the wishes of the current ruling hierarchy. That said, I find I cannot abandon some sense that there is something to the stories themselves that the conspiracy theorizing of zeitgeist overlooks. It seems to me a kind of counter-propaganda that is just as unbalanced as slavish adherence to literal and fundamental interpretation of the bible stories. The astrology angle is but one lens to my mind. A lens that is popular to those currently occupying 'leftist' positions on the political spectrum. Popular too, to grab onto evidence that would seem to lead to the Mayan Prophecy of 2012. Well, I remember when we did all this back in 1999. It was pretty silly.

Recent participation with the local Institute for Contemporary Shamanic Studies also has me meeting with frequent mention of the 2012 deadline. Really?! I will be the first to say that I do not know but I still find the idea that we know the end/beginning time rather preposterous. I might identify them as superstitious leftovers. Somehow I do not imagine that the clear minds of the East are giving it much credence.

Thoughts?


Michael Fazackerley "...do you have any suggestions to what I might source next?" -- Vivian Shaw
Michael Fazackerley
(Oct 9, 2009) Ishmael by Daniel Quinn would be a good book to take in. It is quite sweeping in how socio-political points of view have done a great deal to construct our world view, religious politicos included. Quinn takes a unique approach to exploding these myths.


TheLoneRider "...do you have any suggestions to what I might source next?" -- Vivian Shaw
TheLoneRider
(Oct 7, 2009) Hmmm....I don't know if this follows your paradigm-flow, but I've seen this movie, What the Bleep Do We Know? It talks about our mind manifesting our reality (vs. our minds adjusting to the reality that surrounds us).


Vivian ShawVivian Shaw
(Oct 7, 2009) I am watching this Zeitgeist movie because I was talking to by brother two days ago and he told me about it and said I must see it. As fate has it you have brought it directly to me so thank you for that. I have been exploring with a very open mind these days...God/spirituality, its importance in our lives, its control, the miracles and blessings I receive each day.

The information in this movie is very interesting and I will be researching it further.....do you have any suggestions to what I might source next? I just finished reading a book called Nano: Technology of Mind Over Matter by Kabbalist Rav Berg.


TheLoneRider "Watch the part-two entitled Zeitgeist Addendum" -- Orenz
TheLoneRider
(Oct 6, 2009) I've already seen it too....another "awakening" movie. It just takes too long for me to come up with a review...eats up the entire day!


OrenzOrenz
(Oct 6, 2009) Watch the part-two entitled Zeitgeist Addendum :)


»» next Zeitgeist Movie Review: Zeitgeist: 911
»» next story: Nunelucio Alvarado's Art Exhibit at Art19b

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