Subject: Ring Thing Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 20:44:46 -0700 From: "Joe Steve Swick III"
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BCC: "Nicholas S. Literski" , "Stephen Escobedo" , "Tim Rathbone" , "Brian Irwin" , "Rich Hiltbrunn" , "Curtis Porritt" , "Gail Porritt" Hello Friends: On two separate occasions that I am aware of, Joseph Smith used a ring as an image of eternity --of an "eternal round" which has no beginning and no end. The first time was in 1841, and the second in 1844 (TPJS, p. 181, 354). In relation to this, I though you might enjoy the following Ring Service from the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. In one of the high points of the Scottish Rite degrees, the Brother is presented with a gold band, which he is told to always wear. Upon his death, there is a ceremony in which this ring is presented to a close family member or friend. Note the emphasis on the eternity of our relationships with those we love: "As a part to the solemn and impressive ceremonies...while he was kneeling at the sacred altar...and surrounded by Brethren of the Rite, he was presented with a gold ring, which was placed upon the wedding finger of his left hand, as a symbol of the alliance that he had that evening contracted with Virtue and the Virtuous. This ring had inscribed within it the legend --'Whom virtue unites, death cannot separate.' "The ring, being endless, is an emblem of eternity, and with its motto symbolizes the eternal nature of Virtue and Truth. He was charged never to part with it, during his life, and at death only to his wife, his eldest son, or his dearest friend. And now, in accordance with that covenant. and the solemn usages of our Order, it becomes my duty to perform the last ... ceremony connected with this ring. "...in the name of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, and in the name of your dear departed.... I present you with this memento and with it ...[the] condolence of his brethren, with whom, in life, he was united. I trust that when you look upon this ring, you will always be reminded of the great truth contained in the legend: 'Whom Virtue unites, death cannot separate.' ("Offices of a Lodge of Sorrow and Ring Service of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry," pp. 21-2). The above wording is from the ceremony as it was performed in the late 1800's. However, please keep in mind that the degree in which the ring is bestowed was a part of the Morin working and is found in the Francken manuscript (1783), with a charge to the Brother almost identical to that given in the ring ceremony above. Further, the degree is mentioned in Bernard's _Light on Masonry_ (1829, Utica). My suspicion is that the Ring Ceremony is at least as old as the early 1800's, although I have not yet traced it back. Regards, Joe Steve Swick III 32° A&ASR, Valley of Salt Lake, Orient of Utah ----- Below are Joseph Smith's own comments regarding the ring as a symbol of eternity, as related in the various extant accounts of the 7 April 1844 discourse: I am dwelling on the immutibility of the spirit of man, is it logic to say the spirit of man had a begining & yet had no end, it does not have a begining or end, my ring is like the Exhistanc of man it has no begining or end, if cut into their would be a begining & end, so with man if it had a begining it will have an end, if I am right I might say God never had power to create the spirit of man, God himself could not create himself. Intelligence is Eternal & it is self exhisting, (Joseph Smith, as quoted, WWJ, 7 April 1844) ----- I take my ring from my finger and liken it unto the mind of man, the im[mor]t. Sp. bec. it has no beging. Suppose you cut it into but as the D[evil] lives there wod. be an end all the fools & wise men from the beging. of creation who say that man had begin—they must have an end & then the doc of annihilitn. wod. be true—but if I am right I mit. with boldness proclaim from the housetop that God never had power to create the Sp of Man at all—it is ne God himself cod. not create himself—intelligence is self existent it is a sp. from age to end & there is no creatn abt. it (Joseph Smith, as quoted, Thomas Bullock Report, 7 April 1844) ----- Is it logic to say that a spirit is immortal and yet have a beginning because if a spirit have a beginning it will have an end—good logic—illustrated by his ring. All the fools learned & wise men that comes and tells that man has a beginning proves that [p.360] he must have an end and if that doctrine is true then the doctrine of annihilation is true. But if I am right then I might be bold to say that God never did have power to create the spirit of man at all. He could not create himself—Intelligence exists upon a selfexistent principle—is a spirit from age to age & no creation about it (Joseph Smith, as quoted, William Clayton Report, 7 April 1844) ----- I take my ring from my finger and liken it unto the mind of man—the immortal part, because it has no beginning. Suppose you cut it in two; then it has a beginning and an end; but join it again, and it continues one eternal round. So with the spirit of man. As the Lord liveth, if it has a beginning it will have an end. All the fools and learned and wise men from the beginning of creation, who say that the spirit of man had a beginning, prove that it must have an end: and if that doctrine is true, then the doctrine of annihilation would be true But if I am right, I might with boldness proclaim from the house tops that God never had the power to create the spirit of man at all. God himself could not create himself. Intelligence is eternal, and exists upon a self-existent principle. It is a spirit from age to age, and there is no creation about it. (Joseph Smith, Standard Amalgamation, 7 April 1844) ERASTUS SNOW The course of God, we are told by the prophet Nephi, is one eternal round; that, like eternity, it has neither beginning nor end, and is illustrated in the Book of Abraham by the hieroglyphic of the circle. You may start upon this ring at any given point, and in traversing it you will come to the same point--it is without beginning, without end.. (JD 2:23; October 1879) Subject: Re: [Fwd: Rings and Eternal Relationships] Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 01:32:51 -0500 From: Michael Love To: Andy Mcguire , Kathleen McGuire , "R. Trent Reynolds" , "Theurgus@aol.com" , "firstname.lastname@example.org" , "email@example.com" , "firstname.lastname@example.org" , "email@example.com" , "firstname.lastname@example.org" References: 1 Thanx for that, Joe. It really resonates with my recent experiences. Whenever I here this analogy, though, I always think of reincarnation. People say that Joseph secretly believed in reincarnation. This is also not at odds with my recent experiences, but I balk at it because of my long Mormon indoctrination. I feel safe in that, because Mormonism has never disappointed me in the way that it clarifies the most basic and the most radical insights. (Uh, thats Mormonism #1=). The economy of my universe says that bodies are scarce, not spirits. Any thoughts out there? proclus > Subject: Rings and Eternal Relationships > Date: Sun, 08 Nov 1998 17:48:05 -0800 > From: Joe Steve Swick III > To: Theurgus@aol.com, email@example.com, > Andy Mcguire , Kathleen McGuire , > "R. Trent Reynolds" , firstname.lastname@example.org, > email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org > > A letter I sent to the History List. Thought you might like to see it here. > > Cheers, > JSW > > ------------------------------------------------------------------------ > > Ring Thing.emlName: Ring Thing.eml > Type: message/rfc822 -- Visit proclus' realm! http://www.proclus-realm.com/home.html -----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK----- Version: 3.1 GMU/S d+@ s: a C++ UUI++$ P L E--- W++ N- !o K- w--- !O M++ V-- PS+++ PE Y+ PGP-- t+++(+) 5+++ X+ R tv-@ b !DI D- G e++>++++ h--- r+++ y++++ ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------ Subject: [Fwd: remember kento?] Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 15:49:31 -0500 From: Michael Love To: "email@example.com" Subject: Subject: remember kento? Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 02:13:48 -0500 From: Michael Love To: Andy Mcguire , Kathleen McGuire , "R. Trent Reynolds" , "Theurgus@aol.com" , "firstname.lastname@example.org" , "email@example.com" , "firstname.lastname@example.org" , "email@example.com" , "firstname.lastname@example.org" I think that I have found his website on eagle-net. Maybe some of you have already visited it. There is some wonderful golden ratio stuff there. Here is that address. http://eagle-net.org/phikent/phi.html Also, I found a charming little site called Mother in Heaven. Here is that address. http://www.geocities.com/Wellesley/5092/ Many RE:gards proclus -- Visit proclus' realm! http://www.proclus-realm.com/home.html -----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK----- Version: 3.1 GMU/S d+@ s: a C++ UUI++$ P L E--- W++ N- !o K- w--- !O M++ V-- PS+++ PE Y+ PGP-- t+++(+) 5+++ X+ R tv-@ b !DI D- G e++>++++ h--- r+++ y++++ ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------ Subject: Mormon Reincarnation Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 09:04:04 -0500 (EST) From: Theurgus@aol.com To: email@example.com, MCGUIREA@a1.bellhow.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Hail Mutants, There is plenty of circumstantial evidence that "reincarnation" was being refered to in the New Testament, i.e. The man born blind, ect., as well as rumors that Joseph Smith was "ordaining" people to be Adams and "Christs" on other planets. If we take Lurianic Kabbalah as the basic model for Joseph's theology and metaphysics we have to come to grips with Kabbalahs insistance that souls go through "Gilgul" (reinincarnation) until they are "Tikkun" (rectified). The Sufis don't want to talk about reincarnation at all because they see it as a stimulant of the imagination, and they consider imagination to be an out of control monster in most people. For what it's worth, Ken Shaw Subject: Take a look Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 09:04:47 -0500 (EST) From: Theurgus@aol.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org, MCGUIREA@a1.bellhow.com, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Subj: Jewish Meditation: The Next Step Date: 11/11/98 12:20:20 PM Central Standard Time From: rweisz@SWCP.COM (swcp) Sender: DEVEKUT@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU (Jewish Meditation Discussion List) Reply-to: DEVEKUT@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU (Jewish Meditation Discussion List) To: DEVEKUT@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU Chochmat HaLev presents a "Jewish Meditation Conference: The Next Step". Location: Congregation Emanu-El 2 Lake Street San Francisco, CA 94118 Dates: February 13-14 Co-Sposnors: Congregation Emanu-El, San Francisco Metivta, Los Angeles Teachers: Sylvia Boorstein, Rabbi David Cooper, Dr. Avram Davis, Rabbi Ted Falcon, Dr. Nan Fink Gefen, Estelle Frankel, Rabbi Shefa Gold, Rabbi Alan Lew, Rabbi Jonathan Omer-Man, Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Rabbi David Zeller, Rabbi Helen Cohn, Shoshana Cooper, Rabbi Lavey Derbey, Rabbi Steven Fisdel, Etiel Herring, Daniel Lev, Rabbi Jeff Roth, Jhos and Bon Singer, and K'vod Wieder. Workshops include: Daily Contemplative Morning Practice, Spiritual Intelligence -- Midot-ation, The heart of Listening, A covenant of Silence, God is a Verb, Meditations of the Mothers, Hitkavut and Devekut, Beginning the Journey, Ecstasy and Discipline: Applying the Power of Chant, Basic Meditation ... for Beginners, Bring Me Your Broken Heart, Mesirah; Letting Go Into Our Deepest Truth, Holy Melody: Breaking the Brain Barrier, The Mystic Path f Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, Similarities and Differences Between Meditation Traditions, Burning for God: The Practice of Hitlahavut, Meditation as Healing, Creative Borrowing: Using Non-Jewish Meditation to Enhance Jewish Spirituality, Minyan: Ten Practices for Living Life with Integrity. For additional information, you may call Chochmat HaLev (510) 704-9687 or visit www.chochmat.org Reuven --------------------Chochmat HaLev presents a "Jewish Meditation Conference: The Next Step".Location: Congregation Emanu-El 2 Lake Street San Francisco, CA 94118Dates: February 13-14Co-Sposnors: Congregation Emanu-El, San Francisco Metivta, Los AngelesTeachers: Sylvia Boorstein, Rabbi David Cooper, Dr. Avram Davis, Rabbi Ted Falcon, Dr. Nan Fink Gefen, Estelle Frankel, Rabbi Shefa Gold, Rabbi Alan Lew, Rabbi Jonathan Omer-Man, Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Rabbi David Zeller, Rabbi Helen Cohn, Shoshana Cooper, Rabbi Lavey Derbey, Rabbi Steven Fisdel, Etiel Herring, Daniel Lev, Rabbi Jeff Roth, Jhos and Bon Singer, and K'vod Wieder.Workshops include: Daily Contemplative Morning Practice, Spiritual Intelligence -- Midot-ation, The heart of Listening, A covenant of Silence, God is a Verb, Meditations of the Mothers, Hitkavut and Devekut, Beginning the Journey, Ecstasy and Discipline: Applying the Power of Chant, Basic Meditation ... for Beginners, Bring Me Your Broken Heart, Mesirah; Letting Go Into Our Deepest Truth, Holy Melody: Breaking the Brain Barrier, The Mystic Path f Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, Similarities and Differences Between Meditation Traditions, Burning for God: The Practice of Hitlahavut, Meditation as Healing, Creative Borrowing: Using Non-Jewish Meditation to Enhance Jewish Spirituality, Minyan: Ten Practices for Living Life with Integrity.For additional information, you may call Chochmat HaLev (510) 704-9687 or visit www.chochmat.orgReuven----------------------- Headers -------------------------------- Return-Path: Received: from rly-zd02.mx.aol.com (rly-zd02.mail.aol.com [172.31.33.226]) by air-zd04.mail.aol.com (v51.16) with SMTP; Wed, 11 Nov 1998 13:20:20 -0500 Received: from LIME.EASE.LSOFT.COM (lime.ease.lsoft.com [18.104.22.168]) by rly-zd02.mx.aol.com (8.8.8/8.8.5/AOL-4.0.0) with ESMTP id NAA17886; Wed, 11 Nov 1998 13:20:09 - 0500 (EST) Received: from PEAR.EASE.LSOFT.COM (22.214.171.124) by LIME.EASE.LSOFT.COM (LSMTP for Digital Unix v1.1b) with SMTP id ?.000906AA@LIME.EASE.LSOFT.COM> Wed, 11 Nov 1998 13:20:20 -0500 Received: from MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU by MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU (LISTSERV-TCP/IP release 1.8c) with spool id 13356180 for DEVEKUT@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU; Wed, 11 Nov 1998 10:39:22 -0400 Received: from kitsune.swcp.com (126.96.36.199) by maelstrom.stjohns.edu (LSMTP for OpenVMS v1.1a) with SMTP id ?.C62A8B1D@maelstrom.stjohns.edu> Wed, 11 Nov 1998 10:37:41 -0500 Received: from computer (dpm2-01.swcp.com [188.8.131.52]) by kitsune.swcp.com (8.8.8/1.2.3) with SMTP id IAA17185 for Wed, 11 Nov 1998 08:37:33 -0700 (MST) MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="----=_NextPart_000_002E_01BE0D4E.24565380" X-Priority: 3 X-MSMail-Priority: Normal X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 4.72.3110.1 X-Mimeole: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V4.72.3110.3 Message-ID: ?a01be0d89$eecdd4e0$420586cc@computer> Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 08:34:48 -0700 Reply-To: Jewish Meditation Discussion List Sender: Jewish Meditation Discussion List From: swcp Subject: Jewish Meditation: The Next Step To: DEVEKUT@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU Subject: Re: Mormon Reincarnation Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 10:46:32 -0500 From: Michael Love To: Andy Mcguire , Kathleen McGuire , "R. Trent Reynolds" , "Theurgus@aol.com" , "email@example.com" , "firstname.lastname@example.org" , "email@example.com" , "firstname.lastname@example.org" , "email@example.com" References: 1 Theurgus@aol.com wrote: > > Hail Mutants, > > There is plenty of circumstantial evidence that "reincarnation" > was being refered to in the New Testament, i.e. The man born > blind, ect., as well as rumors that Joseph Smith was "ordaining" > people to be Adams and "Christs" on other planets. Whoa, I hadn't heard that rumor, but it makes sense in terms of JSW's Adam-God explanation... I think. I cannot rule out the possibility of reincarnating on other worlds, if the need arises. It also makes sense, if you consider incarnation as uploading in the extropian sense of the word. It also sounds like a great vacation, a la Total Recall. I've always wondered why many reincarnation believers insist that we continually reincarnate on this planet only. It is a wide and wonderous universe out there. Earth is a mote in God's eye. > If we take Lurianic Kabbalah as the basic model for Joseph's > theology and metaphysics we have to come to grips with > Kabbalahs insistance that souls go through "Gilgul" (reinincarnation) > until they are "Tikkun" (rectified). Here I'll take exception. This assumes that Joseph was merely recreating kabbalah within Mormonism. Even yer basic mormon should automatically suggest that Kabbalah was an apostate branch and that Joseph simply extracted the truth that was left within it. There are plenty of other examples of Joseph seeking out the best truths in the world, and making them his own. He also tends not to incorporate teachings wholesale, but rather to take the kernal and cast away the chaff. He keeps peeling the onion (proclus looks at Andy ;-). Don't take me wrong, Ken. I have always thought that the interesting work we have done on this list must somehow enter the mainstream. If that is to happen, we have to deal with the Ricky Mormon questions too. > The Sufis don't want to talk about reincarnation at all because they > see it as a stimulant of the imagination, and they consider imagination > to be an out of control monster in most people. Can I praise the Sufis in a word... maybe two? How about clarity and objectivity? What is the opposite of superstition? If it weren't for the Sufis, I think that we would still be looking for God in a stick. But, the stick would be in our minds, and we wouldn't know it. Why imagine other worlds? Look at the sky with your eyes, and you are looking right at them. We don't need better analogies. We just need to explore, and ACT. The map is not the territory. As I said in my Gawain essay, "We have untied Solomon's knot, but the star did not fall from the sky." Thank you, Ken, for rekindling my interest in the Sufis, which we now share. Let's go swimming! Regards, proclus -- Visit proclus' realm! http://www.proclus-realm.com/home.html -----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK----- Version: 3.1 GMU/S d+@ s: a C++ UUI++$ P L E--- W++ N- !o K- w--- !O M++ V-- PS+++ PE Y+ PGP-- t+++(+) 5+++ X+ R tv-@ b !DI D- G e++>++++ h--- r+++ y++++ ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------ Subject: Re: Mormon Reincarnation Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 23:26:02 -0500 (EST) From: Theurgus@aol.