One of our faithful readers, a frequent letter writer, wants to know if we “believe that the Bible has truths that answer many of the questions to [Atlantis Rising].” He thinks we should devote more space to “Christian answers.” Even though we talk in these pages a lot about subjects with religious implications, this is not a religious publication; and we try to stay out of matters that we consider mostly personal. In this case, though, we will comment.
From the outset, Atlantis Rising has attempted to provide insights, unavailable elsewhere, on ancient mysteries, unexplained anomalies, and future science. We have never endorsed any particular sectarian perspective, and we have tried hard not to preach. We do, however, honor and respect many creeds from around the world, and we strive to present them in a balanced way.
While we may have opinions on most of our material, we still devote considerable space to notions with which we do not necessarily agree. These are in areas, though, that we think deserve consideration, even if not widely known. Others may, and frequently do disagree with us. Christianity (which we honor and respect here) is not suffering from any lack of discussion of its tenets. Other worthy paths, though, do not, we feel, receive anything like the attention they deserve. In the limited space available, we would like to do what we can to help balance the scales.
My dad was a lifelong student of the Bible, and a fundamentalist preacher. He made certain that his son was well versed in the conservative Christian doctrines in which he passionately believed. Before I had learned to read, he made sure that I knew, in detail, most, if not all, of the stories from the Bible, the very words of which, he told me, were directly inspired by God. The last word in any argument, he said, had to be ‘scripture’ (with chapter and verse, if possible). Nothing else was really needed. The notion that any other source could have an equivalent authority was not only frowned on, it was considered blasphemous and the work of the devil.
“We know the Bible is inspired,” he told me, “because the ultimate authority—‘the Bible’—says it is.” The circular nature of that argument eventually dawned on me, and I came to see that the light in its pages is also visible in many other ancient teachings from East to West. The driving force in much of my dad’s constant evangelism, I ultimately realized, was an intense fear of hell fire and damnation. The ‘hell’ that he believed in, I decided, made no sense as the work of a benevolent creator. Such preaching was, instead, I suspected, the legacy of very mortal religious leaders, interested more in control of their flocks than in any spiritual liberation. If ‘spiritual freedom’ is the gift of God, I reasoned, then its denial could not be the work of the creator of a world where there is so much ‘amazing grace.’
As the ancient worldwide fable of the seven blind men and the elephant made clear to me, while the reality of the ‘elephant’ can be approached in many ways, its real image is visible only to those who see it for themselves and don’t need ‘blind men’ to describe it for them.