One of the effects of the politicization of the Christian Church after Jesus’ death has been that two of the original concepts – reincarnation and karma, have been edited out of the official dogma. This has created a tremendous handicap for people of Christian upbringing in our day in understanding some fundamental issues about life. One of the most striking observations about Daskalos’ teachings is the very central role that these two concepts play in understanding what is going on in our lives. Without these concepts, things often seem very confusing and meaningless to us. With them, everything falls into place. I am going to spend some time on this point because it is a major stumbling block for Christians in “crossing the barrier” to what I call the new paradigm.
These two terms would be considered by most Christians today to be “Eastern” concepts. Indeed, the concepts of reincarnation and karma are as old as antiquity, traceable to the Vedas, and today both are key elements in Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism, whose members represent a majority of the world’s population. What is not widely known is that these two concepts are just as fundamental to Christianity. A great deal of confusion has thus arisen. The reincarnation concept was edited out of the official Christian Church dogma for political reasons at the Fifth Ecumenical Council of Constantinople, also called by some the Second Council of Constantinople, in AD 553, by Emperor Justinian. The Emperor “stacked” the conference with his Eastern loyalists against the protests of the Roman Pope Vigilius, who refused to attend, and was in fact imprisoned for eight years by Justinian for his intransigence.2 If you have difficulty swallowing this, and many Christians do, take the trouble to check the references. It is all there.6 It’s all true.
The Christian Church was seen very early on by the European power structure as an instrument that could help to maintain control over the masses. But why were the believers in reincarnation considered a potential threat? The answer is put well by Head and Cranston in their book Reincarnation: The Phoenix Fire Mystery:
“Why was the belief in reincarnation so offensive to the Defenders of the Faith? Various reasons may be given, but the implicit psychology of reincarnation may be the best explanation. The believer in this teaching tends to hold himself responsible for his own progress and salvation. Such a person has no need of priests and little regard for external dead-letter observance, rite, or conformity. The devices (such as the confessional) of a redemption conferred by institutional authority were to believers in evolution through rebirth transparently fraudulent or false. Hence their persecution over the many centuries while dogmatic religion remained in power.” 7
Needless to say, people who take personal responsibility for their destinies are not easily manipulated by politicians.