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org, MCGUIREA@a1.bellhow.com, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org CC: Yahu007@aol.com, Sefirot1@aol.com, CYeshua@aol.com Proclus said- >>Don't take me wrong, Ken. I have always thought that the interesting >>work we have done on this list must somehow enter the mainstream. If >>that is to happen, we have to deal with the Ricky Mormon questions too. I started out in all this in an effort to find a way to make the religion of my youth "operative" again. It is obvious that some vital element slipped away after the passing of those men and women who recieved the "transmission" directly from Joseph. All this time I've been looking for the way back to the source of the teaching. The trail started from the masonic marks on my underwear and lead from Freemasonry to Ritual Magic, to the Zoharic Kabbalah of Muslim Spain, to the Templars, to the Isma'ilis and Sufis of Islam, to the Tantric Yogis of Tibet and China, to Terence McKenna and the "Gospel" of Meso-American Shamanism, and finally to the enigma of the so-called "UFO" experience. What a long strange trip it's been. What I've learned is that "Mormonism" is none of my business, and that I can only make in "operative" in myself. I believe that Joseph left us a trail of crumbs to follow back home in true Isma'ili style, but it is for individuals to find their way out of the box. I believe that "Mormonism" is still holding a potent "charge", kind of like a storage battery, and will yet play an important role in the crisis to come, but not in the way they expect. The "Mormon" reality tunnel is a powerful as Judaism's or Islam's, and when push comes to shove there will be a whole lot of True Believers loading their shit in trucks and heading for the mountains. The "powers-that-be" will be facing an American version of the Afghan Resistance. For what it's worth, Ken Shaw Subject: Islam and Mormonism Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 11:06:31 -0500 (EST) From: Theurgus@aol.com To: email@example.com, MCGUIREA@a1.bellhow.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com CC: Sefirot1@aol.com, CYeshua@aol.com "The Church's doctrinal posture toward Islam has also gone through phases. Islam is not mentioned in either the Book of Mormon or the Doctrine and Covenants. Yet articles in Times and Seasons suggest that some LDS spokesmen initially echoed medieval Christian views of Islam as fanatical heresy (Editorial, 3 [15 Apr. 1842]; "Last Hour of the False Prophet," 5 [Apr. 1, 1844]; "Mahometanism," 6 [Jan. 15, 1845]). But speeches by apostles George A. Smith and Parley P. Pratt in 1855 evoked more positive traditional interpretations: that Islam, fulfilling biblical promises made to Ishmael (Gen. 21), was divinely instigated to "scourge" apostate Christianity and to curb idolatry. Perhaps unknowingly paraphrasing Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (d. 1792), George A. Smith applied historical judgment to Islam's experience: "As they abode in the teachings which Mahomet gave them,…they were united and prospered; but when they ceased to do this, they lost their power and influence" (pp. 34-35)" Subject: Re: Mormon Reincarnation Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 13:08:35 -0500 From: Michael Love To: Andy Mcguire , Kathleen McGuire , "R. Trent Reynolds" , "Theurgus@aol.com" , "firstname.lastname@example.org" , "email@example.com" , "firstname.lastname@example.org" , "email@example.com" , "firstname.lastname@example.org" References: 1 Theurgus@aol.com wrote: > > Proclus said- > > >>Don't take me wrong, Ken. I have always thought that the interesting > >>work we have done on this list must somehow enter the mainstream. If > >>that is to happen, we have to deal with the Ricky Mormon questions too. > > I started out in all this in an effort to find a way to make the religion of > my > youth "operative" again. It is obvious that some vital element slipped away > after the passing of those men and women who recieved the "transmission" > directly from Joseph. All this time I've been looking for the way back to the > source of the teaching. The trail started from the masonic marks on my > underwear and lead from Freemasonry to Ritual Magic, to the Zoharic > Kabbalah of Muslim Spain, to the Templars, to the Isma'ilis and Sufis of > Islam, to the Tantric Yogis of Tibet and China, to Terence McKenna and > the "Gospel" of Meso-American Shamanism, and finally to the enigma > of the so-called "UFO" experience. The people I most admire on this list are the ones who are still peeling the onion, as it were. They are in good company, IMHO, as they fearlessly follow through on the implications of what they learn. You are one of those people that I admire, Ken. > What a long strange trip it's been. What I've learned is that "Mormonism" > is none of my business, and that I can only make in "operative" in myself. > > I believe that Joseph left us a trail of crumbs to follow back home in true > Isma'ili style, but it is for individuals to find their way out of the box. I can't say the Mormonism is none of my business, as it is my heretage. In fact, the business analogy is still a little strange to me. My experience in the online communities of Mormons has taught me that we should build a highway along that "trail of crumbs". The hearts of the children can only turn to the fathers, if we embrace our wonderful heretage. Indeed, this is a personal, internal matter, and it is done one individual at a time. > I believe that "Mormonism" is still holding a potent "charge", kind of like > a storage battery, and will yet play an important role in the crisis to come, > but not in the way they expect. The "Mormon" reality tunnel is a powerful > as Judaism's or Islam's, and when push comes to shove there will be a > whole lot of True Believers loading their shit in trucks and heading for the > mountains. The "powers-that-be" will be facing an American version of > the Afghan Resistance. This is certainly a scenario that any "powers that be" usurper in the west will have to face. Since WWI these true believers are also patriots. I would not want to be at war with _that_ tribe! And the river opens for the righteous... Regards, proclus -- Visit proclus' realm! http://www.proclus-realm.com/home.html -----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK----- Version: 3.1 GMU/S d+@ s: a C++ UUI++$ P L E--- W++ N- !o K- w--- !O M++ V-- PS+++ PE Y+ PGP-- t+++(+) 5+++ X+ R tv-@ b !DI D- G e++>++++ h--- r+++ y++++ ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------ Subject: Re: Mormon Reincarnation Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 13:01:16 -0500 (EST) From: Theurgus@aol.com To: email@example.com, MCGUIREA@a1.bellhow.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Proclus- >>I can't say the Mormonism is none of my business, as it is my heretage. >>In fact, the business analogy is still a little strange to me I used to think that somehow it was my job to "fix" the Church. Now I see that everything is just as it should be, and that the so called "Fundamentalists" as well as the proffessional "anti-Mormons" will keep the old stuff in rembrance. As for me, I'm finding my way back to the simple love of God. You da' man! Ken Shaw Subject: Re: gawainEssay Date: Mon, 16 Nov 1998 01:13:49 -0500 From: Michael Love To: "D.N.Samson" , "firstname.lastname@example.org" References: 1 Thank your for your interesting questions, which are the best that I have yet received. "D.N.Samson" wrote: > > -- > ------------ > D.N.Samson email@example.com > > I found your essay most interesting and feel there is a valid argument in > the reflections of Adam and Eve, however, the arguement ignores the > following: > > If the Green Knight mirrors Lucifer, why does he carry a holly branch of > peace - is this an act of deception? I am unfamiliar with the tradition of holly as the bough of peace. In the text, it doesn't seem to signify much, as the real signposts are given many pointers. I'm merely an amatuer neoplatonic medievalist, so I hope you will forgive me, if I am ignorant in this matter. Still, peace is a word not foreign to the deceiver's lips. ;-} > If so why is the Green Knight/Lucifer > not punished? Yes, Lucifer is cursed in Eden. As the tradition has it, he continues to reign with blood and horror on this earth. I have a poor concept of the punishment of Lucifer. This may be where the analogy breaks down. I really don't know. I would point out that Gawain becomes Bercilak's vassal, but not his slave. Gawain is not retained, but rides back to Arthur's court. Still, this is a misfortune for the knight. We are informed that the court bemoans his bad luck. I feel that they are glad not to be the ones who had to face this ill-fated journey. > Finally, if Arthur and Camelot mirror God and heaven than > why do they dismiss the seriousness of Gawain's repentence and just rejoice > in his return. > They take to wearing sashes as a mark of pride rather than > knowledge of sin. Rather, I think that they are simply trying to make him feel better, to welcome him back home. The sash cannot be a mark of pride, but rather an emblem of Gawain's misfortune. In taking the sash unto themselves, they become like Christ, bearing one another's burdens. Bercilak has succeeded in humbling Arthur's "puffed up" court. In the neoplatonic sense of the story, the whole court has become a divided image of Christ. Check the final stanza of the poem. It mirrors the last scene in Arthur's court. Men's deeds come to naught, but Christ brings them home to bliss. This analogy makes sense, if you consider that Arthur's court is a _lesser_ image of God's court. In the opener, they are called "the most noble knights _under_ Christ". The author then clarifies the point, as I quote in the essay. Happiest of mortal kind King noblest famed of will You would now go far to fin d So hardy a host on a hill. Finally, the neoplatonic underpinnings of the text are undeniable. The parallel to God's court would be apparent to medieval readers, even if it were not so clearly implied within the text. Thanks for stretching the mental muscles for me. It has been a while since I had to crack the binding. This has been a pleasure, and if you would like to discuss it further, please feel free. Regards, proclus -- Visit proclus' realm! http://www.proclus-realm.com/home.html -----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK----- Version: 3.1 GMU/S d+@ s: a C++ UUI++$ P L E--- W++ N- !o K- w--- !O M++ V-- PS+++ PE Y+ PGP-- t+++(+) 5+++ X+ R tv-@ b !DI D- G e++>++++ h--- r+++ y++++ ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------ Subject: mormon atheist Date: Tue, 01 Dec 1998 00:16:34 -0500 From: proclus To: Andy Mcguire , Kathleen McGuire , "R. Trent Reynolds" , "Theurgus@aol.com" , "firstname.lastname@example.org" , "email@example.com" , "firstname.lastname@example.org" , "email@example.com" , "firstname.lastname@example.org" , "Neoptolmus@aol.com" , "email@example.com" Heyers Mutants! You all know that I have long been kicking around the idea of god as the ultimate transhumanist. I was just perusing a very interesting transhumanist website. Here is the link. http://members.wbs.net/homepages/c/r/y/cryonic4life/enlightenment.html Anyway, I was thinking of a conversation with a theology student I had recently. I was reminded that mormon teachings on the godhead are 100% alien to any medieval theology. In fact, the very idea of theology is antithetical to the mormon concept of god as human. Mormons are atheists. Our Exemplar is a man who became godlike. We are the same kind of being, with the same potential. Many humans incarnated before the redeemer. Adam is our father and a god. No where is Joseph's materialism more apparent than in his conception of the abrahamic covenant. There is no God, just gods. Every man and woman is a star. This is completely at odds with anything the theists have given us. Mormonism can be rewritten as science fancy. I realize that this is a little shrill. I was wondering if you all had any thoughts about this strange territory that I find myself in. Can it be tempered? You've all been kind of silent about it. Best Regards, proclus Subject: mutant bundel2 Date: Wed, 02 Dec 1998 10:39:16 -0500 From: proclus To: "firstname.lastname@example.org" Subject: Sufi stuff Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 01:29:52 -0500 (EST) From: Theurgus@aol.com To: email@example.com, MCGUIREA@a1.bellhow.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Tonight my youngest son Jacob and I met with a representative of the Naqshbhandi Sufi order. I made the contact through the publisher of Omar Ali-Shah's (brother of the late Idris Shah) books, Alef Press. He is just a plain old American guy, but when he looks at you there is an kind of cystaline or "icy" clarity. I has a different quality from the very "churchy" Shia piety of the Iranian bunch we've been working with. These people are the real deal. I'll let you know if anything come of it. Ken Subject: of possible interest Date: Sun, 22 Nov 1998 22:11:42 -0500 (EST) From: Theurgus@aol.com To: Theurgus@aol.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, MCGUIREA@a1.bellhow.com, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org BOOK:Noetic Magic by Dr. Daniel L. Wick Book Noetic Magic and the Coming Transformation in Human Consciousness NoeticMagicReviews. This is a book for those with genuine interest in the transformative potential of the human mind. You will find much in the following pages that will interest and intrigue you. Noetic Magic is divided into two parts: Part One: explores Magic Past, tracing the Western magical tradition from its originator, Pythagoras, through Platonism, Neo-Pythagoreanism, Gnosticism, Hermetism, the Cabala, Sufism, and the Renaissance Neo-Platonists to the modern era of the Order of the Golden Dawn, W.B. Yeats and Aleister Crowley. In addition to outlining the key ideas of Western magic, Part One explores the lives of such famous magi as Apollonius of Tyana, Dr. John Dee and Cagliostro. Part Two: investigates Magic Future, articulating the principles of Noetic Magic, outlining its philosophical basis, its relationship to modern psychology, and its potential for assisting in the "Global Mind Change" that Willis Harman has so eloquently described in his book of the same name. The penultimate chapter, Exercises in Noetic Magic, contains a description of suggested noetic and meditative exercises, including self-remembering, the phenomenological reduction, and Jungian meditations on the Tarot. Depending on your interests and knowledge, you may start with either of the book's two parts. Bibliographical essays and references for quotations will be found at the end. Published by The Mirandola Press, 37, Miguel, Suite 3, San Francisco, CA 94131. ISBN # 0-9660714-0-9, 319 pages. About the author: Dr. Daniel L. Wick. Dr.Daniel L. Wick received his Ph.D. in history from the University of California. He has taught history and literature at the College of Marin, San Francisco State University, and the University of California at Davis. Dr. Wick is the international award winning author of a book on the French Revolution, a play about Lord Byron, and more than one hundred scholarly articles, essays and reviews. Author's E.mail email@example.com Tel: (530)-752-9546 Visit Dr. Wick's other site and obtain information on; how to order his book and how to receive a sample chapter through the E.mail: www.triSphere.com/NoeticMagic/ Read Reviews: NoeticMagicReviews. Outcry Magazine Home: index. Subject: of possible interest-2 Date: Sun, 22 Nov 1998 22:13:22 -0500 (EST) From: Theurgus@aol.com To: Theurgus@aol.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, MCGUIREA@a1.bellhow.com, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Noetic Magic home | order Noetic Magic | sample a chapter | about the author | contact the author Noetic Magic Contents Introduction: The Meanings of Magic BOOK ONE: MAGIC PAST Part One: The Magus as Hero 1. The Birth of Dualism and the Spirit of Magic 2. The Magic of Greece 3. Pythagoras and Pythagoreanism 4. Plato and the Magical Universe 5. Tales of the Magi I: Apollonius of Tyana 6. Simon Magus and Gnosticism 7. Neo-Pythagoreanism and Theurgy 8. Hermes Trismegistus Part Two: The Magus as Heretic 9. Magic in the Middle Ages 10. The Cabal 11. Sufism Part Three: The Magus as Christian Humanist 12. Magic in the Renaissance 13. Tales of the Magi II: John Dee: Renaissance Magus and Royal Spy 14. The Discovery of the Impossible Part Four: The Magus as Charlatan 15. Tales of the Magi III: The Comte de St. Germain: Enigma of the Enlightenment 16. Tales of the Magi IV: Cagliostro: Friend of Humanity or Quack of Quacks Part Five: The Magus as Monster 17. Magic in the 19th Century 18. Tales of the Magi V: The Anti-Victorians: Yeats,Crowley, and the Golden Dawn 19. Tales of the Magi VI: Rasputin, the Holy Devil BOOK TWO: MAGIC FUTURE 20. Introduction 21. Tales of the Magi VII: Gurdjieff, the Magus as Trickster 22. The Magus as Media Maven: Carlos Castaneda and Deepak Chopra 23. The Coming Transformation of Human Consciousness 24. Noetic Magic 25. The Mind as an Active Force 26. Will and Imagination 27. Exploring the Antipodes of the Mind 28. Noetic Magic and the Other 29. Exercises in Noetic Magic 30. Conclusion References and Bibliography Noetic Magic home | order Noetic Magic | sample a chapter | about the author | contact the author Subject: Proclus for Proclus-1 Date: Sun, 22 Nov 1998 22:20:13 -0500 (EST) From: Theurgus@aol.com To: Theurgus@aol.com, email@example.com, MCGUIREA@a1.bellhow.