Thursday, January 12, 2017

SOL

Interesting that the old Latin word for the sun, is sol. And light is synonymous with the word sun. Perhaps that is playing too fast and too loose with the etymology of the word and the acronym it produces--SOL (Sons of Light). Regardless, the first people to use the term 'Sons of Light' were the Essenes at Qumran. (see; War Scroll) It was an apocalyptic vision of end times where light conquers darkness. Reality was the Essenes were all but erased during the first Jewish-Roman War. (66-70) So much for the anticipated 'happy ending.'

Still, the Essene's enjoyed a stellar reputation among the historians of the time: "They practice virtue like a gymnastic exercise, seeing the accomplishment of praiseworthy deeds as the means by which a man ensures absolute freedom for himself." (Philo of Alexandria) "The third class of philosophers among the Jews, and the class that is most esteemed for their just and moral life, is that of the Essenes."(Josephus) "They are a people unique of its kind and admirable beyond all others in the whole world." (Pliny the Elder)

The cautionary tale that we learn from history is this; no amount of righteousness can guarantee we will be successful in our endeavors. We must face the difficult decision that goodness is its own reward--or it is not. That we wish to be a certain type of person--or we don't. That we will strive to be virtuous whether we are validated or reviled. The question for you is this; is your moral and ethical conduct something you truly believe in, or a projection you employ to appear "good."

One illuminating example of blatant hypocrisy comes from Jacques Duquesne's book, Jesus (An Unconventional Biography): "This priestly aristocracy, (here he is talking about the Sadducees) the highest-ranking clergy, had a terrible reputation. They lived in Jerusalem and had allowed themselves to fall under Greek influence, adopting Greek dress and Greek names, collaborating with the Roman occupiers--while claiming, of course, they had the dispensation of the Eternal for this behavior. They taught that if the sons of Abraham led their life's with wisdom and honor, they would find their reward here on earth, in prosperity and reputation. Material success therefore became the sign of respect for the Law."

The obvious self-serving manipulation isn't worth commentary. It has always been thus. (simply look at the Christian leaders that support Trump) What is important is how it affects you. Does the end justify the means? Do you set aside your integrity if it advances your cause? Would you lie to get a  promotion? Justify an affair? Avoid responsibility? Blackball the competition? When do you excuse actions that go against everything you say you believe in? And how much time do you spend rationalizing that behavior?

"They are sworn to love the truth and pursue liars." (Josephus) This was said of the original Sons of Light. Let it be a starting point for you.