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Miceal Ledwith – The Origins of the Human Race

Miceal Ledwith – The Origins of the Human Race and its Implications for our Spiritual Empowerment Today.

Most people know that for several centuries Jewish and Christian believers in the West were firmly convinced that the universe was created six thousand years ago. But what is not often realized is the extent to which this conviction and its companion set of beliefs still act as a major stumbling block in the way of being able to create the kind of reality we wish to experience every day. People everywhere are making valiant efforts to escape from the web of fables we have been spun for millennia.  What we now know about human origins has an enormous amount of evidence that will empower that present-day journey.

It’s been over 350 years since the Irish Archbishop James Ussher and the Cambridge Professor John Lightfoot tried to calculate the age of the world, based largely on the evidence in the Bible. In my own theology lectures years ago the students would always laugh when I mentioned that Ussher and Lightfoot had calculated the world was created in the year 4004 BC on 23rd October at 9.00 a.m..

That was fine as a tool for an undergraduate lecture designed to awaken students to the fact that things were seldom as they seem. Nevertheless the efforts of Ussher and Lightfoot were very creditable achievements for their time. The usual ridicule to which they are subjected is often mainly due to an unfortunate small-mindedness about the circumstance of a past that was “all so unimaginably different” in terms of lacking perspectives and information which we take for granted today.

To create such a chronology was no small achievement. The Bible as we have it today was assembled from many different manuscript sources, over a long period of time during the Middle Ages, and besides there are many gaps in the chronologies of the Bible texts themselves.  So it was not just a simple matter of adding up the ages of all the significant people in the Bible between the creation and Jesus Christ.  Extensive cross checking with many other sources outside the Bible was necessary in order to establish that chronology.

It was largely due to an accident of history that Ussher’s chronology became so well known and accepted worldwide, for there were already half a dozen other such chronologies equally well based, such as the chronology of Bede, Sir Isaac Newton and Johannes Kepler. However the new Authorized English translation of the Bible that was to gradually become known as “The King James Version” had appeared only a few decades before, and was only really attaining universal influence by the middle of the seventeenth century.  After Ussher’s calculations were published in 1650 the various printings of the King James Bible worldwide began to insert Ussher’s chronology into the margins of the text of the Bible itself.  So it happened that before long those calculations themselves began to assume the very status of Holy Writ in people’s minds. For centuries this effectively barred any significant inquiry into the dating of human origins in a more scientific way.

That was an extremely unfortunate situation as a true understanding the circumstances of our origins is crucial in order to assume that power and strength which is the goal of our life’s experience on this earth.

As the years passed open minded researchers found enormous problems in trying to reconcile the Ussher’s calculation of a six thousand year old creation with the new facts about human origins that were beginning to emerge. Many saw the efforts of these researchers as nothing more than an attempt to edge God out of his own universe.

By the dawn of the 19th century geology had calculated that life must have existed on earth for at least 250 million years. And this was long before any theory of evolution ever saw the light of day.

Many of the all too human-style attributes of God that we read of in the sacred Jewish and Christian texts – and that have always been the stock-in-trade of church preaching – anger, displeasure at disobedience, punishment, fickleness, vengeance and the desire to be worshipped, now take on a very different appearance indeed. The whole elaborate structure in which we believed we exist – a life of moral testing, a redemption worked for us by Jesus from the consequences of our sin, the need for repentance, and a punishment or reward for eternity after death; all these and many another web of fables grew around such an all too human figure. It must be said such a caricature of God can have nothing to do with the real thing. Similarly, such a caricature of human destiny and purpose based on this kind of caricature of God has nothing to do with reality either, and this is a much more serious matter. It took a long time for us to recognize how bizarre those beliefs really were.  But the real tragedy is not that, but the fact that those beliefs have totally crippled our ability to manifest. Furthermore, the routine religious practises put forward by the religions compound that crippling all afresh.

Establishing the truth about the circumstances of humanity’s origin has amassed a body of knowledge that has proven to be very unsettling to many, but those people who are open and perceptive have begun to see that for the first time we now have the opportunity to understand where we really came from. What is even more important is that we now know in truth what it was we came here to do. This is a far more important issue than establishing the date of the creation of mankind, but establishing that date was a crucial step along the way that gave us a whole new vision of our place in creation. Had we been imprisoned in the conviction of a six thousand year old creation we could have never have become open to the new discoveries about reality that have come to light in recent times, and we could never have drawn the implications from that for our understanding of God and of human destiny and purpose.

It opened the door to understandings of much more major significance: how did we get here, who are we really, and what it is possible for us to do?  Is this universe all that exists, or are their other dimensions of reality?  Given what we know about the structure of what exists is there any real justification for a radical division such as we have had for so long between matter and spirit, or between the natural and the supernatural? Are they not, after all, and however different from each other, only different stages along one continuum of reality? Was Jesus’s promise that we could do all the miracles that he did meant to be taken literally after all?

Or will fear, guilt, and the need to be taken care of, ultimately defeat the opening up to those new potentials within the human person which now, with the new understanding of our origins and later history, we have come to realize we have? Ultimately this is the greatest hurdle of all we have to overcome. People are willing to sacrifice almost anything except the belief in a benevolent Parent in the Skies, who has taken the place of the beloved parents they were lucky enough to have during childhood. This really is the last great test. The real truth is that when we are willing to move out of those beliefs that offer such spurious and deceptive comfort, it is only then that we can access a power and ability that can take greater care of us than any imaginary Benevolent Being in the Skies ever could.

That power is the gateway through which humanity can open into real abilities, and freedom and creativity in manifestation, in which there can be no more room for lack, fear, guilt, troubles, sickness, crying or sorrow, but only emergence into the freedom and power of what all along, was our birthright.

These issues I will be exploring much further at our Conference at the The Delta Airport Hotel, Richmond, Vancouver, along with the complimentary pressentations of my colleagues Michael Cremo and Jeffrey Armstrong.

© 2008 Miceal Ledwith,  All Rights Reserved