The Red Book

First page of the Gospel of Mark in Armenian, by Sargis Pitsak, 14th century.


Then he said: “Dear Ammonius, I have delightful tidings for you: God has become flesh in his son and has brought us all salvation.” “”What are you saying,” I called, “you probably mean Osiris, who shall appear in the mortal body?
 “No,” he replied, “this man lived in Judea and was born from a virgin.
 “I laughed and answered: “I already know about this;a Jewish trader has brought tidings of our virgin queen to Judea, whose image appears on the walls of one of our temples, and reported it as a fairy tale.”
 “No,” the old man insisted, “he was the Son of God.”
 “Then you mean Horus the son of Osiris, don’t you?” I answered.
 “No, he was not Horus, but a real man, and he was hung from a cross.”
 “Oh, but this must be Seth, surely; whose punishments our old ones have often described.”
 But the old man stood by his conviction and said: “He died and rose up on the third day.”
 “Well, then he must be Osiris,” I replied impatiently.”No,” he cried, “he is called Jesus the anointed one.”
 ”Ah, you really mean this Jewish God, whom the poor honor at the harbor, and whose unclean mysteries they celebrate in cellars.””He was a man and yet the Son of God,” said the old man staring at me intently.”
 That’s nonsense, dear old man,” I said, and showed him to the door. But like an echo from distant rock faces the words returned to me: a man and yet the Son of God. It seemed significant to me, and this phrase was what brought me to Christianity.
 I: “But don’t you think that Christianity could ultimately be a transformation of your Egyptian teachings?”
 A: “If you say that our old teachings were less adequate expressions of Christianity, then I’m more likely to agree with you.”
 I: “Yes, but do you then assume that the history of religions is aimed at a final goal?”
 A: “My father once bought a black slave at the market from the region of the source of the Nile. He came from a country that had heard of neither Osiris nor the other Gods; he told me many things in a more simple language that said the same as we believed about Osiris and the other Gods. I learned to understand that those uneducated Negroes unknowingly already possessed most of what the religions of the cultured peoples had developed into complete doctrines. Those able to read that language correctly could thus recognize in it not only the pagan doctrines but also the doctrine of Jesus. And it’s with this that I now occupy myselfI read the gospels and seek their meaning which is yet to come.We know their meaning as it lies before us, but not their hidden meaning which points to the future. It’s erroneous to believe that religions differ in their innermost essence. Strictly speaking, it’s always one and the same religion. Every subsequent form of religionis the meaning of the antecedent.” ~Carl Jung; The Red Book; Liber Secundus; Page 272; Paragraphs 24/25