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com CC: firstname.lastname@example.org Proclus and his On the Sacred Art © Stephen Ronan, 1998 Introduction On the Sacred Art is a beautiful piece of Pagan religious writing which elegantly explains the basis for a theurgic understanding of the ‘spiritual mechanics’ behind religious ritual. Theurgy has often —but mistakenly, in my opinion—been identified with magic. I plan to discuss this text in much more detail soon, and also clarify the relationship of theurgy to magic and religion on these pages. Stay tuned! This work, like On the Signs of Divine Possession, is an extract from a lost work of Proclus Diadochus (412-485 AD), which is almost certainly his compendious Commentary on the Chaldean Oracles. This text, On the Sacred Art (Peri tês hieratikês technês) has been translated from the edition of the Greek text published by Joseph Bidez in his Catalogue des manuscrits alchimiques Grecs VI (Brussels: Maurice Lambertin 1928), pp 139-151 (text pp 148-151). Until recently, the only English version of Proclus’ Sacred Art was Thomas Taylor’s translation of the Latin paraphrase of Marsilio Ficino De sacrificio et magia (Opera [Basel 1576] pp. 1,928-29) in his edition of Iamblichus’ On the Mysteries (pp 343-347 of the 1895 edition). Ficino's published edition was the only version generally known until Bidez unearthed the Greek original. When I published my translations of these pieces in the Chthonios edition of Iamblichus’ On the Mysteries (London: Chthonios Books 1989 pp 145-150) —it’s out-of-print and no, sorry, I haven’t got any spare copies! — I was under the impression that I had done the first English translation from the Greek of Proclus’ On the Sacred Art. But I had been preceded by Brian Copenhaver who translated and commented on it in his Hermes Trismegistus, Proclus, and a Philosophy of Magic (pp 79-110 of Merkel and Debus [edd.] Hermeticism and the Renaissance [Associated University Presses: 1988 —now also o/p]). Copenhaver’s edition contains some interesting notes and background materials, but I do not agree with his assumption (shared by many) that theurgy equals magic—though it certainly became an essential ingredient in the noble Divine Magic pursued so eagerly by Ficino and many of his contemporaries in the Renaissance. In the translation which follows, square brackets like this [ ] indicate editorial additions, which are there to clarify the meaning of the text. ….to d’ atrekes en bathei esti. Chaldean Oracles 183 (ed. Des Places) Stephen Ronan Hastings UK, September 1988 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ -- Proclus Diadochus ON THE SACRED ART (Bidez, p. 148) Just as [true] lovers move on beyond the beauty perceived through the senses until they reach the Sole Cause of all beauty and all perception (noêtôn), so too, the experts in sacred matters (hoi hieratikoi), starting with the Sympathy connecting visible things both to one another and to the Invisible Powers, and having understood that all things are to be found in all things, they established the Sacred Science (tên epistêmên tên hieratikên). They marvelled at seeing those things which come last in those which come first, and vice-versa; earthly things in the heavens in a causal and celestial manner, and heavenly things on the earth in a terrestrial way. How else could it be that the sunflower (hêliotropia) moves in accordance with the sun and the moonflower (selênotropia) with the moon, each, according to its ability, turning around with the luminaries of the world? For all things pray according to the rank they occupy and hymn the Leaders who preside over the whole of their ‘chains' (tôn seirôn), either spiritually (noerôs), rationally, naturally (phusikôs) or in a sensory manner (aisthêtôs) So the sunflower moves with what makes it open as much as it can, and if one could hear how it makes the air vibrate (plêssontos) as it turns around, one would realise from the sound that it is making a hymn to its King, of the kind that a plant can sing. Thus there are to be seen on the earth suns and moons in a terrestrial form, and in the heavens all the plants, stones and animals after a celestial manner, alive in a spiritual way (zônta noerôs). Having contemplated these things, the wise men of old (hoi palai sophoi) brought together various things down here with their heavenly counterparts, and brought down Divine Powers into this mortal place, having drawn them down through Similarity (homoiotêtos): for Similarity is powerful (149) enough to attach beings to one another. For instance, if a wick which has been heated beforehand is placed under a lamp, not far from the flame, you will see it light up even though it has not touched the flame, for the transmission of the flame takes place downwards. By analogy, you may consider the heat already there in the wick to correspond to the Sympathy between things, and its being brought and placed below the flame to correspond to the Sacred Art (hieratikês technês) making use of material things at the right time and in the right way. The transmission of the flame is like the presence of the Divine Light with those who are able to partake of it, and the lighting up of the wick is analogous to both the deification of mortals and to the illumination of material substances, each thing then moves towards that which remains on high [i.e. its divine counterpart] according to its share of the Divine Seed, like the light of the wick once it has been lit. The lotus also demonstrates the workings of Sympathy. Its petals are closed before the appearance of the sun's rays, but it gradually opens them as the sun begins to rise, unfolding them as it reaches its zenith and curling them up again as it descends. What then is the difference between the human manner of hymning the sun, by opening and closing the mouth and lips, and that of the lotus by opening and closing its petals? For those are its lips and that is its natural hymn (humnos phusikos). But why should we talk of plants where some trace of generative life still exists? For stones as well can be seen to be infused (empneontas) with the emanations of the luminaries, thus we see the rays of the sun reproduced in the golden rays of the sunstone (hêlitên). The stone called the Eye of Belos, which in form resembles the pupil of the eye, emits from the centre of its pupil a gleaming light which leads one to think that it ought to be called the Eye of the Sun. Moonstone (selênitên) changes both its markings and their motions [i.e. their patterns] along with the moon. Sunmoonstone (hêlioselênon) is just like an image of the conjunction (sunodou) of these two luminaries, portraying the conjunctions and separations which take place in the heavens. Thus all things are full of Gods. The earth is full of celestial Gods and the heavens are full of supercelestial Gods. Each ‘chain’ increases in number (p. 150) as it proceeds to its final terms, and the same qualities which are present in all the members of a ‘chain’ are there in the Unity preceding their manifestation. Thus we get the arrangement of [human] souls, some grouped around (sustaseis) one God, others around another. For instance, there happen to be a large number of solar animals, like the lion and the cock, who partake of the [solar] God, each according to their rank. The remarkable thing is that in this particular case, the bigger and stronger fears the lesser and weaker, for it is said that the lion shrinks back in fear at the sight of the cock. The reason for this is not be found in their physical qualities (aisthêseôs), but in spiritual (noeras) considerations: that is, the differences lie in the Causes themselves. At any rate, the presence of solar symbols is more effective in the cock. It clearly show this by its sensitivity (sunaisthanomenos) to the course of the sun, for it crows a hymn at sunrise and at the rest of the sun’s turning points. For the same reason, certain solar Angels are seen in forms of this kind [i.e. like cocks], for whilst these Angels are formless in reality, they appear by concealing themselves in form to us who have been endowed with form (memorphômenoi). Thus it is said that certain solar Daemons who appear with lion-faces, disappear at once when shown the image of a cock, retreating in fear from the superior Sigils [or Divine Signs sunthêmata]. In the same way, many people are held back from doing something wrong, simply just by seeing the images of divine men. To put it all plainly, some things move in accordance with the course of a luminary, like those plants we have spoken of. Others imitate the form of its rays, like the palm tree. Some again have an empyrean [or fiery] essence, like the laurel; and others imitate some other quality. From these things one can see that the properties which are contained in the sun in a concentrated form (sunespeiramenas) are to be found in a divided-up state amongst those entities who partake of the sun’s qualities: Angels, Daemons, [human] souls, animals, plants and stones. >From these facts, the masters of the Sacred Art (hoi tês hieatikês hêgemones) found the way to pay divine honours [or service] to the Higher Powers, by following what lay in front of their eyes, and by mixing together some things and removing others, as appropriate. And when they made use of a mixture of things it was because they had observed that unmixed each thing has some quality of the God, but taken alone was not sufficient to invoke them. So by mixing together many different things they unified the emanations (aporrhoias) referred to previously [149, 20] and by the production of one thing from many, they made a likeness of that Whole which exists before every thing else comes into being. And so they often constructed images (agalmata) (p. 151) and incenses from these mixtures, mingling into one the divided Divine Sigils (sunthêmata), and making by art that which a God contains essentially (ousian). Thus they unified the multiplicity of powers which when dispersed are weakened, but when combined lead back up to the essential Form of its Archetype (tên tou paradeigmatos idean). Sometimes it happens that just a single herb or stone is sufficient in a ritual operation. So kneôron (flax-leaved daphne or spurge-flax) is sufficient for a manifestation (autophaneian) For protection, laurel (daphnê) or a thorny shrub (rhamnos), or the squill (skulla), or coral (kouraliou), or diamond (adamas) or jasper (iaspis). For knowledge of the future, the heart of a mole (hê tou asplakos kardia), and for purification, sulphur and seawater. Working in this way, the masters of the Sacred Art attracted some things through Sympathy and repelled others through Antipathy. For instance [as an example of antipathy], sulphur and bitumen (asphaltos) purify through the sharpness of their smell, and one sprinkles seawater because it partakes of the empyrean (or fiery) power And so in their Initiations [or Consecrations] and other Divine Ceremonies (tais teletais de kai tais allais peri tous theous therapeias) they would choose the appropriate animals and other materials. Longing to go beyond these and similar things [that is, they wanted to go beyond the powers inherent in physical objects], they came to know the Daemonic Powers which are essentially linked to the activities of nature and physical bodies, and by this means they drew down (epêgagonto) these Powers in order to communicate (sunousian) with them. From the Daemonic Powers they moved straight up towards the actual Doings of the Gods (autas…tas tôn theôn…poiêseis), instructed in some matters by the Gods themselves, but in others moved by their own efforts to an accurate conception of the appropriate symbols. And so, leaving nature and physical operations below, they came to directly experience (echrêsanto) the Primordial (prôtourgois) and Divine Powers. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ -- Subject: Proclus for Proclus-2 Date: Sun, 22 Nov 1998 22:22:16 -0500 (EST) From: Theurgus@aol.com To: Theurgus@aol.com, email@example.com, MCGUIREA@a1.bellhow.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Proclus Diadochus On the Signs of Divine Possession © Stephen Ronan, 1998 ON THE SIGNS OF DIVINE POSSESSION is my title for an extract from Proclus preserved in a work by the Byzantine Christian Neoplatonist, Michael Psellus, in his Accusation against Michael Cerularius before the Synod (Pros tên sunodon katêgoria tou archiros) ed. by É. des Places Oracles Chaldaiques Paris (Les Belles Lettres) 1971. ( pp 219, 14 - 220, 32). It has not, to my knowledge, been translated into English before. This extract, brief though it is, gives crucial information on how the later Pagan tradition experienced and understood the phenomena of divine possession. It has obvious importance for studies on trance and possession, and for theurgy, that much-misunderstood ritual practice of late antiquity. But it is also relevant for the study of consecration and invocation in ritual, as well as mediums and mediumship in general, spiritualism, gossolalia, and states of trance in magical and healing contexts. I plan to discuss this text, and theurgy in general, in much more detail on these pages. Stay tuned! In the translation which follows, square brackets like this [ ] indicate editorial additions, which are there to clarify the meaning of the text. ….to d’ atrekes en bathei esti. Chaldean Oracles 183 (ed. Des Places) Stephen Ronan Hastings UK, September 1988 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ -- Proclus Diadochus On the Signs of Divine Possession (From: Psellus’ Accusation against Michael Cerularius before the Synod) He [i.e. Proclus] speaks first about the differences which separate the so- called Divine Powers, how some are more material and others more immaterial, some joyous (hilarai) and others solemn (embritheis), some arrive along with daemons and others arrive pure. Straight afterwards he goes on to the proper conditions for invocation: the places in which it occurs, about those men and women who see the Divine Light, and about the divine gestures (schêmatôn) and signs (sunthêmatôn) they display. In this way he gets around to the Theagogies of divine inspiration (tas entheastikas theagôgias)[a theagôgia is a drawing in or drawing down of the divine]. "Of which, " he says "some act on inanimate objects and others on animate beings: some on those which are rational, others on the irrational ones. Inanimate objects, " he continues "are often filled with Divine Light, like the statues which give oracles under the inspiration (epipnoias) of one of the Gods or Good Daemons. So too, there are men who are possessed and who receive a Divine Spirit (pneuma theion). Some receive it spontaneously, like those who are said to be ‘seized by God’ (theolêptoi), either at particular times, or intermittently and on occasion. There are others who work themselves up into a state of inspiration (entheasmôn) by deliberate actions, like the prophetess at Delphi when she sits over the chasm, and others who drink from divinatory water". Next, after having said what they have to do [i. e. to gain divine inspiration], he continues "When these things occur, then in order for a Theagogy and an inspiration (epipnoian) to take effect, they must be accompanied by a change in consciousness (parallaxia tês dianoias). When divine inspiration (entheasmôn) comes there are some cases where the possessed (tôn katochôn) become completely besides themselves and unconscious of themselves (existamenôn…kai oudamôs heautois parakolouthountôn). But there are others where, in some remarkable manner, they maintain consciousness. In these cases it is possible for the subject to work the Theagogy on himself, and when he receives the inspiration (epipnoian), is aware of what it [i.e. the Divine Power] does and what it says, and what he has to do release the mechanism [of possession](pothen dei apoluein to kinoun). However, when the loss of consciousness (ekstaseôs) is total, it is essential that someone in full command of his faculties assists the possessed". Then, after many details about the different kinds of Theagogy, he finally concludes: "It is necessary to begin by removing all the obstacles blocking the arrival of the Gods and to impose an absolute calm around ourselves in order that the manifestation of the Spirits (pneumata) we invoke takes place without tumult and in peace (atarachos kai meta galênês)". He adds further "The manifestations of the Gods are often accompanied by material Spirits which arrive and move with a certain degree of violence, and which the weaker mediums cannot withstand." Subject: Iamblichus on the Mysteries Date: Sun, 22 Nov 1998 22:24:25 -0500 (EST) From: Theurgus@aol.com To: Theurgus@aol.