Synchronicity, prophecy, and the Magi

     For a long time, whenever I would read about prophecies in the Bible applied to Jesus, it always seemed like a stretch because the prophecies didn't appear to be specific enough.  In this post Bruce Charlton makes the point, from Pascal's Pensees, that the prophecies were considered a major proof that Jesus was the Messiah.  Even if we moderns find it difficult to understand, people back then really did think that way.  

    And not only that, these prophecies provided real knowledge and predictions.  In the story of the Magi, all the chief priests and scribes were able to say that the King of the Jews would be born in Bethlehem.  It was not secret knowledge or disputed.  

    Another example is Josephus's prediction about Vespasian.  After Vespasian attacked Jerusalem, the historian Josephus predicted that Vespasian would become emperor.  Here is an explanation on one website livius, while here are Josephus's own words

"Now if any one consider these things, he will find that God takes care of mankind, and by all ways possible foreshows to our race what is for their preservation; but that men perish by those miseries which they madly and voluntarily bring upon themselves; for the Jews, by demolishing the tower of Antonia, had made their temple four-square, while at the same time they had it written in their sacred oracles, "That then should their city be taken, as well as their holy house, when once their temple should become four-square." But now, what did the most elevate them in undertaking this war, was an ambiguous oracle that was also found in their sacred writings, how, "about that time, one from their country should become governor of the habitable earth." The Jews took this prediction to belong to themselves in particular, and many of the wise men were thereby deceived in their determination. Now this oracle certainly denoted the government of Vespasian, who was appointed emperor in Judea. However, it is not possible for men to avoid fate, although they see it beforehand. But these men interpreted some of these signals according to their own pleasure, and some of them they utterly despised, until their madness was demonstrated, both by the taking of their city and their own destruction."

    We have lost the understanding that people had at that time.  They had the ability to read and interpret prophecies correctly.  The Magi also had understanding that we have lost; they were able to find their way to Jerusalem based on their understanding of astrology.  

    But I suspect that it is not knowledge that separates us from the ancients, but understanding.  We know almost as much about the text of prophecies as the people of the first century (perhaps some interpretive writings or oral tradition may have been lost from then to now).  We know more about the movements of the stars than the ancient astrologers, so what is missing?  It's understanding.  Understanding is what separates true gematria which can provide insight from arbitrary number crunching.

    The ancients' understanding prophecies was similar to our searching for synchronicities.  People in the first century were steeped in these writings in a way that is almost incomprehensible to us.  The sacred writings were the fabric from which their culture was made.  And that is how you have to search for synchronicities.  You must search for something that is spontaneously meaningful to you - you can't force it.  But by doing that, the mind is opened up to inspiration.  Both the inspiration of the original and the inspiration of the searcher join to produce insight and understanding. 

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