the love of impartial investigation
Jun 22, 2006 04:11 AM
I liked this quote from G.R.S Mead
Did Jesus live 100 BC ?
In the Talmud's Outer Court p.106
"Indeed the whole subject bristles with such disheartening difficulties on all sides that I
have been frequently tempted to abandon the task, and have only been sustained by the
thought that my sole reason for taking pen in hand was simply to point out some of the
more salient difficulties, and to exclude from the outset any expectations of a more
And not only are the difficulties connected with questions of history and of fact
disheartening, but the whole subject is, as we have seen, involved in an atmosphere of
such a painful nature that one would gladly escape from it and leave the dead to bury their
dead. But the past is ever present with the eternal soul, the dead come ever back to life,
and there is no rest till we can forgive one another, not when we have temporarily
forgotten but while we still remember.
_We write not to fan into fresh flame the smouldering fires of ancient hate, but with far
fairer hopes. The times have changed, and older souls have come to birth than those who
raged so wildly in the Early and the Middle Ages, and there are wiser minds to-day than
those unyielding formalists on either side who shut the freer life of greater things out of
the synagogues of Jewry and from out the Catholic churches of the Christian Name.
For man is man though he be Jew or Christian, mind is mind though it give praise to
Yahweh or worship to the Christ, and none but bigots can deny there is growth for every
soul in its own way by virtue of its special guide and code of ancient lore.
But sure as destiny a day will dawn when every soul will reach to manhood and begin to
learn the way of greater things, and once a soul sets foot upon this way passions fall off
from it, and it can gaze into the face of history unmoved.
_And many are already fast nearing the birthday of their manhood, for there is little doubt
but that the love of impartial investigation, which is ever more strongly characterising
every department of learning in our own day, is paving the way towards a new era of
thought and comprehension, in which the values assigned by the past to many things will
be entirely changed; particulars will no more be throned above universals, nor will the
temporal thoughts of men rank higher than the ever-present Thought of God, But from
this fair hope of order to return to the puzzling records of a disordered past."
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