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, MCGUIREA@a1.bellhow.com, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org CC: email@example.com Porphyry’s Letter to Anebo & Iamblichus’ On the Mysteries An analysis © Stephen Ronan, 1998 Introduction Porphyry of Tyre’s (c. 232/3-305 AD) Letter to Anebo (Epistula ad Anebonem) and Iamblichus of Chalcis’ (c. 242-325 AD) On the Mysteries (De mysteriis) are two of the most important religious and philosophical documents of Late Antiquity. Porphyry and Iamblichus were both highly esteemed and influential Pagan Neoplatonic philosophers whose views, especially their religious views, have not tended to receive a fair and unprejudiced treatment, and this is true of Iamblichus most of all. Oddly enough, despite the reputations of these documents, a careful analysis will show that neither of them are primarily concerned with magic. What they are concerned with is traditional Pagan religion, its apparent contradictions, and its relationship to philosophy. Neoplatonism, 'irrationalism' and magic Anybody who has read almost anything on Neoplatonism will be familiar with the popular view that the later Neoplatonists were ‘sliding downwards’ towards irrationalism and magic. It is certainly true that terms like ‘superstition’, ‘irrationality’, ‘magic’ and ‘lower forces’ have been, and still are, bandied around with gay abandon by many of those who write on Neoplatonism. But I feel that a careful and unprejudiced reading of the sources will reveal that theurgy involves no more ‘magical’ assumptions than any other religion which believes its rituals to have real efficacy. And that position was, of course, shared by Christian, Jew and Pagan alike. As for the terms ‘superstition’ and ‘irrationality,’ one looks in vain for anything in the way of examples in modern commentators on Neoplatonism explaining just what views the Pagan Neoplatonists held which were more ‘superstitious’ or ‘irrational’ (from the point of view of modern rationalism) than their Christian contemporaries. I plan to discuss these interesting points in much more detail, and give more background on Porphyry and Iamblichus, at a future date on these pages. Stay tuned! On the Mysteries and Porphyry's Letter The De mysteriis takes the form of a point-by-point refutation of the Letter to Anebo. Since the Letter to Anebo was ostensibly written to an Egyptian priest, Iamblichus replied in the guise of Anebo's superior, Abammon. The best way to understand the De mysteriis then, is to look at the points Porphyry raises and the arguments used by Iamblichus in refuting them. What I have done here is try to provide a lucid analysis of the points under discussion, as far as possible in modern English, and referenced to the original documents (see the bibliography at the end). In the analysis which follows the numbers in parentheses ( ) are either references to Parthey’s sections of the Letter to Anebo, or to Parthey/des Places’ pagination, together with the Book/Chapter divisions, of the De mysteriis, for example: (39-40). (I, 11). ….to d’ atrekes en bathei esti. Chaldean Oracles 183 (ed. Des Places) Stephen Ronan Hastings UK, September 1988 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ -- Notes are indicated like this: (n. #). Porphyry’s questions and Iamblichus’ answers (n. 1) Porphyry’s Questions : (Letter to Anebo section 2 Parthey) What are the distinctions between the Superior Races (i.e. Gods, Angels, Daemons (n. 2) etc.)? Are they based on their different degrees of activity and passivity, or on what sort of bodies they have? Iamblichus’ Replies : Active and passive do not apply in the Divine realm (p.12 Parthey/des Places). Different kinds of bodies are the result of distinctions on a higher level, not the causes of them. Nothing physical limits or defines the Gods (pp. 23-9) (De mysteriis Book I, Chapters 3-8) Porphyry’s Questions : (Section 3) Since the Gods are unlimited, undivided and uncircumscribed in power, how does it happen that religion and ritual treat them as allotted to different spheres of influence? Iamblichus’ Replies : The differences do not lie in the Gods, but in the recipients and their varying capacity the receive different types of Divine power (30-3: cf. n.3). (I, 9) Porphyry’s Questions : (Section 4) Why are shocking and obscene events and language used in the Mysteries? Iamblichus’ Replies : (a) Because this is the correct way of worshipping the generative forces (38-9), (b) because it ‘inoculates’ those elements in matter seeking order, showing them the better by demonstrating the worse (39). (c) Repressing emotions makes them more destructive, moderate release is cathartic (39-40). (I, 11). Porphyry’s Questions : (Sections 4 & 5) Why are so many things at Sacred Rites performed as though they were directed to beings who are swayed by emotions? Iamblichus’ Replies : Prayer and invocation do not mean that the Gods are persuaded to come down to us, but rather that by their means we adhere to and become like them (42, 46-9). The ‘anger’ of the Gods is not their turning away and desertion of us by them. The situation is rather that we render ourselves incapable of receiving their beneficence. And the same argument holds true for expiatory sacrifices (43-4). (I, 12-15; VIII, 8). Porphyry’s Questions : (Section 6) How is it that some (planetary) Gods are givers of good things, but others of evil? Iamblichus’ Replies : These things arise from a misunderstanding of Astrology, which talks of benefics and malefics. All the Gods are good, but material conditions may distort that which emanated from the Divine in a state of harmony and lead to conflict. (53-7). (1-18). Porphyry’s Questions : (Section 8) What is the difference between Gods and Daemons? Iamblichus’ Replies : The governance of the Gods is all-embracing and unrestricted. That of the Daemons is limited in time and place; Daemons do not completely transcend that which they rule (63-4). (1, 20). [Porphyry’s Questions : (For section 9: What are the differences between Daemons, Heroes and Souls? (See 69-70 = II, 1-2. For section 10: What signs of their presence do the different orders of Divine beings give? See 69-70 = II, 1 – 2. Cf. 70 – 90 = II, 3-9)]. Porphyry’s Questions : (Section 10) All Divine beings speak boastfully (periantologein) and present illusory images. Iamblichus’ Replies : No they do not. Such manifestations are due to faulty technique on behalf of the practitioner and the consequent appearance of inferior grades of entity (91-4). (II, 10). Porphyry’s Questions : (Section 12) What is the origin of divination? Iamblichus’ Replies : It comes from the Gods and is not the product of the realm of generation (99-102). (III, 1) [Porphyry’s Questions : (For section 12: On divination through dreams. See 103-9 + III, 2-3. For section 13: On Divine possession in general, see 109-III III, 4. For section 14: On the conditions, signs and varieties of Divine possession, see 111-136 = III, 5-15)] Porphyry’s Questions : (Section 15) How could any Divine being be so subservient to man as to be manipulated even by those who divine by something so lowly as barley-meal (alphitomanteia)? Iamblichus’ Replies : Divine power is not brought down under human control in divination: rather this power uses all things as its tools. The fact that it can make active agents out of even lifeless materials is evidence of supremacy, not subservience. (139-143). (III, 17). Porphyry’s Questions : (Section 16) Can Divine beings really be present at religious rituals—what power do human beings have that could draw them down? Iamblichus’ Replies : In fact, it is not possible for rituals to work without the presence of such beings (144). They are naturally present whenever the circumstances are right, but they are not forced to be there in any way. (145-7). (III, 18-19). Porphyry’s Questions : (Section 17) Is religious experience generated by inherent faculties of the human mind? (n.4) Iamblichus’ Replies : Divine experience is brought about by the Divine alone, not by the mechanical operation of inferior causes. Like causes like, and the superior cannot be produced by the inferior. (148-150 cf.151). (III, 20). Porphyry’s Questions : (Section 18) Or is religious experience brought about by mixing Divine and human faculties? Iamblichus’ Replies : This view is superficially attractive but misleading. It must be rejected because the Divine is unchanging and cannot be mixed with the changeable. Another objection is that this view tends to make the soul an equal partner with the Gods and implies that the Divine can become subjected to human conditions (150-2). (III, 21). Porphyry’s Questions : (Section 19) Another possibility is that the faculty of prediction is generated by the activities of the human soul, or that predictive Daemons are generated from forces inherent in animals. Iamblichus’ Replies : Daemons are not generated and perishable things. Primary natures cannot be generated from those which are secondary. (152-4). (III, 22). Porphyry’s Questions : (Section 21) That divination is caused by the subjective state of the recipient is evidenced by (a) the loss of sensory awareness during trance, (b) the use of incense and invocations, and (c) the use of simple-minded and young people as mediums. Iamblichus’ Replies : Why should subjective states of mind qualify for Divine knowledge when even higher states of mind cannot achieve it (156)? Subjective states are tied to the things of the sensory world (157). Loss of sensory awareness during trance indicates that the imagination and other human faculties are not active. (b) Incense and invocations are directly connected to the Gods, not the recipient. (c) Simplicity and youth are evidence of receptivity to the external Divine force. (156-8). (III, 24). Porphyry’s Questions : (Section 22) Isn’t divination caused by diseased or aberrant states of mind, and aren’t visionary experiences like the illusions produced by sorcery? Iamblichus’ Replies : No. The causes of mental disturbances and illusions are opposite to those Divine inspiration. These latter rise above normal consciousness whereas the former fall below it (158-162). (III, 25-26). Porphyry’s Questions : (Sections 23-4) Can’t divination be attributed to the actions of Sympathy, one thing affecting another? Isn’t the notion of Sympathy evident in the substances and actions made use of in ritual? Iamblichus’ Replies : The force of Sympathy certainly operates, since all things are ultimately derived from the Gods, (and are therefore inherently related). But indications drawn from sympathetic relations are somewhat obscure due to their distance from the Divine. They cannot be used to judge the higher causes. The examples from ritual which Porphyry uses demonstrate the existence of external powers, and not just inherent sympathies (162-7) (III, 26-7). Porphyry’s Questions : (Section 25) The makers of working images (drastikôn eidôlôn) are not be despised….(n. 5) Iamblichus’ Replies : Image-making uses the lowest degrees of matter and, unlike other human arts such as medicine and gymnastics, it does not even act in accordance with Nature. No good or truth can possibly come of it. (167-175). (III, 28-30). Porphyry’s Questions : (Section 26) Is divination caused by delusive evil Daemons? Iamblichus’ Replies : Those in contact with the Gods can only receive goodness and truth. However, there are men who because of their impurity, lack of power and faulty technique cannot contact the forces of Good: instead they become utterly corrupted by evil spirits (175-180). (III, 31) [Porphyry’s Questions : (For section 27: attacks by frauds, see 287 = X, 2; cf. III, 31)] Porphyry’s Questions : (Section 28) How can superior beings be commanded as though they were inferiors? Iamblichus’ Replies : Because (a) the entities which are invoked as superiors but commanded as inferiors are forces that - though they are more powerful than human beings in specific fields - are nevertheless inferior because they are limited to those fields (183). (b) The practitioner invokes them as a human being, but commands them as inferiors because he is invested with Divine power. (184). (IV, 1-3). Porphyry’s Questions : (Section 28) Why do the Gods demand justice and purity from their worshippers, but do unjust and impure things when requested? Iamblichus’ Replies : Because (a) The Gods’ view of justice is not that of men – they may be punishing the sins of a former lifetime (168-8). (b) Evil Daemons may pose as Gods, demanding justice and purity as part of their deceit (190-1). (c) In the imperfect material world, individuals must sometimes suffer for the good of the whole (191-3). (d) The forces of Sympathy may be put to perverse uses by black magicians and evil Daemons (193-9). (IV, 4-13). Porphyry’s Questions : (Sections 28a-29) What is the use of sacrifices? And why do men have to abstain from meat to be pure, although the Gods are allured by animal sacrifices? Iamblichus’ Replies : Although physical things can be injurious to human beings, they are not so to the Gods (200-201). Abstinence from meat has nothing to do with polluting the Gods (201-20). Higher beings cannot be affected in any way through matter (205-5). There are many benefits for us through sacrifice (206: cf. 232). The principle of Sympathy is not the reason for sacrifices (207-8). Sacrifices are not food for Gods or Daemons (212-14). The fire of sacrifices spiritualises matter (212-18). A material form of worship is necessary to material human beings (219-20). Every link in the ‘chain’ connecting a God with the physical world must be honoured otherwise discord results, just as missing notes can make music inharmonious (288-31: cf. 237). Pure matter is an appropriate receptacle for the Gods (232-34). The function of prayer (237-40) (V passim). Porphyry’s Questions : (Section 29a) Why must the worshipper be pure from contact with the dead things, although the Divine rites themselves are made effective by dead animals? Iamblichus’ Replies : Because (a) touching or not touching a dead body depends on whether or not the body has been consecrated (241) (b) Dead bodies may produce a stain since death is the opposite of life (242). (VI, 1-4) Porphyry’s Questions : (Sections 30-31) What is the meaning of threats to the God? How can a Divine being be forced to tell the truth by means of lies? What sort of ‘Gods’ would be swayed by such groundless fears? Iamblichus’ Replies : The explanation is that (a) the threats are not directed towards the Gods but towards low-grade irrational powers which are naturally led by forcible utterances (246: cf. 182). (b) The threats emphasise the identity of the practitioner with the supreme power of Gods (246-7: cf. 184). (c) Daemons cannot bear to hear any threat to the Divine order which sustains them (247-8). A pure language, dedicated to the Gods alone, does not need threats (249). (VI, 5-7). [Porphyry’s Questions : (On sections 32-3: On the symbolism of the phases of the sun, see 249-54 + VII, 1-3.)]. Porphyry’s Questions : (Sections 33-4) Why does ritual make use of meaningless sounds and foreign words, as though the Gods only understood certain languages? Surely it’s the intention that counts with the Gods and not the terms used, so isn’t this all just mystification by sorcerers? Iamblichus’ Replies : ‘Barbarous names’ may be unintelligible to us, but they are meaningful at the Divine level (254-6). The precise terms used do count, because they are not formed by conventional agreement and, unlike human language, actually resemble Divine realities (257). The languages of Sacred Nations are to be preferred because they preserve ancient and hallowed forms inviolate, whereas Greek forms may be spoiled through innovation (256-9). (VII, 4-5). [Porphyry’s Questions : (For sections 35-37: Porphyry’s questions on Egyptian philosophy see 260-68 = Viii, 1-5)] Porphyry’s Questions : (Section 38) Why do the Egyptians say that we are completely under the sway of Fate but nevertheless worship Gods as the dissolvers of Fate? Iamblichus’ Replies : Only the lower soul is under the sway of Fate. The higher soul, which is not, can liberate the lower (268-9). Fate only comes from the lowest powers of the Gods and is dissolved as we rise above the constraints of the earthly world of generative existence (270-72). (VIII, 6-8). [Porphyry’s Questions : (Sections 39-45: For answers to Porphyry’s questions about the Guardian Daemon, see 272-285 = IX passim.)]. Porphyry’s Questions : (Section 46) Isn’t there some other way to happiness and fulfilment than through (the worship) of the Gods? Can’t the soul achieve great things by remoulding what it has been allotted by chance?(n. 6) Aren’t there methods, other than those of ritual, for divining the future? Iamblichus’ Replies : Since the Gods must be the source of everything beneficial, no true Good can be attained without them or their rituals (268-7). Prediction of the future through other methods bears no comparison with Divine inspiration (287-290). (X, 1-4). Porphyry’s Questions : (Sections 48-49) Don’t those who consult the Divine Mind do so in relation to trivial matters, passing over important affairs like Truth and Fulfilment? Iamblichus’ Replies : Important spiritual matters are not passed over by Egyptian priests, not do theurgists call upon the Divine Mind for trivial reasons (293). (X, 7). ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ -- Notes 1. A few of Porphyry’s questions have been omitted because their problems are tackled within the context of other questions. 2. ‘Daemons’ (daimones) were, by Porphyry and Iamblichus’ day, considered to be middle-ranking divine forces which were an essential part of the divine order, and were not usually considered evil. They were not ‘Demons’ in the Christian sense, and it is usually very misleading to translate the Greek daimôn (plural daimones) as ‘Demon’ in Pagan literature. Where D(a)emons were considered evil, the essential difference between Christian and Pagan thinkers was that Christians would tend to view them as members of an infernal hierarchy, essentially opposed to the Divine. But for Pagans, they were the products of the turbulent, disorderly and distorted conditions which, of necessity, accompanied the limited and inferior realm of the material world. 3. Religion and ritual, since they are based in the physical world, must necessarily deal with the recipients. 4. These ‘inherent faculties’ are referred to as ‘small sparks’ aithugmata mikra. See des Places Jamblique p128 n.1. 