President Trump’s brokered Abraham Accord peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates has thrown the spotlight on the new Abrahamic House of Peace.
The Abrahamic House of Peace has been commissioned by Mohammed Bin Zayed, president of the UAE, as a symbol of unity between all the three Abrahamic religions of Islam, Judaism and Christianity. It consists of three different buildings – a mosque, a church and a synagogue – within one campus, on an island within the UAE, and it has been designed by British architect Sir David Adjaye Obe.
So is the Abrahamic House of Peace a concretised symbol of an idea whose time come? Or is it just a back engineered expression of an ideal that can never be realised?
I say ‘back engineered’ because, just as Eve was carved out from the torso of Adam, so both Islam and Christianity were carved out of the religion of Judaism, in order to meet differing political aims and outcomes.
The stories that underpin Judaism, as they are laid out in the Torah or the Old Testament, consist mainly of a hodge-podge of old, recast Sumerian myths or star stories*. This should come as no surprise because the city of Ur in the land of Sumer was where their great patriarch, Abraham, came from.
Some of these star stories were later recast into those of the New Testament. Based on a narrative about a poor carpenter whose life was cruelly cut short on the cross of Calvary, Christianity became the consensual reality that the Roman Emperor Constantine used to bind his vast and overweening empire into the shared guilt of Original Sin for almost 2,000 years.
The new religion was immensely effective because it was able to dig down deep down into the race memories of the conquered masses, to plunder already-familiar star stories about the dying-and-resurrecting Sun god, such as the Persian Mithraic nativity, the old Greek, Hebrew and Vedic star story of “the massacre of the innocents”, and the Egyptian alchemical allegories about turning water into wine, to name but a few.
It won over hearts and minds across an imperial dominion so vast that it stretched between Britain in the north, Babylon in the east, Spain in the west and Egypt in the south.
A couple of centuries later, the creators of Islam reworked similar star story material to provide a narrative for the Arab countries, although they wove it differently, around the exploits of a desert war lord. But the more mystic branches, such as Sufis, were able to pursue the deeper, allegorical wisdom from the alchemical, philosophical and mythological texts that Caliph Umar and his men looted from the destroyed Library of Alexandria. In this way, until the 16th century, the Arabs were the sole preservers of the wisdom of the ancients.
However, not only is Abraham the common patriarch of all these three religions, but Jesus is also the common pivotal character upon whom all believers base their hopes and dreams. Muslims, Jews and Christians are all alike in awaiting the Second Coming, which they expect to take place on the Mount of Olives, and that is why they have all been fighting over that territory since at least the times of the Crusades. Each wants to be first in line to greet the Saviour when he arrives.
Of course, there can never be a Second Coming until there has been a first one. But religion is very much like politics in that it is always turned to for a quick fix when it comes to managing people and empires. Keeping everyone waiting for a cosmic apocalypse that’s never going to happen creates, in those who have this kind of death wish, a kind of stasis that I guess you could call peace.
So providing a common campus of paradisically-soaring arched temples for religious worship might work with those who believe that God’s house has many mansions, even though it not the Mount of Olives. I sincerely hope it does help because we’re so dog tired of all the fighting and bloodshed that has dominated the world for such a long time, over an avatar that never lived in history and so can never “come again”.
In Stories in the Stars, I explain how ancient myths are actually allegories for cosmological processes that our ancestors laid out in star stories. There is much wisdom in these myths, that would otherwise be lost to us today, including how to understand the meaning and purpose of our own lives, which is written in the stars at the time of our birth.
These star stories were eventually used to form the narrative that underpins the great religions, and so while that has the benefit of preserving them, the priests have long forgotten their deeper meanings and it takes a shaman to interpret and explain them.
In Stories in the Summerlands, I take a much deeper dive into the metaphorical meanings found in the deeper layers of the myths that make up the stories of the Old and New Testament.
I show how those desert mysteries were brought to Avalon in Somerset, England, before the Romans arrived, and carved, in a myriad of ways, into the Earth and into the architecture and artwork of the abbeys, cathedrals and churches of the land that lies under the stars of the Summer Triangle.