The excellent BBC programme on Stephen Fry and his struggle with Bipolar Disorder impressed me very much. The thought that even though only about 1% of the population may suffer (if that is the word) from this ailment but that those 1% are perhaps amongst the greatest movers and thinkers of us all.
I could not help but think, when Stephen Fry and Professor Nick Craddock were discussing childhood and adult symptoms together with delusions of grandure, that the classic case of this was Jesus of Nazareth. Surely I was not the only one that noted the incredible ups (preaching to 5,000; confronting Jewish scolars; gathering apostles) and suicidal downs (40 days in the wilderness with the temptation to suicide; confronting the moneychangers; the submission at the garden of gethsemane) and perhaps even the delusion that he was he Son of God as the classic symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?
So what difference would it make if Jesus of Nazereth was not actually the Son of God but actually a “normal” manic depressive. What difference would that make to the world?
I have always admired the philosophy and teachings of Jesus and despised how that had all been perverted by (particularly but not exclusively) the catholic church to empower them to subvert the general population to their will. How did the teachings of Love and Forgiveness of a great and humble man lead to the slaughter of millions of men, women and children of different beliefs over the ceturies? But that is a Rhetorical question which is tending to lead me way from my theme.
There are a number of religious anomalies which have personally troubled me which would surely be cast asunder if it was acceptable that the Holy Trinity was the delusion of a troubled mind.
1. No Christmas. Does any sensible person accept that Mary was a Virgin when she bore Jesus? Another Rhetorical question, sorry. But if you wanted to put your candidate for Superman forward couple of Millenia ago, then a Virgin birth was a Must.
2. No Man can enter Heaven but Through Me. The ultimate dillusion of Grandeur? So a Moslem cleric who has done great charity and has humbly served his community through his life ends up in Hell, and Pope Gregory IX and his inquisitors and any Catholic who did any wrong (as long as he repented on his deathbed) go to eternal salvation?
3. Easter and the Resurrection. Well no, actually. I put this in as a paradox because there is no reason why the resurrection should prove, or disprove, that Jesus is the Son of God. There have been many recorded instances of persons supposedly dead and/or being in a deep coma returning to life without them being hailed as some sort of Super Being. I personally believe that Jesus came back to his fellows after a few days, it is about the only thing that all the Apostle writers seem to agree on.
4. Why was Jesus so inconsistent? Ghandi was humble, he was respected because he resisted the British Raj by Passive Resistance. He built up a huge following by preaching peace and reason. Jesus, on the other hand, was a bit of a hot-head. Drawing huge crowds, he preached and performed miracles then rode into Jerusalem on a donkey behind a crowd spreading palm leaves in his way. He goes into the market and causes a riot by up-turning tables and spilling money on the floor. Yet here was the man who was so full of self doubt that he spent forty days and forty nights in the wilderness, who for all his powers apparently did not say a word in his defence in front of Pilate and went mildly to the cross, completely humiliated.
4. Why was Jesus crucified? OK so he was popular and he did a few miracles and he caused a bit of trouble with the local Pharisees and money lenders in the market place. But that is no reason why the Jewish hierachy and aristocracy should look on him as such a threat as to risk making a matyr out of him. The reason why he was crucified was his persistent Blasphemy, that He claimed that He was the Son of God. In the sociey in which he lived, particularly because it was under occupation by the Romans, it must have been seen as essential that the Jews maintained there tradition. They had kept (and continue to keep) their way of life by utterly rejecting any reason, arguement, evidence, logic which may shake their belief in their inherrent superiority over the rest of mankind by reason of their being “God’s Chosen People”. The along comes the “Son of God” who tells them they are wrong: well he has to go.
So there are my thoughts, but this does not mean that I am not a Christian, merely that I do not accept the supernatural munbo-jumbo made up by the Church in order to control the masses. I believe that Jesus was a man, a very great and good man but just a man.
Here endeth tht lesson."http://www.robinsonic.co.uk/2007/12/30/did-jesus-suffer-from-bipolar-disorder/ http://www.google.com.au/search?q=jesus+bipolar&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a