5. The makers of working images (drastikôn eidôlôn) are not be despised…. There seems to be a misunderstanding here on the part of Iamblichus’ editors and translators, based on the ambiguity of the phrase drastikôn eidôlôn ‘working images’ (or ‘models’), and the fact that Porphyry’s argument is particularly truncated here. Porphyry’s argument seems to require that these drastikôn eidôlôn are ‘working models’; probably he particularly had in mind the mechanised statues of the Gods. For Porphyry can hardly, in the middle of a highly critical analysis of religion, have started to suggest that some of its practitioners were admirable. I would suggest he was arguing along the lines of: "If you’re inclined to admire those who can produce effects by means of Sympathy, then why not admire those who make working models of things, since these also work by sympathetic relations ; they look like the things they’re modelled after, and work a bit like them." Porphyry also perhaps had in mind working models of the heavens, such as that designed by Archimedes (on which see T. Heath A History of Greek Mathematics Oxford 1921, vol.2, p17 and notes). The point of that example would be that these contrivances are able to predict what will happen in a purely mechanical way, without the need for invocations. Hence they must be as worthy of respect as divinatory techniques. However, in his refutation, Iamblichus also takes the opportunity to castigate ‘producers of illusions’ as black magicians involved in creating low-grade mirages. Hence the editorial confusion mentioned above. 6. hê psuchê ek tou tuchontos anaplattei megala. This phrase has been misunderstood by des Places and Sodano as well as by both English translators. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ -- BIBLIOGRAPHY NOTE : The works below are just a selection of materials referred to in this piece and not a complete Bibliography. Most of them are out-of-print and very difficult to find. However, Thomas Taylor’s Iamblichus is due to be reprinted very soon and Chthonios will have copies. If I find copies of the other works, I will put them up on this Website, so stay tuned! See other pages on this Website for related books on Neoplatonism, Pagan religion, early Christianity, etc. Ronan, S. (ed.) Iamblichus On the Mysteries London (Chthonios Books) 1989. (Sorry, this is o/p and I don’t have any spare copies). Besides running Taylor’s and Wilder’s translations side by side, this edition has many additional materials, some of which are available on this Website. TAYLOR = Thomas Taylor Iamblichus On the Mysteries 1821. 2nd edition: London (Bertram Dobell) 1895. PARTHEY = G. Parthey Jamblichi De Mysteriis Liber Berlin 1857. Reprint: Amsterdam (Hakkert) 1965. The text used by Wilder. WILDER = Alexander Wilder Theurgia or the Egyptian Mysteries by Iamblichos London (Rider) 1911 DES PLACES = É. des Places Jamblique Les mysteres d’Égypte Paris (Les Belles Lettres) 1966. The standard modern edition with Greek text and French translation. Oracles Chaldaiques Paris (Les Belles Lettres) 1971. The standard modern edition with Greek text and French translation. English readers can find a concordance to des Places’ numeration of the fragments and to the English translations in my edition of G. R. S. Mead Complete Echoes from the Gnosis London (Chthonios Books) 1987 (Sorry, now o/p) SODANO = A. R. Sodano Porfirio: Lettera ad Anebo Naples (L’Arte Tipografica) 1958. Modern edition of the Letter to Anebo with Greek text and Italian translations. However, I have preferred to use Parthey’s edition in my analysis of Porphyry’s Letter, even though it is not very well put together, because I feel Sodano introduces some things which Porphyry didn’t actually say. (b) Giamblico: I Misteri Egiziani Milan (Rusconi) 1984. A good Italian translation with an abundance of notes and indexes. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Subject: mutant bundel Date: Mon, 23 Nov 1998 18:11:20 -0500 From: Michael Love To: proclus Subject: Re: Paul the Jewish Mystic Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 00:19:26 -0500 From: Michael Love To: Andy Mcguire , Kathleen McGuire , "R. Trent Reynolds" , Joe Steve Swick III , ArtdeHoyos , Randall Shortridge , Beth any , proclus , rpc man , "firstname.lastname@example.org" , "Neoptolmus@aol.com" , Dave , "Robert R. Black" <email@example.com>, Theurgus References: 1 I'm going to point out a more literal interpretation of these statements of Paul and others. We are agree that the goal here is to become god, as god, godlike, or some such. I'll take as my definition of God one which I favor. I heard it from Robert Anton Wilson. A god is someone who lives forever, and can go anywhere they want just as fast as they want. Such a being would be glorious indeed. God is human, as we are taught by JS. The anthropomorphic god is what distinguishes us from the theologians. Given the above, clothing ourselves in immortality is a great analogy for uploading. Gradually, as we become more and more godlike, uploading to an immortal body becomes a possibility. In this interpretation, the throne of god is something that we will sit our divine butts in one of these days. It is not internal. In I loved the part about the tent. "we wish not to be unclothed but to be further clothed." This is the ideal uploading experience. Nothing is lost. Everything is gained. We are litarally transformed into the immortal body of God. We are one in that we are peers of God, like Moses and Abraham, our brothers. I'm not fond of the Gospel of Thomas. I think that the writings of Paul can all be interpreted in this very literal way. Regards, proclus -- Visit proclus' realm! http://www.proclus-realm.com/home.html -----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK----- Version: 3.1 GMU/S d+@ s:+ a C++ UULI++$ P L+ E--- W++ N- !o K- w--- !O M++ V-- PS+++ PE Y+ PGP-- t+++(+) 5+++ X+ R tv-@ b !DI D- G e++>++++ h--- r+++ y++++ ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------ Subject: Paul the Jewish Mystic Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 02:41:17 -0500 (EST) From: Theurgus@aol.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org, MCGUIREA@a1.bellhow.com, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org The Gnostic Theology of Paul - or- Paul: The Jewish Mystic The Arians risked imperial wrath when they taught people to become Sons of God. The Origenists were expelled from their monasteries for practicing union with God. But now, some scholars are concluding that ideas like these could have been an original part of Christianity. A case could be made that Paul taught union with God and that he used images from Jewish mysticism. I have already posted on medieval Jewish mystics, and I am finding some scholars who believe the same mystical ideas about union with God that are part of medieval Kabbalah also influenced Paul and possibly Jesus. The world in which Christianity was born nurtured a variety of ideas about divine union. In Jewish mysticism, as well as in Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mystery religions, people sought personal identification with God. They tried to accomplish this in several ways, one of which was the practice of a spiritual journey known as an ascent. ( See James D. Tabor, Things Unutterable: Paul's Ascent to Paradise in Its Greco-Roman, Judaic, and Early Christian Contexts) The mystics sometimes described the ascent not as journey upward into heaven but rather inward, into the sacred spaces of the heart ( cf. my comments about Paul's and Peter's references to the "inward man" above). Usually the ascent culminated in either a vision of a divine being or in the experience of being transformed into a divine being. Being seated on a throne or clothed in new garments often symbolized the transformation. One example of this belief and practice comes from the first century Jewish mystic Philo, a contemporary of Jesus. He believed human beings could also become divine beings like Moses. Philo calls Moses not only a "sort of God" but also " a model for those who were inclined to imitate him." Moses, Philo tells us, was not created divine; he gradually became divine. Philo presents Moses' divinity as a goal for everyone: "Happy are they who have been able to take, or have even diligently labored to take, a faithful copy of this excellence in their own souls." Other examples of this are found in the _First Enoch_ , from the first to third century B.C., and in the Jewish mystical text _2 Baruch _ written sometime between A.D. 70 and 130 -- but relying on earlier sources. There is some evidence in the Gospels that Jesus may have been influenced by the tradition of the ascents, but there is even more evidence in Paul's letters. In fact, the Epistles have convinced many scholars that Jewish mysticism impacted Christianity. In 2 Corinthians, Paul describes a journey to the "third heaven," where he received " visions and revelations of the Lord." It bears the earmarks of ascent mysticism. " I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven-- whether in the body or out of the body, I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into Paradise -- whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows -- and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter." (2 Cor 12: 2-4 Revise Standard Version) Other passages in Paul's letters provide further evidence that he was a Jewish mystic. In them he teaches Christians to identify with Christ in the same way Jewish mystics identified with the enthroned divine being. In 2 Corinthians, Paul describes a process of glorification that parallels one recorded in _2 Enoch_. Enoch is brought before "the Lord", a divine being seated on a throne. In the vision, the Archangel Michael "extracts" Enoch from his " earthly clothing," annoits him with oil and puts him into "clothes of glory." After this, Enoch tells us that he looked at himself and he had become "like one of the glorious ones, and there was no observable difference." In Corinthians, Paul uses the same metaphor for transformation Enoch does -- exchanging earthly clothing for heavenly clothing. . He contrasts living in an "earthly tent" ( the mortal body) with living in an eternal heavenly dwelling. He compares the two modes of existence with clothing: "For in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling....because we wish not to be unclothed but to be further clothed (in the heavenly dwelling), so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life."(2 Cor, 5:1,2,4) Paul has simply exchanged the divine being of Jewish mysticism with Christ. Thus we can conclude that when Paul taught people to be clothed in a heavenly dwelling, he meant that they should seek oneness with the divine being -- with the Christ, the universal Logos. The passages in which Paul describes being "in Christ" give further support to the argument that Paul was exhorting us to seek union with Christ. The traditional interpretation is that being "in Christ" means being a Christian, one with the body of Christians on earth. but it could have a deeper meaning -- I believe it refers to the state of being identified with Christ through a mystical experience. My interpretation fits Paul's usage of the term. For example, he calls himself a man "in Christ". He tells us that "as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ." he describes those who are in Christ as "one body," "members one of another and says that someone who is in Christ is part of " a new creation." (2 Cor. 12:2 KJV; I Cor. 15:22; Rom 12:5; 2 Cor. 5:17) The definition that best fits Paul's descriptions is that being in Christ means being identified with Christ. Through analyzing Paul's use of the term "in Christ", scholar Alan Segal, professor of religion at Barnard College, concludes that Paul is indeed referring to the process of identification, or union, with a divine being. " Being in Christ in fact appears to mean being united with Christ's heavenly image." (Segal, Paul the Covert: The Apostolate and Apostasy of Saul the Parisee, Yale University Press, 1990, p. 64) Transformation into Christ, therefore, is an integral part of Paul's theology. The Christ has taken on the role of the enthroned divine being of Jewish mysticism. (13751-13754 July14,1997-) Part II The Gnostic Paul or Paul: The Jewish Mystic In Judaism, the enthroned being came to symbolize the "ideal and immortal man" (Segal. p.42), the *prototype* from which all have descended and to which all are destined to return. In other words, the divine being represents the higher part of ourselves that did not take part in the fall into mortal bodies. This call this being the Divine Self, or Real Self. Three Epistles describe the Christian's transformation from a state of soul bondage to reunion with the Divine Self ( Real Self). Ephesians : "God,...even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ...and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus." (Eph., 2:4,5,6). *Second Corinthians: "For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh." (2 Cor. 4:11) Galatians: "It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me." ( Gal 2:20) When the Pauline Epistles tell us we are being seated in "heavenly places in Christ" and that Jesus' life is " made visible in our mortal flesh," they are describing the process by which we too can be transformed into the Christ. Remember, the Christ is not simply the man Jesus who lived on earth. The Christ is the Logos, the Divine Word that he became, the Divine Self of all of us. The most important message that we can get from Paul's letters is that Jesus was the *prototype* for every Christian. As Paul says in Romans, "They are the ones [God] chose specially long ago and intended to become true images of his Son, so that his Son might be the eldest of many brothers." ( Romans 8:29 JB) Here Paul is saying that it is the destiny for every Christian to be transformed into a divine being, a sibling of Jesus, who is the firstborn. In the above passage from Romans, Paul uses the word *Image*: "conformed to the IMAGE of his Son." This word had a special meaning in Merkabah mysticism. As Segul tells us, the image of God, or *eikon*, was "an especially glorious and splendid form that humanity lost when Adam sinned." ( Segul. p. 41) We can now understand the grand scope of Paul's theology when he says that "all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord asthough reflected in a mirror, ARE BEING TRANSFORMED INTO THE SAME IMAGE, from one degree of glory to another" (2Cor 3:18)-- from glory unto glory. This verse is the blueprint of your own spiritual journey. You are destined to be transformed into your own lost divine image, becoming more like him every day. Paul's use of the term IMAGE is the key to interpreting his famous passage from I Corinthians, chapter 15. In it, Paul tells us we are meant to bear the image of Christ. He compares Adam ["the first man"] with Christ ["the last Adam"]. "Just as we have born the image of the man of dust[Adam]," he tells us, "we will also bear the image of the man of heaven [Christ]." (I Cor 15:45, 49) The Gnostics, who emerged out of Jewish mysticism, also saw the image as our Divine Self, the Higher Self ( or Real Self) with which we were once united. The Gnostics believed that the Divine Self, our true identity, is something already inside us. In the Gospel of Thomas, replacing the human image with the divine image is the prerequisite for entering the kingdom: "When you make the two into one, when you make the inner like the outer...when you make...an image in place of an image, then you will enter the kingdom." (saying 22) Possible interpretation: When you transform the human image into the divine image, when you make the outer man conform to the inner man, and when you replace the mortal image with the immortal image, then you will enter the kingdom; for you will have transcended duality. Thus the goal of spiritual development is transformation into a divine being. Paul, the Jewish mystics and the Gnostics agree on this concept. If you think I am reading too much into Paul, go back and read his letters with a mystical interpretation in mind and see if they don't become clearer in this new light. "For now we see through a glass, darkly, But then face to face." ( I Cor 13:12 KJV) Did Paul's mysticism reflect Jesus' original theology? Or was it some wild fantasy he introduced on his own? He said he got his message directly "through a revelation of Christ" ( Gal 1:12) Paul himself tells us that the other apostles did not contest his interpretations. ( Gal 2:9) It would have been difficult for Paul to have inserted mysticism into Christianity unless it had already been part of Jesus' teaching. If it wasn't Paul who introduced mysticism, it almost has to have been Jesus. As Segal observes: "Ultimately, someone Jewish must have brought [the heavenly visions of Jewish mysticism] into Christianity, and there is not much time between the end of Jesus' ministry and the beginning of Paul's." (Segal, Paul the Convert, p. 37) ----------------------- Headers -------------------------------- Return-Path: Received: from rly-yc05.mail.aol.com (rly-yc05.mail.aol.com [172.18.149.37]) by air-yc02.mail.aol.com (v51.26) with SMTP; Tue, 17 Nov 1998 23:19:19 1900 Received: from vector.dalsemi.com (vector.DALSEMI.COM [184.108.40.206]) by rly-yc05.mail.aol.com (8.8.8/8.8.5/AOL-4.0.0) with ESMTP id XAA26849; Tue, 17 Nov 1998 23:19:08 -0500 (EST) Received: from cruise.dalsemi.com (cruise.dalsemi.com [220.127.116.11]) by vector.dalsemi.com (8.7.5/8.6.5) with SMTP id WAA22105; Tue, 17 Nov 1998 22:19:16 -0600 (CST) Received: by cruise.dalsemi.com (4.1/SMI-4.1) id AA06397; Tue, 17 Nov 98 22:18:27 CST Date: Tue, 17 Nov 98 22:18:27 CST From: email@example.com (Ken Shaw) Message-Id: <9811180418.AA06397@cruise.dalsemi.com> Subject: My ravings from another list Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 08:45:13 -0500 (EST) From: Theurgus@aol.