Ahh! We’re finally returned to Portugal’s invasion of Malacca. Let me get this straight. The Bronze Age mentality infected the entire northern part of the Eurasian landmass - from China to Japan to India to Persia to Rome to Russia to feudal Europe. This aggressive mentality derived in turn from the militarism of the conquering Steppe cultures It seems so widespread that it almost seems natural to humans.
Was there anywhere that it didn’t exist?
This Bronze Age military mentality and its extreme class structure - with the warrior at the top and the woman at the bottom, didn’t seem to exist in the cultures of Southeast Asia. They were essentially tribal - with few big cities. Also strangely enough it didn’t exist in the Bible based Semitic cultures - i.e. the Jews and the Arabs. Both of these also had tribal societies.
Ironically, the militarily dominant nomadic cultures only turn hierarchical after they’ve enslaved an indigenous culture. Unto themselves they tend to be more egalitarian - at least where men are concerned. The Jewish and Arabic cultures, while patriarchal are not hierarchical. Hence the Muslim religion, which derived from the nomadic Arabs, appealed to the Malays with their non-class based tribal societies. Perhaps this is why the Arabs and Malays meshed perfectly for over a thousand years before the Christians arrived.
What about the Christian cultures? They too were derived from the Biblical culture of the Jews. Would this not make them egalitarian rather than hierarchical?”
Eurasia: “They might have been if they had not been corrupted or co-opted by my Aryan derived civilizations. First Emperor Constantine adopted Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire. Aligned with the patriarchal Christian bishops - devoted to Faith, he brutally suppressed the rival Gnostic sects - devoted to Knowledge. This was the first corruption.
Both the behavior and teachings of Jesus indicated that he was opposed to the militaristic class system. He was a pacifist, who believed that all humans were equal, befriending both prostitutes and tax collectors alike. Note that women were included in his equality. This was incredibly radical for the militaristic herding cultures of the Jews and Arabs, who treated women like their animals. The attitude of Jesus towards women as equals was to have momentous consequences for the development of Christianity.
With equality in mind he chose his disciples, the 12 Apostles, from all walks of life. After he died, these Apostles split into two distinct sects. The questioning of Saint Thomas, one of the Apostles, led to the Gnostic sect of Christianity. Based upon Knowledge, they were attempting to understand and follow the teachings of Jesus - to know his Truth - gnosis. Hence their name.
A second sect emerged, which was based upon the Belief in the miracle of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. This was founded by Saint Peter - who had denied Jesus 3 times during his Crucifixion - but then had been converted into a True Believer after Jesus’ departure from this plane. He was so overwhelmed by seeing Jesus alive after he had witnessed his Crucifixion that all of Jesus’ teachings and examples went out the window. The only thing that mattered for Peter and his followers was that one believed in the Miracle, which included the Resurrection and Divinity of Jesus. The teachings of Jesus became secondary to his Ascendance into Heaven and avoidance of Death.
Because Peter - and the early Church fathers who followed him, ignored Jesus’ teachings of social equality and pacifism, this made their form of Christianity much more palatable to the military establishment of Rome. However at this time the Roman Empire tended to be tolerant in terms of religion, as were most of my Bronze Age Empires. After all these military cultures had conquered a multitude of indigenous peoples with an incredible variety of beliefs. As long as tribute was paid and there was no trouble, anyone could believe whatever they wanted.
However as the Roman Empire began to degenerate and fragment Constantine needed a glue to hold it together. The Divine intervention of a Dream combined with practical necessity brought a Dream Team together.”
Constantine: “Hmmm. In my dream crosses were on the shields of my victorious army. That’s the Christian symbol. But that Gnostic sect is downright annoying with their pacifism and demands for social equality, However the Christian sect with their emphasis on one religion, one God, and by extension one country could work to my benefit. Plus their Holy Book has many stories of military victories behind their God. This is the kind of God I can relate to. Forget about those Gnostic pacifists. Who cares about Jesus’ behavior, anyway? But the Jews say that it is their god, Jehovah, who brings military victory. But these Christians say that Jesus’ Resurrection changes all that. Now the military god is behind any nation which believes in the Miracles surrounding Jesus. Sounds good to me. I could use some help keeping this Empire together. Guards call in the Christian leaders.”
A group of bearded patriarchs enter the throne room.
Constantine: “Hey guys. I would like to make an offer that you can’t refuse. Join with me to rule the world or be fed to the lions at the Coliseum, next Sunday. What do you say?”
Jerome: “Hmmm. Let me think. Do we have to compromise our beliefs?”
Constantine: “Not at all.”
Jerome: “What’s the catch?”
Constantine: “The only condition is that I want to merge your Christian God with the God of the Jews.”
Jerome: “Merge Judaism and Christianity. Forget it.”
Constantine: “That’s OK. No hard feelings. My lions were getting hungry anyway. And the masses need some amusement. Guards.”
