Were the social issues of the early Roman Empire a driving force to adapt old customs to a new philosophy?
A young Hebrew man seeks answers beyond his religious traditions by spending fifteen years travelling and studying spiritual principles in India and Alexandria, Egypt. Upon returning to his homeland his message of self-awareness is feared by the elders and Temple priests.
At the same time the ruling elite in Rome are determined to use this controversy to their advantage. Keen to find a solution to the social and economic issues that have developed after their relentless conquests of foreign lands, they find that the young man's spiritual message can be altered to suit their needs.
Contrary to Popular Belief is a thought-provoking novel inspired by Christian faith, and the quest for truth.
About the author: Neil Anthes is a retired small business owner and international business manager. He graduated from the University of Waterloo in Canada with a bachelor of science degree. He is a semi-professional photographer and currently lives in the Southern Interior of British Columbia Canada. This is his second book. The first, Moments in Time, Reflections on Personal Mystical Experiences, was published in 2014.
Contrary to Popular Belief
This is a book about spiritual seeking and thinking outside the box of cultural traditions.
Roman society during the early days of the Roman Empire, 29 BCE to 51 AD, observed many rituals to appease the gods. After much conquest of neighbouring countries by past Roman leaders, the social structure of Rome is changing. In response to this new status quo, the ruling elite must change how they live. A hedonistic group who believe in self-serving ideals, their lifestyle is being threatened.
Throughout the Mediterranean, cultures thrive and practise their varied religions customs. Sun-worship is embraced by portions of society. The Priests at the Temple of Jerusalem try to keep tight control over people with slavish demands to religions customs. A young Hebrew boy feels great connection with the Creation of Nature but finds the annual treks to Jerusalem for Passover stifling to his spirit. His attempts at sharing his viewpoint are thwarted.
After a vision in the desert, he embarks on a fifteen-year journey to study spiritual Truths, including the work of the Buddha in India. He spends seven of these years in Alexandria, Egypt where he is exposed to other spiritual maters’ writings housed in the Museum where all knowledge of the known is stored. He studied the ancient Egyptian views on life and death. He contemplated the works of Moses and Cicero.
He returns to Judea where he eventually begins to share his wisdom with those who will listen. He soon develops a dedicated following. The Hebrew leaders in Jerusalem despise his words and he is feared by the priests.
The sudden death of the Teacher brings relief to the Temple. They hope his message will die just as suddenly. But the Roman elite see a way to solve their problems with the masses by manipulating his teachings to suit their needs. A new philosophy is created to guide the commoners towards the direction that will serve the Roman rulers.
But all is not lost. Anticipating that Rome may some day turn against him and his people, the young man had had his teachings documented and instructed the writings to be hidden in the remote Egyptian desert. There they remained concealed until a chance discovery nearly two thousand years later.
Contrary to Popular Belief will entertain the reader with historical accounts of ancient Mediterranean life and challenge the reader’s perception concerning the roots of Christian mythology.
The reader is presented with an alternative interpretation of historical facts that is very believable. He may ultimately question his own spiritual roots to Creation and re-interpret his own religious traditions.