March 14, 2017 (Nairobi):
In Judaism, Yahweh was the god of a single ethnic group: the Hebrews. God’s promise to them was Canaan, a physical place, and their ‘heaven’ was to be a kingdom set up on this earth, in Israel. And their holy book was the Torah, and their holy men were Abraham, Moses, David, etc., and the prophets.
When Jesus came on the scene, he saw deeper through the outward religion of Judaism to its core: love of God, love of neighbor. He intended to usher in the Kingdom of God – for the Jews – in his lifetime. He was the messiah, the Christ, the anointed one. But then he was killed by the Romans. His disciples and followers then had to adjust their expectations and reinterpret the meaning of his life and death. Paul, like Jesus, saw deeper into the outward events and realized that the kingdom of God was a) spiritual rather than political, and b) for all peoples of the earth, not only Jews (though still only through the Jewish messiah). The holy man of this new religion was/is Jesus, and the Jewish Old Testament together with what would become the writings of the New Testament became its holy book. The promised inheritance of what would become Christianity was to be a glorious afterlife.
Now, for the New Paradigm: looking deeper past the exoteric shell of the Christian religion, one can see that love-of-God is love-of-True-Self and love-of-neighbor is love for all peoples of all demographics – not only that, but all living beings, including all biological species on this planet and any other…even inanimate entities for that matter…ALL other than My Self is embraced as my neighbor. The new holy book is all of Nature, which includes humanly written sources (since human verbal expression is an outgrowth of Nature). The new holy men and women are any and all persons who make love and truth their highest callings, and the inheritance of the new paradigm is the WHOLE WORLD. We can only speculate about an afterlife, but we have so far yet to explore and enjoy THIS COSMIC LIFE to the fullest – not by a long shot. This spacetime cosmos is the SACRAMENT in which we divinizing creatures can meet and commune with the divine. And this inheritance is for ALL HUMANS now and forever. This is a religion of the HUMAN. So be it.