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org, MCGUIREA@a1.bellhow.com, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Subj: Branch=Davidic Servant? Date: 11/17/98 7:49:47 PM Central Standard Time From: Yahu007 To: email@example.com Gary, The first followers of Jesus were called "N'Tzarim" (Nazarenes) which means "Branchites"...followers of the Branch. The whole of the Bible is an account of how one of the Elohim who called Himself YHUH selected a certain family line as His own possession, to train and cultivate for a specific purpose. The whole story of the Bible is about the struggle to keep the bloodline alive and seperated from outsiders. The Tradition teaches that Seth was fathered by YHUH Himself, as was Issac and later Jesus, such that the bloodline was elevated at certain critical turning points. All this happens in the context of "The War in Heaven" as it continues to be played out on earth, with some of the darkened B'nai Elohim (sons of gods) selecting their own humans to train and mate with to act as their agents in this sphere. (If you want to learn more about this stuff just use a good search engine and enter the word "Nephilim".) Jesus was understood by his followers to be the Branch promissed in Isaiah, and they based that understanding on his carefully preserved geneology. The Branch that the Mormons are looking for is a decendant of Jesus in whom the potentials of the bloodline are fully activated. He will reveal the "Sealed Portion" of the BoM which will contain the "mysteries" in their fullest sense, the hidden history of the world, and how "reality" operates...the scientific description of how miracles and "magic" really operate. The BoM promises of the coming Branch seem to focus on the destiny of the "Indians", and I have no clear idea of how that fits with the Davidic Servant who rebuilds the Jerusalem Temple and slays the "Anti-Christ". (Yes Judaism has a doctrine of an "anti-Christ" whos must be defeated by the Messiah). Kenneth Shaw Subject: Grail stuff Date: Sat, 28 Nov 1998 11:19:29 -0500 (EST) From: Theurgus@aol.com To: Theurgus@aol.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, MCGUIREA@a1.bellhow.com, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Of Dragons and Witches and the Holy Grail © Edward J. Green, 1996 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ -- This is a detective story that began one Sunday afternoon as I was exploring Indian mounds in Georgia. I could not help noting the similarity between the mound and the pyramid of the moon in Mexico City. Artifacts unearthed at the site had been fashioned by artisans in Mexico City from copper mined from near St. Louis for people who lived in what is now Cartersville, Georgia. Obviously the history of these people is not what we learned either in school or from old Tom Mix movies. I started by tracing the hidden side of recorded history. One of the best places to look for important clues are the languages in which history is written. One can trace the extent of the incursion of the Roman legions into Britain by reading place names derived from the Latin. (4) More subtle is the legacy of value judgments that comes from a later conquest of Britain. That fateful day in 1066, the language of the noble Alfred became vulgar, the language of the commons. After that date, the court language was of the new nobility, the Normans. The phrase, "four letter Anglo-Saxon words" is a euphemism for dirty language. Both Normans and Saxons shared a common biology. Each used comparable sexual organs to breed the English speaking world. If Harold had been the victor instead of William, polite speech might today make unabashed use of good old fashioned Saxon words instead of "obscene and vulgar" Latinisms as defecation and urination. According to the Whorf-Sapir linguistic hypothesis, we can conceive only of those things for we have words. Not only does language give us the structure of our thoughts; it carries emotional content as well. It is the stuff of our dreams. It is no accident that the generation that avidly followed the adventures of Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon was the one that began the exploration of space. Our dreams shaped the future. Tyrants fear ideas, and they fear words that frame those ideas. Words are always subversive. Sometimes it has been the Cross, at another, the three dots and a dash, the Morse International Code letter V, represented by the opening bars of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Resistance fighters adopted this as a symbol of coming victory in World War II. Historical records are untrustworthy tools, since public statements are "sanitized" by those in power. It was while I was musing on these things that I was struck by the possibility that sanitizing might have been behind one of the most intractable problems of psychology. Philosophers, as well as the psychologists who followed them, have been plagued by a contradiction that has spawned an almost endless series of "systems", "theories", or "schools" of psychology. It is one of the reasons that psychology has failed to achieve full scientific status. Contemporary psychologists still wrestle with the semantic issue of what psychology is. On the one hand, psychology is Psyche Logos, discourse on the mind. On the other hand, every confused college Freshman has been taught that there is no such thing as "mind." If he has taken an introductory psychology course, he is familiar with John B. Watson. He has learned that Watson abolished mind, and he probably learns why he did. Mind is a noun, the name of a person, place, or thing. Since mind is a thing, things take up space somewhere. An enormous amount of time, effort, and money has hunted for where it is. It is not the brain or any part of either the central or autonomic nervous systems. It doesn't even equate with the operation of those organs. The issue become tense when mind is mixed up with theology, for it looks suspiciously like the soul. In the process of sorting out clues in language, a startling number of things have fallen into place that may account for a number of historical oddities. They may explain diverse matters such as why Hitler tried to exterminate the Jews and the Gypsies; why the Romans committed genocide against neighbors in Etruria; and why a Pope commissioned a painting of a contemporary political figure hanging upside down with one foot tied to a gallows. We may see where the mind/body problem came from and what it really means. Therein, we may even find a clue to why civilization seems bent upon its own destruction. The charge that we are a decadent, materialistic society is not unique to our own. Although Julius Caesar praised one of the Gallic tribes, the Belgae, for their bravery, he explained it by their remoteness from traders whose imported luxuries would have corrupted them. The implication was that even the Belgae would have become worthless had they been corrupted by material comforts. Caesar should have known. No one disputes that our is a materialistic society. No nation has produced and indulged itself in so many "things." Position and worth are indexed by the car we drive, how many TV sets or videocasette recorders we own. Even those who live at the official poverty level today enjoy material comforts that would have been the envy of the Medici. Our single minded dedication to these things is evidence for some that we worship false Gods. The root of the word materialism is the same as that from which we also derive the words matter and mother. Who would dare imply that good old Mom is the cause of all our godlessness? Oddly enough, we have been saying exactly that for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Was it not Mother Eve who screwed up the deal in the Garden of Eden, cavorting around with a snake? In Eastern religions, the masculine element is explicitly considered spiritual. Spirit comes from a masculine Latin noun. One ought not base an argument on just a couple of words to which the appropriate genders happen to have been assigned, for matter and spirit may be just linguistic accidents, yet happy accidents they are. Fortunately, there is more. Philosophy, is the love of wisdom. Wisdom is derived from the same root as the German wissen, which means to know. From the same root, we get the word witch. Where else do we look for information about knowledge? In French, to know is connaitre and savoir. The French, as do our Teutonic cousins, distinguish between two kinds of knowing. To know a fact in French involves the word savoir, as it does the word wissen in German. To know a person in French involves connaitre, and in German, kennen. English is sloppier in its distinctions, although we do have a less well used term, acquaintance, by which we designate someone known to us, but ordinarily we let it pass. Oddly enough, acquaintance turned out to be the key. While reading the Canterbury Tales, I was struck by one particular word. The word queynte as its modern form today, was not only a term of opprobrium for the female genitalia, it was also used in the same context with which we are familiar today. I consulted Webster's New International dictionary, and it turns out that quaint has to do with knowledge. Sure enough, quaint is the root for the word acquaintance. Its relation to the female pudendum is more problematic. But tracing knowledge back through the Western branch of the Indo-European family of languages is straightforward enough. One goes from the French connaitre to the Latin cognoscere, and from there to the Greek gignoskein, which means to come to know, to perceive. Immediately adjacent to gignoskein in the lexicon is the verb gignosthai, which means to beget. It is to this latter word that the Greek for woman, gyne is related. As gyne is related to gignosthai, so is gnosis to gignoskein. Gnosis, of course, means knowledge. When the vowel is inserted between g and n of gnosis, we are but one step from the vowel the Greeks placed between the g and n of the word gyne. It is apparent that there is a connection between the sexual function of woman and knowledge. Consider the words genus and genius, kin and ken. To be kind is to be gentle, and Kind is the German word for a child. All at once, the origin of the obscene epithet is clear, queynte and its contemporary English spelling come from the Greek gyne by way of the Latin derivative cunnus, from which, in addition to the obvious, we also derive a more noble term, queen. To check that there was not something peculiar about Western Indo-European languages, I consulted the Russian dictionary. Znat' means to know. Zhenit' means to marry. The word for woman in Russian is zhena. The fact that common relationships between knowledge and sex exist in both the Eastern and Western branches of the Indo-European languages family means that the relationship predated the time that the two branches separated. The Egyptian language was next consulted to see if anything resembling this relationship was to be found in hieroglyphic writing. In Egyptian one finds three kinds of hieroglyphic symbols. The first is alphabetic, where the symbols have a phonetic equivalent not unlike our alphabet. The second is syllabic, where phonemes are combined to insure proper pronunciation through redundancy. The third kind of hieroglyph, the determinative, is added to denote the class of things to which a word refers. The end of my search came with the Egyptian word rekh, which is used in two ways. The spelling is the same in both cases, The phonetic symbols for r and kh are accompanied by one of two determinative symbols. When a scroll follows, the word means knowledge; when a phallus follows, the word means to beget.(3) Unquestionably, the ancient Egyptians also equated sex with knowledge. Woman was accorded such a status that her name was cognate with knowledge itself. Whoever made that equation did not condemn Eve for the Fall. The Old Testament tells us that the poisonous fruit which Eve ate came from the tree of "knowledge." This anti-intellectual theme reverses the value we pretend to place on enlightenment. In this tale, the equation of woman with knowledge meant that both were bad. This treatment of the story is unique in the folklore of the world. Among the Greeks, Hermes, was the messenger of the Gods who carried a winged staff around which were twined two serpents, the caduceus. Today the caduceus is a symbol of medicine, and the serpents of wisdom are benign. The feathered wings on the staff with the serpents reminds us of another legend, that of the "plumed serpent." To natives of Central America, the plumed serpent brought civilization. When the ships of Cortez and De Soto arrived, they and their men were welcomed by those who should have driven them back into the sea because they looked like what their legends had told them of Quetzalcoatl. Quetzalcoatl, or Kukulkan, was conceived when a quetzal bird dropped a feather on his mother's head as she walked in the rain forest. When Kukulkan was born he had a twin half brother, who was a dog! Kukulkan later took the Mayan Goddess of fertility as his consort. Her name was transliterated by the Spaniards as Ixchel. Clang association next took me northward to another legend. that of the Irish hero, Cu Chulain. Cu Chulain's original name was Sedanta. He acquired the name Cu Chulain after having killed a dog belonging to the smith Chulann. The owner was naturally miffed, and to avoid a brouhaha, the young man indentured himself to the smith for seven years as his dog! Cu is Gaelic for dog. Cu Chulain, was the dog of Chulain.(7) Later in his career, he angered the Celtic triple goddess of war and fertility known as the Morrigan, when he declined her invitation to become her/their lover. Matters with her/them worsened when his boon companion, Ailil, killed her/their pet bull. This tale is reminiscent of the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh also declined a proposal from the Goddess of War and fertility, Inanna. Her ill will was further exacerbated when Gilgamesh's friend, Enlil, slew her pet bull and brought on the flood. The ancient Sumerian goddess was known by many names, one of which was Ishtar. The Spaniards did not spell the Mayan sounds as an English speaking person would do. The name they rendered as Ixchel is equivalent to the English spelling by the word Ishtyel. The equation of Ishtyel and Ishtar is compelling. R's and l's are sounds that are often interchanged; certainly they were among the Egyptians, and native speaking Japanese have difficulty pronouncing l's. They come out r's. We know Cu Chulain not only as Sir Gawain of the Round Table, but also Wotan of Teutonic fame. Wotan is the Germanic counterpart of the Greek Hermes. Even more interesting is that the mother of Hermes is one of the Plaeides, Maya. Her father was the Titan Atlas. In Egyptian mythology, Hermes is Thoth, whose mother Maat is represented by the hieroglyph of a seated woman over whose head is a feather! Circumstantial evidence then links people in the Yucatan, Ireland, Wales, and the eastern Mediterranean. The name of the ancient homeland of the Aztecs, Aztlan, is similar to the name of Maya's father, Atlas, or to the continent of Atlantis. When Central American Indians point to where their ancient homeland sank beneath the waves, they point eastward from the Yucatan. The Welsh, for whom Gawain was known as Gwalchmai, point southward into the Atlantic to where their ancient homeland, Avalon, sank. The golden apples of the sun were to be found in the Isles of the Hesperides, named for the Evening Star. The Evening Star is Venus, or Hesperus. From Hesperides we derive the word paradise. According to Plato, Atlantis sank west of the Gates of Hercules. Interestingly enough, Venus, when it appears as the Morning Star was known as Lucifer, the bearer of light! Webster informs us that paradise originally meant orchard, and the Welsh Avalon was originally Aballach. Aballach is from the Goidelic root whence comes our word apple. It would seem, therefore, that we have found that the original Garden of Eden was out there thataway somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Not only that, but the Mayan name, Ixtlan, pronounced Ishtlan, identifies the place with Ishtyel, and perhaps Ishtar. The recurrence of reference to Venus, or Ishtar, suggests that whoever named an island or a continent after a goddess would also accord women a status that would have been remarkable even in the last century before ours. What happened then? War, according to Plato, a war so bitter that the citizens of that land were expunged from history. Plato gives his ancestors an edge though, for even he acknowledges that the real demise was brought about by violent geological disasters. Nevertheless, one suspects that the culture was a long time dying. Accounts of later events such as surround good Queen Esther may also be corruptions of historical fact. The Hebrews preempted Ishtar making her a heroine, but her rituals were abominations in the eyes of the patriarchal God who supplanted her, so they were destroyed. Her lunar calendar was changed to a solar calendar. A seafaring people might have adopted a lunar calendar, since tides are important. The lunar cycle corresponds to the human menstrual cycle, and when the solar deity replaced Ishtar, time was reckoned by solar cycles, or years. Such a switch in reckoning time would account for the disappearance of really old folks like Methuselah. If we divide the years of the lives of those ancients by thirteen, the number of lunar cycles in one solar cycle, the life spans of Methuselah and his colleagues are not at all remarkable either for their time or for ours. An entire value system replaced what had been before. The serpent became the symbol of evil as it represented the defeated nation. Perhaps the plumed serpent was a national symbol such as a flag. What an emblem of power! The Golden Eagle is our national bird; the Romans also used the eagle. Why not a dragon? What more ancient traditions might the Vikings have been following when they built their dragon ships? A dragon was a flying reptile; paleontologists call it a pteranadon. Yet , despite Jurassic Park, no dinosaurs walked the earth with humans. We are very egocentric to think that we were the first to discover fossil remains of those great animals. With these