|Mithraism as a global religion?|
Until recently I thought that Mithraism would be a specifically European religion. Mithraism would rectify the deficiencies of Christianity, bolster a European sense of identity and support the struggle for better government.|
Well a European or Western Mithraism still needs to do this, but is Mithraism itself a European religion?
The obvious dawned on me not so long ago that the Iranians have as much claim to Mithraism as we do - and so Mithraism would have to be re-defined as an Irano-European religion - a single cultural area sharing both Persian and Greek philosophical roots - but one split today into Western (Former Christian) and Eastern (Former Moslem) Churches.
This seemed a neat solution for a while, but there was a nagging problem - and this was Hinduism. It would be nice and tidy to say Hinduism is an Indian religion and nothing to do with us. However Hinduism contains the best pointer we have to the early pan-European pagan religion and also has the most well-developed philosopical system of any religion. Early Hinduism is also culturally very close to the Iranian culture of Zoroastrianism and recognises a god called Mitra. So why shouldn't European Mithraists delve into the Vedic culture, and why shouldn't Indians have their own kind of Mithraism?
Getting this far you might as well keep going. What about the Chinese? Perhaps not obvious candidates at first sight but actually Mithraism has already had a big impact on China. First there were Zoroastrians going down the Silk Road, then Mahayana Buddhists followed who were really Mazdayasna Buddhists or Zoroastrian Buddhists in origin who still believe that a being called Maitreya or Mitra will come and restore the righteous kingdom at the end of the age.
So now we have potentially 4 traditions of Mithraism - which I will name as Euro-Mithraism, Irano-Mithraism, Indo-Mithraism and Sino-Mithraism.
Now if all these 4 traditions revived and developed themselves and became dominant in their home territories (ok it might not happen overnight) then we would have a shared religious community encompassing the Europeans, Iranians, Indians and Chinese. A shared religion would surely help in building political co-operation and so we would have the cultural foundation for a global political order.
Now some of you readers will not be enthusing about a global political order, but a Mithraic political order like the Empire of Cyrus would have a better chance of protecting the global diversity of nations and cultures and also of being designed for the benefit of the many not the few as we like to say in Britain at the moment. This might be better than alternatives like global war or global slavery.
June 4017 ME