God Rock Radio #266 -A Brief History of The Divine – Part 6 (Gnosticism)

In the latest entry in the highly acclaimed mini series , Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia examines the mysterious , bizarre and outlandish religious movement – Gnosticism , which flourished along side and within Judaism and Christianity during the first to fourth centuries AD. The Gnostics sought knowledge and wisdom fro many sources and accepted insight wherever it could be found – so they absorbed diverse religious and philosophical texts.  From scared Jewish literature and Christian documents, to Greco /Roman Paganism and the religions of ancient Egypt , Mesopotamia and India.  Dualistic in their viewpoint (light vs. darkness) The Gnostics regarded the human body as a type of prison and the soul trapped within -longed to escape it and the evil material world and thus return to the transcendent and divine. While there was a wide variety of Gnostic sects, the ethics of these gnostic systems was the basic alienation from the world which was expressed in two extreme forms – sexual promiscuity and sex magic and a more pessimistic and repressive view, asceticism. Because of their opposition to authoritarian discipline , their liberal attitudes toward sexuality and the importance of the divine female principle (Sophia) to the enlightenment and salvation of humanity, the gnostic sects were persecuted by the Orthodox Christian church. Jack digs deeply into the surviving treasure trove of Gnostic texts , sacred stories, creation myths and spiritual narratives that were profound in the context of a religious cult in the hope of providing salvation for those that believed. Amazing literature overflowing with psychedelic imagery and parallels to the Old and New Testaments.

God Rock Radio #265 – A Brief History of The Divine – Part 5 (Greece & Rome)

The world of Ancient Greece was very diverse but their rites ,rituals, cult practices and their pantheon of Gods and Goddesses had enough in common to be viewed as one religious system. Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia travels back to the Aegean during the 3rd and 2nd Millennium BC and examines the origins of this Greek religious system hat developed over the course of centuries. The Minoans worshiped the Great Goddess and filled their palace sanctuaries , cave shrines and mountain peak temples with sacred stones , pillars , bull horns and representations of snakes and double axes that paid homage to the divine feminine principle. When the war like Mycenaeans became politically dominant they absorb the Minoan traditions but their divine war God , the archaic prototype for Zeus , Poseidon and Aries soon overshadows the Goddess. Jack also examines the role of The Iliad & The Odyssey in the Greek conception of deity.  A divine society of supernatural beings who live more or less together on Mount Olympus and kept the universe in divine order and prevented it from falling into chaos. then Jack travels back to the Ancient Mediterranean and examines Roman religion. A religion of the state that was interwoven into Roman society. Where the proper performance of prayers, rites, rituals, ceremonies and festivals was thought to ensure Roman military success and imperialist expansion. Jack also examines Roman religion before the introduction of Greek elements. The early Romans believed in a type of Italian Shintoism , local and specialized spirit / deities without physical form. Every tree , stream , mountain or river had its own God or Goddess , vaguely defined divine , disembodied entities that had to be both respected and propriated. And last but not least , Jack examines how Roman religion changed over the course of centuries as the empire expanded and encountered new cultures , absorbing and adapting foreign deities and their cults into Roman Pantheon.  

God Rock Radio # 264 – A Brief History of The Divine -Part 4 (Zoroastrianism)

Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia , working at an almost supernatural supersonic speed continues the highly acclaimed mini series and chronicles the worlds oldest and perhaps most influential religion – Zoroastrianism. Zoroaster, the world’s first religious prophet and his teachings would profoundly influence not only Greek philosophy but also the worlds three great Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam). Jack digs deeply into many ancient sacred texts , including The Avesta – which includes 17 hymns/ mantras ( The Gathas) said to have been composed by Mr. Z himself. Thought to be a Magus/ Sage by the Greeks – Zoroaster is a shadowy figure who some historians believe never existed at all. While other scholars can not agree on the dates involved (anything from the 12th century BC to the 6th century BC) . His sacred poetry/ hymns/mantras have many parallels to the ancient traditions of the Rig Veda , the body of sacred knowledge and the basis for spiritual belief in Hinduism. Especially in its fragmentary nature , metrical form and illusive poetic imagery. Mr. Z teachings were concerned with the supernatural , divine source of the dualistic nature of the universe. Goodness & Light ( Ahura Mazda)  Vs. Evil & Darkness ( Ahriman) – primal and opposing forces that fight a cosmic battle for supremacy of the universe. Zoroaster’s Esthetology foretells of the ultimate victory of good over evil, essentially spiritual optimism and an expression of hope in a sometimes confusing and malevolent world.  

God Rock Radio #263 – A Brief History of The Divine -Part 3 (The Ancient Israelites & The Cult of Yahweh)

In the third installment of GRR’s ground breaking mini series , Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia digs deeply into the biblical, historical and archaeological record and attempts to unravel the mysterious origins of Yahweh – The God of Israel. First up, its the mysterious Midianites, Kenites and Rechabites – nomadic tribal groups of the Negev desert rooted in ancient pastoralic traditions and connected to another via metallurgy and Mount Sinai. They may have helped Moses bring Yahweh to the Israelites in Egypt . Then its the rock shrines , sanctuaries and tombs of the desert nomads filled with loads of spiritual graffiti , inscriptions and carvings that provide clues to their rites and rituals, ancient ceremonies that may have opened a desert doorway to the divine.  Next up, its some of the historical references to Yahweh, from a variety of cultures, dating from the 14th century BC to the 9th century BC . Lines written in stone and metal that connect Yahweh to the desert nomads and also give details about the struggle between the kingdoms of the bible for military and economic supremacy. Then its Yahweh as portrayed in the literary imagery of The Old Testament . An astral God who presides over a celestial court of lesser astral deities and is king of the universe. The divine force that causes all things to come into being. A divine warrior who slays monsters of chaos as a prelude to creation. Literary imagery that has a striking resemblance to Mesopotamian and Canaanite religion and mythology. And last but not least – Jack chronicles the evolution and development of Yahweh as portrayed via the divine rantings and ravings of The Old Testament prophets.