changes, the status of women became a casualty of war. Under the new regime, woman took her place at the foot of the male. She was belabored for her sinful character, and her new status enshrined in Holy Writ. The mother became identified with the sinful body, and the masculine spirit was in the ascendant. The split between mind and body not only resulted but here was the beginning of shame for women blamed for the Fall of Eden. Repression in the service of religious belief, is justified to protect the faithful against heresy. One of the greatest heresies was that of the Gnostics. It has only been in the past few years that the books found at Nag Hammadi have told us something about what they were really like. In the fifth century, they were an early Christian sect, given to individual worship. They revered, in addition to the canonical gospels, writings attributed to Thomas, the supposed twin brother of Jesus, and to Mary Magdalene. They accorded women equal status and drew lots to select who should lead them in their devotions, and women sometimes did so. In so doing, they challenged the political hierarchy of the Church. These things, along with a certain corrosive style of invective among their more articulate spokesmen, earned them the implacable hatred of the religious establishment, and they were eventually eradicated. (9) We don't know whether the Gnostics went underground, or whether their ideas were simply re-invented, but a sect calling itself the Bogomils appeared in the Balkans somewhere in the Twelfth Century. The Bogomils were the intellectual descendants of the Gnostics, and they sent representatives to the Languedoc where they established communion with other neo-gnostics known as the Albigensians, or Cathars. As the Cathar's form of Christianity spread throughout the region, the power, prestige, and influence of Rome waned. Finally Pope Innocent IV, with the aid of a warlord by the name of Simon de Montfort undertook once again to stamp out the heresy. The "Albigensian Crusade" came to a gory but mysterious end with the fall of the castle of Montsegur on March 14, 1244. The events surrounding the fall of Montsegur have provided fertile grounds for speculation, archaeology, and fantasy for the past seven hundred years. The besieged Cathars allegedly smuggled something out of the castle the night before it surrendered to de Montfort. It was recorded, however, that, many weeks earlier, the material wealth of the defenders was loaded onto a ship belonging to the Order of the Knights Templar. One of the contemporary secrets of the Order of DeMolay is what became of the treasures of the Templars. Whatever was smuggled out that Easter night was likely to have been something of religious, not material, importance. An interesting sidelight that the mercenary soldiers who aided in the defense of the castle were promised a safe conduct provided they were not Cathars. That guarantee was honored, allowing mercenaries to leave safely with their weapons. But a few of them converted to Catharism the day before the surrender. They had attended the Easter services, and late that night two men slipped down the walls carrying the mysterious treasure to safety. We are not the first to seek treasure from those events. The castle of Montsegur is the castle of Monsalvat in Lohengrin where the Holy Grail was supposed to be. Parsival and Hitler are unlikely partners in the search for the lost relic, but Hitler commissioned the Ahnenerbe - the historical section of the SS to explore the environs of Montsegur with the presumed objective of recovering some valuable relic.(1) Hitler and the philosophers of the SS thought that they spirited away some kind of talisman, perhaps a rune stone. The SS sealed off and mined the area, and shot several trespassers, all to no avail. The Grail never turned up at Berchtesgaden. Whatever it was, the Nazis believed it was the Holy Grail, and this was years before Steven Spielberg. Exactly what the Grail is supposed to have been has long been a subject of debate. Opinions are that it was the cup from which Jesus drank at the last supper, others claim that the word refers to the "gradual," a part of the Communion service, and yet others contend that it had to do with pagan tradition, the cauldron of Bran, for example. Recently, a view has been proposed that one name, Sangraal, is a corruption of Sangre Real, the royal blood line of Jesus. (2) The same authors speculate that what was smuggled out of the castle was some a religious relic. They speculate that it might have been a book of Gnostic symbols, a fair approximation to Hitler's hunch about runes. The mystery deepened further with the persecution of the Knights Templar. Templars accumulated remarkable treasures, possibly including the Shroud of Turin. De Molay was roasted over a slow fire in 1314, but some members of the Order survived. One of its offshoots, the Order of Teutonic Knights two hundred years later supported Martin Luther and the Reformation. Among their other accomplishments, the Templars were responsible for importing banking to Europe, so some of their influence survived in the great banking houses of Italy and Germany. Relatives of the last Grand Masters of the Order were among the most powerful and wealthy families of France and Italy. Bernabo Visconti, Duke of Milan, was famous not only for his ruthlessness in putting down challenges to his authority, but also for his patronage of the arts and literature. The Visconti family commissioned one of the loveliest Books of Hours that the illuminator's craft has created. (8) A less notable, but more curious commission given the Visconti illuminators was for a deck of playing cards, a Tarot deck, to be exact. The Visconti-Sforza deck is one of the decks of cards in existence.(6) It dates from about 1400, and one version in the Yale University library clearly shows the Visconti heraldic device. Perhaps one of the most interesting of the cards is one designated the "High Priestess." It is a portrait of a member of the Visconti family, a sister Manfreda. Sister Manfreda was a member of a religious sect called the Guglielmites, named after one Guglielmo of Bohemia. Members of the sect would elect from among their members those who would lead them in worship! Sister Manfreda appears on the deck resplendently clad in papal robes. The Visconti- Sforza clan was sufficiently strong both militarily and financially to get away with an open gesture of defiance. Later the Duke of Milan was denounced as a heretic from the displaced See at Avignon. A final incident with the Tarot occured when Sforza changed sides against the anti-Pope John XXIII. John commissioned a caricature of Sforza dangling by one leg like a hanged traitor. It is the Hanged Man of the Tarot deck. It is clear that John used the deck to communicate that he had gotten the message, and not happily so either. This was an era that would see the emergence of the Inquisition. Savonarola would be martyred, and yet the powerful duchy of Milan openly flouted symbols of heresy. The Visconti family had ties to some of the wealthiest families in southern France, and many of these had been Cathars. The Albigensian Crusade massacred thousands, but some survived and challenged Rome itself. It is tempting to speculate that the "book" of Gnostic symbols smuggled out of Montsegur might have been the Tarot deck itself. Early versions of the Tarot include representations of the card called "The Universe" where the picture is framed by Ourobouros, the snake swallowing its tail, a Gnostic symbol. The holy cord of the Templars appears about the waist of the high priestess. At the time of the Cathars' eclipse, many itinerant beggars and other outcasts lived on the edges of what was the most affluent and civilized center of culture in Europe. The French called these people "Bohemians," for that is nowhere they originally came from. Today, the word means "Gypsy" in French. Whether Guglielmo of Bohemia was a Gypsy is not clear. It may be only coincidental that one of the illuminators commissioned by Visconti was named Bembo and that the name of one of the major Gypsy is the Bimbos. It is possible that members of the Bogomils who went to France fit the character of Bohemians. If Gypsies made up a segment, no matter how depressed, of the Cathar community, they would have been welcomed to full communion and participated in religious services. When the "crusaders" of de Montfort arrived looking for loot, few escaped, certainly not wealthy and influential Cathars. The poorest and most despised are likely to have been the only ones who might have slipped through unnoticed. They would have taken with them what they understood. A mysterious artifact of the Merovingian priest/kings seems to have slipped out of France and remained with the Gypsies. Crystal balls turned up in the excavation of Merovingian graves. No one knows their purpose, but crystal balls turn up as a part of the arcanum of the Gypsy bujo woman, along with the Tarot. Perhaps they are remnants of something but dimly understood that has been brought into the Twentieth Century by members of a kind of cargo cult. Gypsies themselves have little understanding of these matters, being for the most part illiterate and ignorant of their own history. But in one series of conversations this writer had with a bujo woman, she explained in her words a cosmology which was an amazingly accurate rendition of the Manichean theory of the creation, a full blown gnostic dualism in place in the middle of midtown Manhattan in a dingy Gypsy offisa. Hitler was obsessed with acquiring symbols of martial power. He had taken the Holy Lance from the Reichsmuseum in Vienna, for whoever possessed it supposedly could never be defeated in battle. (10) Hitler once explained that by his phrase, the New Order, he meant the black shirted SS to be the Nazi counterpart to the Society of Jesus, a new Holy Order. The symbols of the new order included the Grail. If he thought the Gypsies had any knowledge of the power he sought, they were doomed. He persecuted the Gypsies as viciously as he did the Jews. The founders of the Nazi party were a strange lot. Max Amann had been affiliated with a group calling itself the Society of the Vrill, which in turn was associated with the Germanen Orden. The Society of the Golden Dawn was in touch with their German cousins, and the Tarot cards were of great interest to Crowley. What value might all or any of this nonsense have for us? Are we to believe that there is some arcane truth which will be our salvation? Not hardly. The Gnostic sects throughout history have been an intolerable digression, not so much from Christian theology as such as from the implicit assumptions that are the basis of our Western heritage. Christianity, as an emergent form of Judaism perpetuated the anti-feminine bias of the patriarchal sun cults of Central Asia. If it seems far fetched to equate Judaism with early pagan beliefs, consider the central deity of the Greeks, Jove, the hurler of thunderbolts. Pronounce the name Jove by the rules of high school Latin, and the Hebrew god emerges from behind the Jovian beard. The new patriarchal Gods had every reason to despise the old, if we are to credit Plato's account. The feminine principle so exalted in Atlantis was forced into exile. One sees in the collective the psychological processes of the individual. When a man is so far out of touch with himself as to deny what are essentially feminine characteristics in himself, he grotesquely postures an insecure masculinity. The political, religious, and military posturings of Western civilization for the past thousands of years are those of sick men. Since He Gods took charge, bloody carnage has been the story of mankind. It is may be fair to say that Western civilization has existed with half of its collective psyche bound in perpetual submission. It is ridden by anxiety and fueled by shame. War is one outcome. Another was the burning of millions of women as witches. (5) Efforts have been made throughout history to redress the gender imbalance. Veneration of the Virgin Mary has been the healthiest sign that we acknowledge the feminine principle. Our civilization needs anything but another shot of testosterone poisoning. We must return to a continuing search for "knowledge" with all that the word implies. If we have to surrender ancient prejudices about womankind in the process; good riddance. We must accept of ourselves, body and soul, as the indispensable carriers of life itself. It is psychotic for leaders to commit a nation to war. No theory of government, of economics, or of religion has such a right, but mankind has lived and died by it for millennia. It is immoral to kill a man to "save his soul," and the body is not obscene. The real obscenity is the destruction of human life. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ -- References 1. Angebert, Jean-Michel, The Occult and the Third Reich. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1974. 2. Baigent, M., Leigh, R., and Lincoln, H., Holy Blood, Holy Grail. New York: Delacorte Press, 1982. 3. Budge, E.A. Wallis, An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary New York: Dover Publications, 1978. 4. Churchill, Winston, A History of the English Speaking Peoples. New York: Dood, Mead & Company, 1956. 5. Jong, Erika, Witches. New York: New American Library, 1981. 6. Kaplan, S. R., Encyclopedia of Tarot. New York: U. S. Games Systems, Publishers, 1978. 7. MacCana, P., Celtic Mythology. London: Hamlyn Publishing Group, 1970. 8. Meiss, M., and Kirsch, E. W., The Visconti Hours. New York: George Braziller, Inc., 1972. 9. Pagels, E. The Gnostic Gospels. New York: Random House, Inc., 1979. 10. Ravenscroft, T., The Spear of Destiny. New York: Putnam's, 1973. Subject: Re: [shulemna] What is the highest truth ??? Date: Sun, 06 Dec 1998 01:24:53 -0500 (EST) From: Theurgus@aol.com To: email@example.com, MCGUIREA@a1.bellhow.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org CC: email@example.com Jahnihah, I'll throw in my two bits on this. We get confused by the many layers of tradition that came together to make up "Mormonism". As we peel back the layers to try to undertand them better we realize that each layer is a whole tradition all by itself, and could be practiced as a "religion". I've been working on this project of peeling back the layers for twenty years, and the more I learn the more it looks like Joseph Smith really was "restoring" the original "Jesus movement". The problem is that the original "Jesus movement" was nothing like what the "Orthodox Catholic Church" or its mutated spawn "Protestantism" imagine it to have been. The original "Jesus movement" is much better represented by Islam than it is by Christianity, since Islam grew out of the Jewish-Christianity (Ebionites, Nazarenes) that followed the authority of the family of Jesus (James the brother of Jesus, ect.) instead of Paul and the gentile "Bishops". I believe that the "Highest Truth" was taught by Jesus AND Muhammed; The Absolute Unity of Existance..."Hear of Israel, Yahuveh your Gods, Yahuveh is One"..."There is no god but the One God". Who is the God of the gods? Who do all the Elohim worship even in their exaltation? That is the highest truth and the mystery of mysteries. Unity makes it plain what Jesus meant when He said, "whatever you do to anyone, you are doing it to Me". He meant it quite literaly. The doctrine of Unity not only says "God is One" it also says "There is none other except He". In other words, God is the only Being that exists AT ALL...the only "thing" that exists AT ALL. We are little "bits" of Him floating about in His Mind. All these worlds are being "dreamed" into existance in His own Mind. Each one of us IS HE. Like a playwrite who must act out all the parts on the stage as well as being the audience at the same time, we have to "lose ourselves" in the part in order to make the "story" seem "real." This is the "Highest Truth". Ken Shaw Subject: RE: mormon atheist Date: Fri, 11 Dec 1998 02:14:29 -0500 From: proclus To: Andy Mcguire , Kathleen McGuire , "R. Trent Reynolds" , "Theurgus@aol.com" , "firstname.lastname@example.org" , "email@example.com" , "firstname.lastname@example.org" , "email@example.com" , "firstname.lastname@example.org" , "Neoptolmus@aol.com" , "email@example.com" Sorry, I've been a little out of it lately. Things are moving fast now at school, and it is likely to continue for a few months at least. Anyway, some of you may have noticed that I sometimes find time to answer email on Thursday night. Here goes. > Mike, > > Ooooh. This really stretches a few concepts to the straining point. > > Reality check. > "If it waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck, and floats like a duck, it > must be a duck." Unless of course it is a rubber ducky! quack quack! Hey, what is this chip inside ducky's brain? > So call *IT* 'a god' instead of 'The GOD'. Does the essence of the > relationship change? At first blush, no. *IT* is still seen as the PRIME > CAUSE, worshipped, feared (for all the wrong reasons) and supplicated for > divine favor. So while the definition of the IT may change, the superficial > relationship between the *IT* and the *US* does not change in substance. ++++++... and later+++++++ > In spite of all this, it still flies in the face of Traditional Atheism, > which simply states: "There is Nothing Out There" > > So maybe the Mormons believe in a Goose that does a dang good Duck > impersonation. You know there are some fine atheists on the extropian list. I sometimes wonder if they will still be atheists if they realize their dreams and become gods. There are no atheists in a heaven ;-}. You may know that they typically believe in the immanent Singularity. Near as I can tell this is a little like McKenna's jump into Hyperspace, or the Omega Point. Essential information is accellerating at such a rate that we will achieve full human apotheosis very soon, probably within our lifetimes. I don't have to remind this group that we