Jerome: “On second thought, it’s important to cooperate with your friends. Why do you want a merger anyway?”
Constantine: “I like the Jews military god. He sort of reminds me of Jupiter and Mars combined. Except he’s not quite so tolerant. I need someone like that on my side to whip my people into line. They’re getting a little jaded and hard to deal with. And to honest your Christian God is a little wimpy for my taste. Lacks a punch.”
Jerome: “What kind of merger were you thinking of?”
Constantine: “Well their God - What’s his name?”
Constantine: “Right. Jehovah. Yeah I like his style. A few well placed lightening bolts or curses to aid his believers in their battles. Anyway Jehovah is connected with the Holy Book of the Jews. So I want to associate your Christian Church with their Holy Book. What do they call it?”
Jerome: “The Bible.”
Constantine: “The Bible? What kind of name is that?”
Jerome: “It just means ‘The Book’ as in ‘The Ultimate Book’. The word Bible is derived from Byblos, a Phoenician city that exported papyrus, the material used for scrolls. By association Byblos came to mean papyrus and then by extension the scrolls or books made from papyrus. The Israelites picked up on this and called the combination of their Torah, their ancient history including genealogy, and their more modern history and writings, the Book, or the Bible.”
Constantine: “So their Bible is the only Book just like our God will be the only God. And, if you join with me, your Church will be the only Church. Sound good?”
Jerome: “What’s not to like?”
Constantine: “But we’ll need to put an addition onto their Bible.”
Jerome: “An addition?”
Constantine: “The Jews are a little too exclusive. Their God Jehovah only supports them. While this Jesus of yours said that anyone of any nationality or social standing is included as long as they believe in Him and by extension His Church, which you will be the head of. Are you following this?”
Jerome: “Yes. Sounds good so far. Go on.”
Constantine: “Well, we’ll have to put an extension onto the Jewish Bible to make sure everyone understands that everyone is included, as long as they cooperate, er I mean believe. I hate misunderstandings. They can be so messy.”
Jerome: “So you want a Christian extension to the Jewish Bible. I have no objection to that.”
Constantine: “So lets see, what are we going to call this addition?
Jerome: “Addenda to the Bible?”
Constantine: “No - makes it sound too secondary. Hmmm?
Jerome: “How about Bible: Part II?”
Constantine: “Good idea to write our own Bible rather than just adding on to theirs. But this name needs improving. Bible Parts I and II sounds far too technical. No crowd appeal. Let’s think.”
Jerome: “What’s the point of your addition again?”
Constantine: “I like the militarism of Judaism, which is stressed in their Bible. I don’t want to throw out this baby with the bath water. But I want to stress that everyone is included in Christianity.”
Jerome: “That makes sense. After Jesus, God changed the terms of the Deal. Before only the Jews were included in God’s Deal but after the Crucifixion anyone who believes in Jesus is included.”
Jerome: “Sure. If the Jewish leaders followed Jehovah, he would make them a great nation.”
Constantine: “Exactly. That’s why I want Jehovah on my side.”
Jerome: “I’ve got it! We’ll call the whole thing the Bible. We’ll call the Jewish history with their Torah, the Old Deal. And then we’ll call the Christian writings based upon Jesus’ life, the New Deal.”
Constantine: “Not quite. You sound like a chariot salesman - someone from a marketplace. We need something with a little more pizzazz.”
Jerome: “Hmmm. How about the Old Testament and the New Testament?”
Constantine: “Perfect. Now that we’ve got the name, we just need the material. Have all your top writers submit their work. Then we’ll have a council at Nicea, where we’ll decide which books will be included and which ones won’t. Is that acceptable?”
Jerome: “Of course.”
Constantine; “And remember guys, if you know what’s good for you, you won’t include anything with a Gnostic twist. Their emphasis on Jesus’ teachings of pacifism and social equality drive me crazy.”
Jerome: “We’ll stress the belief that Jesus is the son of Jehovah, the military god of the Jews.”
Constantine: “Sounds great. But we’ll have to drop the name of Jehovah. It would be too confusing. We’ll just call him God. Just like we’ll call our book, the Bible - the ultimate Book.”
Jerome: “And our Church will be the only Church.”
Constantine: “And God will give me my great nation for converting all my citizens to belief in him only. After all he is exclusive, just like me.”
Jerome: “Right boss.”
Eurasia: “This marriage of an exclusive religion with their militaristic politics allowed the Roman Empire to continue for quite some time. The second corruption of Christianity occurred when it was co-opted by my Aryan based Germanic culture which conquered all of western Europe in the late centuries of the first Millennium. The original Church, which had previously been based in Rome, had moved to Constantinople by this time. Further the pacifist teachings and behavior of Jesus had infiltrated this original Church. The Byzantine Empire, inheritors of the Roman Empire, attempted to negotiate rather than fight when possible.
