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Entrapment of a false Messiah

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I was not a messiah, but an ordinary man who had become a leader because of extraordinary circumstances.”
Nelson Mandela

When a man feels that he has a divine mission, say to lift up, to save or to liberate mankind, when a man feels the divine spark in his heart and believes that he is the mouthpiece of supernatural imperatives, when such a mission inflames him, it is only natural that he should stand beyond all merely reasonable standards of judgment. He feels that he is himself sanctified by this mission, that he is himself a type of a higher order! What has a priest to do with philosophy! He stands far above it! And hitherto the priest has ruled!‐He has determined the meaning of “true” and “not true”!”

These words of Friedrich Nietzsche truly draw within it the rudiments of a Messiah in a human being. The lucid characterization of a Messiah who has human upliftment and empathy for its sufferings at its core has sadly been systematically trampled with and deliberately obfuscated since ages when humans wanted to use suffering of mankind as an instrument to grab and augment power! The signs of such obfuscation are not hard to understand as the rivalry of religions took centrestage since medieval times.  Christ , the Messiah of Christianity is not accepted as a Messiah in Judaism. Although Islam accepts Jesus as both a prophet and Messiah, but notions of him as either God or the equal of God are rejected by both Jews and Muslims as idolatry.

In Jewish traditions, the Messiah to come is thought to be a human leader, physically descended from the paternal Davidic line through King David and King Solomon, who will be involved in predestined accomplishments, including the unification of Israelites, the gathering in of Jews to the Holy Land, the ushering in of a Messianic age of world peace and the annunciation of the World to Come. This has brought to fore a piquant situation where Messiahs are deified in various societies leading to fragmentation of mankind which often have resulted in bloodshed and dominance of the mighty, leading to the very antithesis of preaching of the Messiahs.

The situation has been vilified with proclamations of prophecy from unscrupulous individuals and societies associated with such falsifiers. One of the greatest mistakes humans commit is to deify the artist rather than the art; the messenger rather than the message.  But the associated largesse doled out by the society to the Prophets have turned it into a lucrative trade where personal submission to an individual augments considerable clout and power around it. This is surely a recipe for disaster when it magnetizes politics and draws favours from ruling classes. Leland Lewis has aptly described the notion of such elements; “What is a ‘false prophet’? Those who lie by attributing personal biases to divine source.” In these perilous times, we have more preachers of the truth than doers of the truth. In other words not all preachers are doers and salvager of humanity.

It is but natural to draw motives to such false messiahs. As pointed out by H.L. Mencken in the Minority Report “The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it. Power is what all messiahs really seek: not the chance to serve. This is true even of the pious brethren who carry the gospel to foreign parts.” Self-proclamation of authoritative titles is a common phenomenon among religious and/or occult sect leaders. A cursory survey of this primarily 20th century phenomenon will instantly reveal a multitude of self-declared Masters, High Priests, gurus, Ipsissimi, Bhaghwani, etc. Legitimate religious teachers and scholars know that a genuine spiritual leader is one whose calling to lead is first noticed by those outside of him or herself based on certain qualities, abilities, and actions and then must subsequently be accepted by the individual in question as his or her destiny. This contrasts with those whose will to lead is born simply out of the mundane wish to be a leader. In such cases the goal being to reap the rewards a title brings without the hard work and the innate, manifest qualities which validate the position; in short what might be considered a ‘false prophet’.

To put it rightly, we need no messiah menacing us with hell and purgatory. As Richard Bach summarizes “Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself. Being true to anyone else or anything else is not only impossible, but the mark of a fake messiah.” Those who spend their time and energy spreading unhappiness and hatred for others and are themselves consumed by it, are by the very definition of the term ‘false prophets’.  Atheists are not the real enemy as many such demagogues propound; the real enemy knows God and Godliness but still reject him. A false prophet puts himself into the shoes of god, with no socks of humanity underneath!

But it’s wiser to surmise that a false prophet is one whose greed is not yet extinguished by the sublime truth of wisdom. People ponder on knowing words of a preacher. The more enlightened ones muse on meaning of word of God. The real duty of man is to know mankind, ameliorate its sufferings and to attain godliness through a true Messiah! Knowing the heart of a human is the true way to knowing God. Janice B Brown has eloquently described the conundrum of postmodern societies and its frustrating efforts to assuage the guilt complex.  He argues “Modern infatuation with angels is based on imagery that is far removed from Psalm 103’s depiction of angels as ‘mighty ones who do his bidding.’ With the loss of knowledge and respect for scriptures has come a greatly demeaned understanding of spiritual realities, especially those concerned with supernatural occurrences.”

To sum up, humanity has entrapped itself in a cocoon of materialism to accomplish carnal desires which becomes infused into its mind and soul. But the innate realizations still do crop up which juggles him to a Messiah in search of self- restitution. What is relegated to background is the Word of God well enumerated in all Holy scriptures- Empathy, mercy, devotion to the needy and to lead life with pride and honour outweighs the glib words of every false prophet and the teachings of every false Messiah!

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