For whatever reason I came into this life time with about 90% recall of my past lives. This has been both a blessing and a curse. Since I entered my Cronedom, those past lives haven’t been that important to me. However, a Near Death Experience in 2020 has brought a whole lot of memories back up to my consciousness. Like many others I do remember the Burning Times when many of us were accused of witchcraft and executed by the Roman Catholic Church. However, this was not the first time that governmental powers, using religion as their weapon, exterminated large numbers of people who did not adhere to the rising power of the Church. Nor would it be the last time.
The Roman Empire was the primary power in Western Europe when it adapted the rising new Church in the 4th century AD. The might of the Roman army carried the new religion to the multitude of cultural groups in Western Europe. The old religions were systematically absorbed or destroyed, along with anyone who was a hold out for the old religious traditions.
One of the groups that the early Christian religion systematically destroyed gets a lot less attention. That group was the Gnostics. The Gnostics were a group of Christian and Jewish mystics who emerged in Southwest Asia in the 1st century AD. These various groups emphasized personal spiritual knowledge, or gnosis, over the orthodox teachings, traditions, and authority of the church. Viewing material existence as flawed or evil, the Gnostics presented a distinction between a supreme, hidden god and a malevolent lesser divinity, sometimes associated with the Yahweh of the Old Testament. Gnostics considered the principal element of salvation to be direct knowledge of the supreme divinity in the form of mystical or esoteric insight. Gnostic writings flourished among certain Christian groups in Southwest Asia until about the second century when the Fathers of the early Church denounced them as heresy. Once again the might of the Roman army, along with the might of the Persian army, systematically destroyed the people who taught this “heresy”, along with most of their texts.
Then in 1492 the Roman Catholic Western Europeans began their extension of religious and governmental control into the rest of the World. The indigenous groups of the New World were systematically annihilated. The Maori of New Zealand and the Aboriginal people of Australia brought under control. The horrors of what happened to the tribes of Africa during the Slave Trade has been studied a lot, but it is another example of the destruction of the cultures of people by religious and governmental powers who are seeking to profit from taking control of the land and its resources.
Because make no mistake, in the end that was what it was all about. Governments wanted land, and the Roman Catholic Church worked with those governments because it wanted the land as well. When the Protestant churches emerged, they were no better, in some ways worse. Those groups embraced the capitalist economy with a vengeance. If you were a woman or a non-European of either gender, and you had property that the controlling powers wanted, then your cultural values, in fact your life, was forfeit. Many groups fell victim to land and money grabs in the name of religion. Those religions were often the tools that governments, eventually businesses used to justify their horrific actions.
And I remember; I remember it all.