However Charles Martel’s feudal system had proved so effective, that Western Europe was on the rise militarily behind Charlemagne, Martel’s grandson. To take advantage of this political shift the church in Rome aligned with Charlemagne and his Germanic tribes, the Franks, to establish the new Holy Roman Empire, which was independent of Byzantine influence. Up to this time the Church in Rome had been subservient to the Patriarch of Constantinople - the spiritual leader of the Christian Church since Constantine moved the Empire. This Western European alliance established Rome as an independent power with the Pope as the leader of Western Christianity. This separation into Eastern and Western Christianity was formalized by the Great Schism at the beginning of the 2nd millennium.
In the meantime waves of Germanic invaders continued to ravage Europe, becoming rulers of their feudal states. Like Constantine before them, they were not impressed with the growing pacifism of Christianity. The ‘turn the other cheek’ philosophy was opposed to the glorification of the warrior inherent in Aryanism. Jockeying for temporal power, the Pope in Rome wanted to tap into this aggressive energy.
At this same time the Muslims were knocking on the doors of Byzantium. The Emperor of Byzantium requested help from his Christian brothers in the west. The Pope had found his opportunity. Inspired by the Muslim success, he issued a proclamation that anyone who died for God went straight to Heaven. Simultaneously he proclaimed a Holy War on the Muslims in the Middle East to give his Germanic warriors a chance to fight and die for his spiritual cause. This merger of the exclusive religious beliefs of Christianity with the militarism of Aryanism fueled wars on my continent for centuries and still does.
In typical Aryan fashion a few military leaders of Europe established themselves as overlords of a larger indigenous population. Then these overlords, after having established their turf, which was entire countries, would fight it out amongst themselves for dominance. This included convincing their slaves to fight as their army for their great nation that God had promised them for believing - not understanding. Some things never change.
The most notable of these battles between the overlords for dominance of their section of the planet was in World Wars I and II. However these wars were just a culmination of the Aryan infighting that had dominated Europe for millenniums between the Slavs of Russia - the Germanic overlords of England, France, and the German princedoms - and the Latin military aristocracy of Italy, Spain and Portugal. Slav, Germanic and Latin are all Aryan cultural derivatives.
The Muslim religion itself was also co-opted by the Aryan based Persian culture within a few generations after its inception. The Sunni branch is related to the hierarchical Persian corruption while the more fundamental Shiite branch has attempted to remain true to the original egalitarian, albeit military heritage of the Arabs.”
Jesus: “However my words reign supreme. While the political structures used my prestige for their own power hungry ends, my teachings began to seep out and inspire smaller religious communities which were divorced from the power structure. So when those who were attempting to follow my practices reached the untamed wilderness of the Americas, they came in the form of small religious groups who were attempting to escape the hierarchical Aryan/Germanic overlay of European Christianity – to establish, egalitarian communities based upon my teachings. While belief in my Miracle was still important, knowledge of my beliefs was given equal importance.
However even in American the battle continued between the military hierarchy and my egalitarian view of culture. Initially when the country was first settled there was an attempt to set up mini-kingdoms, especially in the South – in North Carolina in particular. And then after the Revolutionary War Hamilton and Jefferson epitomized the battle between the elite aristocracy and the populist view of human equality. Still today the battle continues with the wealthy attempting to control the world by using the army of the USA to do their bidding.
However, internally at least, America is still a relatively classless society, where an attempt is made to adhere by my Christian idea that all humans are created equal. Further my idea of classless equality returned from the USA to France to inspire the Revolution that overthrew the aristocracy in France. Then Napoleon went a conquering - overthrowing many of the other military aristocracies throughout Europe. Hence, while my prestige is frequently co-opted by the military industrial complex to do its bidding, my teachings have ultimately led, internally at least, to a more egalitarian society.
Unfortunately the Euro-American warlords, who rule the world, still attempt to limit the spread of these human rights. They certainly don’t practice the pacifism I preached and practiced; and they certainly don’t attempt to extend these basic human rights to the countries they conquer. But, despite frequent setbacks, my philosophies of social equality and pacifism continue to spread throughout the world, albeit slowly.”
Anyway back to the spine of this book. When Portugal conquered the trading cities of the East Indies, including Malacca, to establish a hegemony over the spice trade, they were a military aristocracy motivated by the Christian/Aryan idea of cultural as well as military superiority. The notion of a conquering military aristocracy that was biologically and spiritually superior to the indigenous agri-cultures translated into an idea of cultural superiority over any other culture in the world. The concept of colonialism derives from this perception.
This was one reason the Spanish and Portuguese brought their priests with them to convert the local population. They were at least making an attempt, however feeble, to include the populace of the conquered cultures in their elite circle. If they converted, they too would be part of the Catholic Empire with all the potential benefits. As we shall see, this was much different from the Protestant Christian wave which followed.