would be as gods, to earlier, less advanced, civilizations. Heck, if I visited myself in the past, I'd probably scare myself to death! The upshot is that "There is Nothing Out There" seems like a pretty shallow definition of atheism to me. What happens if we are the ones who are "out there"? What if UFO's are real? How many different kinds of gods can there be inside of an infinite material universe? This is why I say that we are peers of God. If we believe that human potential is infinite, then we believe in god. _However_, and this is the main point, this is not the transcendent god of the monotheists. By their definition, ****** Mormons are atheists. ****** The king follet sermon is anti-monotheistic. God is plural, not meta. > But dig a little deeper... > > What changes when you replace the *IT* of tradition with the *IT* of Joseph > and Brigham? > -The PRIME CAUSE factor becomes localized and diminished. yes. > -The causes for FEAR go away (at least for the level headed). Yes. > -Worship is demoted from the level of absolute awe to a level of really > bodacious respect. (Oh gads. I just said 'bodacious'.) YES > -Supplication becomes something of a contractual relationship. Instead of > reliance on capricious favor, there is more of a cause and effect. YES!!!!! My current feeling is that the earth is a consciousness manifold, ejecting little divinities all over the place. We have a share in this manifold, and everytime we become more divine, our share is validated. This is why I am doing science, because technology is one of the primary drivers of human evolution. This is why I am in a life extension program, so I can live to see the day. Be the advanced tribe. Aerospacers overran the orchards, and now we have Silicon Valley. Beat your plowshares into nanotech. Win a prize. > > -AJ > > "Fear is the Father of the Gods" -Lucretius Who am I to argue with the illustrious Lucretius, the lover of Lady Wisdom ;-}. LVX=inflationary theory. Thank gods for MIT. Regards, proclus -- Visit proclus' realm! http://www.proclus-realm.com/home.html -----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK----- Version: 3.1 GMU/S d+@ s: a C++ UUI++$ P L E--- W++ N- !o K- w--- !O M++ V-- PS+++ PE Y+ PGP-- t+++(+) 5+++ X+ R tv-@ b !DI D- G e++>++++ h--- r+++ y++++ ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------ Subject: for mutant Date: Fri, 11 Dec 1998 02:15:32 -0500 From: proclus To: "firstname.lastname@example.org" Subject: RE: mormon atheist Date: Tue, 01 Dec 1998 12:31:40 -0500 From: "McGuire, Andy" To: 'proclus' , Andy Mcguire , Kathleen McGuire , "R. Trent Reynolds" , Theurgus@aol.com, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Neoptolmus@aol.com, email@example.com Mike, Ooooh. This really stretches a few concepts to the straining point. Reality check. "If it waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck, and floats like a duck, it must be a duck." So call *IT* 'a god' instead of 'The GOD'. Does the essence of the relationship change? At first blush, no. *IT* is still seen as the PRIME CAUSE, worshipped, feared (for all the wrong reasons) and supplicated for divine favor. So while the definition of the IT may change, the superficial relationship between the *IT* and the *US* does not change in substance. But dig a little deeper... What changes when you replace the *IT* of tradition with the *IT* of Joseph and Brigham? -The PRIME CAUSE factor becomes localized and diminished. -The causes for FEAR go away (at least for the level headed). -Worship is demoted from the level of absolute awe to a level of really bodacious respect. (Oh gads. I just said 'bodacious'.) -Supplication becomes something of a contractual relationship. Instead of reliance on capricious favor, there is more of a cause and effect. In spite of all this, it still flies in the face of Traditional Atheism, which simply states: "There is Nothing Out There" So maybe the Mormons believe in a Goose that does a dang good Duck impersonation. -AJ "Fear is the Father of the Gods" -Lucretius > -----Original Message----- > From: proclus [SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org] > Sent: Monday, November 30, 1998 10:17 PM > To: Andy Mcguire; Kathleen McGuire; R. Trent Reynolds; Theurgus@aol.com; > email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; > firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Neoptolmus@aol.com; > firstname.lastname@example.org > Subject: mormon atheist > > Heyers Mutants! You all know that I have long been kicking around the > idea of god as the ultimate transhumanist. I was just perusing a very > interesting transhumanist website. Here is the link. > > http://members.wbs.net/homepages/c/r/y/cryonic4life/enlightenment.html > > Anyway, I was thinking of a conversation with a theology student I had > recently. I was reminded that mormon teachings on the godhead are 100% > alien to any medieval theology. In fact, the very idea of theology is > antithetical to the mormon concept of god as human. > > Mormons are atheists. Our Exemplar is a man who became godlike. We are > the same kind of being, with the same potential. Many humans incarnated > before the redeemer. Adam is our father and a god. No where is > Joseph's materialism more apparent than in his conception of the > abrahamic covenant. There is no God, just gods. Every man and woman is > a star. This is completely at odds with anything the theists have given > us. Mormonism can be rewritten as science fancy. > > I realize that this is a little shrill. I was wondering if you all had > any thoughts about this strange territory that I find myself in. Can it > be tempered? You've all been kind of silent about it. > > Best Regards, > proclus Subject: Forward from Jewish BoM list Date: Fri, 11 Dec 1998 02:28:33 -0500 (EST) From: Theurgus@aol.com To: email@example.com, MCGUIREA@a1.bellhow.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Subj: [m-kabbalah] Re: What is the highest truth ??? Date: 12/11/98 12:45:27 AM Central Standard Time From: Theurgus@aol.com Reply-to: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Mark, The Ebionite-Islam connection has been clearly demonstrated by many scholars. I first found it in Henry Corbin's "Ismaili Gnosis and Cyclical Time" in which he describes the "Adamology" of the Jewish-Christian Ebionites, how there is a chain of "Adams" that reaches back into eternity, and how Jesus was the "reincarnation" of our own Adam who came back to rescue his own children. Robert Eisenman recently wrote a book entitled "James the Brother of Jesus" in which he discusses the connection between James the Just, John the Baptist, Qumran and the Rechabites who were decendants of Jethro who followed Moses but who had a seperate covenant with El Elyon through the legendary Melchezedek. The Rechabites refused to live in cities or take up farming, never cut their hair or beards and refused to touch wine. They lived the Bedouin life of their Midianite ancestors and were reputed to be the heirs and transmitters of ancient knowledge "from before the flood" that gave them certain "miracle powers" that included raising the dead. There is an argument that the name "Nazerene" could have come from the hebrew word that means "keeper of secrets". The Rechabites had close connections with Qumran and together they seemed to share a kind of esoteric "Freemasonry". The inner meaning of Judaism is Kabbalah and the inner meaning of Islam is the Sufi tariqa. They both are radical non-dualist, which means they both say that "God" is the only Being that exists AT ALL...period. This is the same position as Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism. It seems that the teaching from "before the flood" survived better in India than in the Levant. Ken Shaw ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Don't lose your email when you move, change jobs, or switch ISP's. Click here to get free and permanent email from NET@DDRESS! http://ads.egroups.com/click/156/0 Free Web-based e-mail groups -- http://www.eGroups.com ----------------------- Headers -------------------------------- Return-Path: Received: from rly-zc01.mx.aol.com (rly-zc01.mail.aol.com [172.31.33.1]) by air-zc02.mail.aol.com (v53.20) with SMTP; Fri, 11 Dec 1998 01:45:27 -0500 Received: from findmail.com (mi.findmail.com [18.104.22.168]) by rly-zc01.mx.aol.com (8.8.8/8.8.5/AOL-4.0.0) with SMTP id BAA07606 for ; Fri, 11 Dec 1998 01:45:25 -0500 (EST) Received: (qmail 15852 invoked by uid 505); 11 Dec 1998 06:44:00 -0000 Mailing-List: contact email@example.com Precedence: list X-URL: http://www.egroups.com/list/m-kabbalah/ X-Mailing-List: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Delivered-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Received: (qmail 20747 invoked by uid 7770); 11 Dec 1998 06:43:56 -0000 Received: from imo16.mx.aol.com (22.214.171.124) by vault.findmail.com with SMTP; 11 Dec 1998 06:43:56 -0000 Received: from Theurgus@aol.com by imo16.mx.aol.com (IMOv18.1) id 0ULYa22778 for ; Fri, 11 Dec 1998 01:39:09 -0500 (EST) From: Theurgus@aol.com Message-ID: <email@example.com> Date: Fri, 11 Dec 1998 01:39:09 EST To: firstname.lastname@example.org Mime-Version: 1.0 X-Mailer: AOL 4.0 for Windows 95 sub 224 Subject: [m-kabbalah] Re: What is the highest truth ??? Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Subject: Re: Forward from Jewish BoM list Date: Fri, 11 Dec 1998 10:11:05 -0500 From: proclus To: Andy Mcguire , Kathleen McGuire , "R. Trent Reynolds" , "Theurgus@aol.com" , "email@example.com" , "firstname.lastname@example.org" , "email@example.com" , "firstname.lastname@example.org" , "email@example.com" , "Neoptolmus@aol.com" , "firstname.lastname@example.org" References: 1 Ken, thank you for your interesting posts. Let me just remind you that monotheism is a recent development. As you know, elohim is plural, and JHVH had consort originally. It is just my point of view, but when I look out, I see a universe of infinite manifold diversity. There is room for many gods, and independent creations. > They lived the Bedouin life of their Midianite ancestors and were reputed to > be > the heirs and transmitters of ancient knowledge "from before the flood" that > gave > them certain "miracle powers" that included raising the dead. > > There is an argument that the name "Nazerene" could have come from the hebrew > word that means "keeper of secrets". The Rechabites had close connections > with > Qumran and together they seemed to share a kind of esoteric "Freemasonry". In this connection, I read a recent story about a fellow who was able to identify 200 more words from obscured dead sea scrolls. Greg Bearman, a NASA physicist, used an infrared technique which was developed for planetary observations. The text was hopelessly obscured, essentially a blank page, but he was able to decipher some of it. "The passages revealed by Bearman offer the earliest known mention of the practice of laying hands on the sick." I loved that. Thank goodness that Bearman layed his hands on the scrolls! Here is a passage from Abraham that I cherish. "Thus I , Abraham, talked with the Lord, face to face, as one man talketh to another; and he told me of the works which his hands had made. He said unto me: My son, my son (and his had was stretched out), He put his hand upon mine eyes, and I saw those things which his hands had made, which were many; and they multiplied before mine eyes, and I could not see the end thereof." This reminds me that Jesus healed the blind by laying his hands on their eyes. I think that this passage clearly implies that the earth was made by a man. Further, I'm sure that you realize that this is the basis of the promise to Abraham. We are as the stars of heaven, as the sands of the sea, not one, but many. > The inner meaning of Judaism is Kabbalah and the inner meaning of Islam is the > Sufi tariqa. They both are radical non-dualist, which means they both say > that > "God" is the only Being that exists AT ALL...period. This is the same > position as > Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism. It seems that the teaching from "before the > flood" > survived better in India than in the Levant. This is one interpretation. One of the most powerful and enduring polytheisms comes out of India, and it is also very ancient, in fact, probably older. There are a couple of things going on here. It is impossible to logically determine if the world is really out there, or just in our heads. I can't tell if my dreams are real or not. Similarly, I can't tell if my reality is real or not. Now, if it is all a dream, and I am God, then the universe exists in the mind of God. The problem is that it is impossible to demonstrate this. Nevertheless, some great minds came to this conclusion based on a bogus assumption of economy, and some troubling self-referential logic. On the other hand, I am constantly surprised by how vastly disjoint, and deeply complex the universe seems to be. It seems like an impossible projection, except perhaps for a transcendent outsider god. That god would be separate from the creation. Here is some basic logic for you. Nothing exists but God. Thus, I am God. My wife is God. Therefore, I am my wife. I'm sure that you can relate to the fact that this seems completely impossible, even in a dream. My wife sometimes rakes me over for what I do in _her_ dreams. Fancy that! We are independent intelligences. At least, that seems like a good bet, based on a rejection of economy. Look at the infinite superfluous complexity. It is symbolized in the very archetecture of the SLC temple. Universes exists in a bough of grapes, in an unnecessary lacey fringe, in a crowning edge of diversion and its reflection. There is no economy here. Finally, monotheism leads to intolerance. Structures erode. The center flys apart. Castles are washed away by a vast complexity called the sea. What is "out there" is unknown, but it beckons because it is other. I'm sure that you will agree that intolerance is absurd. Regards, proclus Theurgus@aol.com wrote: > > Subj: [m-kabbalah] Re: What is the highest truth ??? > Date: 12/11/98 12:45:27 AM Central Standard Time > From: Theurgus@aol.com > Reply-to: email@example.com > To: firstname.lastname@example.org > > Mark, > > The Ebionite-Islam connection has been clearly demonstrated by many > scholars. I first found it in Henry Corbin's "Ismaili Gnosis and Cyclical > Time" > in which he describes the "Adamology" of the Jewish-Christian Ebionites, > how there is a chain of "Adams" that reaches back into eternity, and how > Jesus was the "reincarnation" of our own Adam who came back to rescue his > own children. Robert Eisenman recently wrote a book entitled "James the > Brother of Jesus" in which he discusses the connection between James the > Just, John the Baptist, Qumran and the Rechabites who were decendants > of Jethro who followed Moses but who had a seperate covenant with El Elyon > through the legendary Melchezedek. The Rechabites refused to live in cities > or take up farming, never cut their hair or beards and refused to touch wine. > They lived the Bedouin life of their Midianite ancestors and were reputed to > be > the heirs and transmitters of ancient knowledge "from before the flood" that > gave > them certain "miracle powers" that included raising the dead. > > There is an argument that the name "Nazerene" could have come from the hebrew > word that means "keeper of secrets". The Rechabites had close connections > with > Qumran and together they seemed to share a kind of esoteric "Freemasonry". > > The inner meaning of Judaism is Kabbalah and the inner meaning of Islam is the > Sufi tariqa. They both are radical non-dualist, which means they both say > that > "God" is the only Being that exists AT ALL...period. This is the same > position as > Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism. It seems that the teaching from "before the > flood" > survived better in India than in the Levant. > > Ken Shaw > ------------------------------------------------------------------------ > Don't lose your email when you move, change jobs, or switch ISP's. > Click here to get free and permanent email from NET@DDRESS! > http://ads.egroups.com/click/156/0 > > Free Web-based e-mail groups -- http://www.eGroups.com > > ----------------------- Headers -------------------------------- > Return-Path: > Received: from rly-zc01.mx.aol.com (rly-zc01.mail.aol.com [172.31.33.1]) by > air-zc02.mail.aol.com (v53.20) with SMTP; Fri, 11 Dec 1998 01:45:27 -0500 > Received: from findmail.com (mi.findmail.com [126.96.36.199]) > by rly-zc01.mx.aol.com (8.8.8/8.8.5/AOL-4.0.0) > with SMTP id BAA07606 for ; > Fri, 11 Dec 1998 01:45:25 -0500 (EST) > Received: (qmail 15852 invoked by uid 505); 11 Dec 1998 06:44:00 -0000 > Mailing-List: contact email@example.com > Precedence: list > X-URL: http://www.egroups.com/list/m-kabbalah/ > X-Mailing-List: firstname.lastname@example.org > Reply-To: email@example.com > Delivered-To: firstname.lastname@example.org > Received: (qmail 20747 invoked by uid 7770); 11 Dec 1998 06:43:56 -0000 > Received: from imo16.mx.aol.com (188.8.131.52) > by vault.findmail.com with SMTP; 11 Dec 1998 06:43:56 -0000 > Received: from Theurgus@aol.com > by imo16.mx.aol.com (IMOv18.1) id 0ULYa22778 > for ; Fri, 11 Dec 1998 01:39:09 -0500 (EST) > From: Theurgus@aol.com > Message-ID: <email@example.com> > Date: Fri, 11 Dec 1998 01:39:09 EST > To: firstname.lastname@example.org > Mime-Version: 1.0 > X-Mailer: AOL 4.0 for Windows 95 sub 224 > Subject: [m-kabbalah] Re: What is the highest truth ??? > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII > Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit -- Visit proclus' realm! http://www.proclus-realm.com/home.html -----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK----- Version: 3.1 GMU/S d+@ s: a C++ UUI++$ P L E--- W++ N- !o K- w--- !O M++ V-- PS+++ PE Y+ PGP-- t+++(+) 5+++ X+ R tv-@ b !DI D- G e++>++++ h--- r+++ y++++ ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------ More discussion here!
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