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{file "Magick Vs. Prayer (Salgamma)" "bos163.

htm"}

Magick Vs. Prayer


One of the questions brought up on MagickNet was the
difference between
Magick and prayer, and how this ties into the scheme of
things in general.
Well, I feel that prayer and magick are only loosely
connected. In prayer,
a person pleas with their deity for assistance. Energy
wise, the person
praying is asking that something be changed, and believes
that the request
will result in a change.
In magick, we use ourinner energy, combined with
earthly andelemental
energy and Deity energy, and send this forth do
accomplish the goal of our
spell.
I think it's like "breaking" in the game of
pool.
We are
controlling stick (our spell), while we gather the
energy to push the
stick/spell. Our Cone Of Power is like the cue ball, and
the racked balls
are the target, which effects a change (breaks, or the
goal of our spell)
from the force of our energy. There may be a point where
prayer becomes a
type of magick (or, a psychic event) if the person knows
of the personal
energies involved, and releases them with the prayer.
I feel that aprayer works the opposite way. The
prayer is arequest to
effect a change in the ambient energy and invoke God
(using the Christian
form).
This change in energy is slower because it is
"diluted" in the
surrounding energy and depends solely on faith ("I believe
it will happen,
so it will").
Am I out in left field or just being redundant?
I forgive if I'm
"running at the mouth". Now I'll try and tie in
Parapsychology. Magic and
psi are very closely related in that (aside for leaving
out the 'k' in
magicK) the same form of energy is used.
It's just
on a different
'frequency'.
When I do an object reading or
empathic reading on
someone/thing, I'm receiving a type of energy.
When I
send a Cone of
Power, I'm using the same type of energy, but on a
(higher?) wavelength and
with greater force and higher power.
Grounding
negative feelings is an
example of converting one form to the other.
Auric
healing is the

opposite. So, I feel the energies are inter-changeable.


I ask, as
Elsbeth has, "What do you think of THIS?" As someone
stated before, the
definitions we are trying to define and clarify are our
own, much like our
beliefs- our own. We are trying to find, I believe,
common ground between
the nuances of our definitions and beliefs.
Blessed Be!
Salgamma

685

{file "Dying God (Ammond ShadowCraft)" "bos164.htm"}

The Sacrificial God man


Ammond Shadowcraft
come from?

How did the Christian mythos arise? Where did it

The Christian myth is almost totally Pagan in


origin. I used to
thinkthat anythingoutside
theJudeo/Christian/Moslem BeliefSystem or
worldview was Pagan. Such is not the case.
Thetwomain featuresofthe CBSarethe
EucharistandSacrifice of
a God man. These two features were well known and well
loved by Pagan
mystery cults centuries before the Christian Cults
integrated them
into the Gospels.
The Eucharist goes way back into history and is
based upon the
ritual consumption of the God man. Osiris, Dionysus,
Attis and many
others were ritually consumed. The practice dates back
to prehistory
when a human sacrifice was identified with the God
(perhaps a
Vegetative God) and was sacrificed and eaten. Over the
ages human
sacrifice was found detestable. Animals were then
substituted and
sacrificed as the ritual identifier of the God which
was then followed
by grain offerings, breads shaped into the form of the
God, sometimes
in the shapes of natural items (sun, moon, etc.).
The mythos of the Jewish Christ integrated this
practice into it's

mysteries. There is strong reason for this. For some


200 plus years
before the time recorded for Jesus the Greeks and
their mystery cults
invaded and changed Israel for all time. A war was
instituted to
diminish or wipeout theHellenizing influence.
Partof theHellenizing
influence was an effort to update or change the Jewish
religion to
something more applicable to the times. After the
Maccabbees War the
Hellenizing cultist were driven underground; right to
the heart of the
Jewish mystical culture. Hence the Greek influence
upon the myth of
Jesus.
The sacrifice of the God man (Jesus, Attis,
Adonis, Osiris) was a
well known and well loved feature also. In fact it was
necessary to
have a willing sacrifice before a Eucharist could be
performed. When
the sacrifice was not willing the legs and sometimes
arms of the
sacrifice were broken to make it look like the
sacrifice was willing
(not struggling against the sacrificers). Jesus was a
willing
sacrifice.
Images of Attis (Tammuz/Dummuzi) were nailed or
impaled upon a pine
tree. The Jews knew this and wrote "Cursed is he who
hangs upon a
tree." A goat was substituted for a boy in sacrifice
to Dionysus at
Potniae and a hart for a virgin at Laodicea. King
Athamas had been
called upon to sacrifice his first born son by the
Delphic Oracle,
Melenloas sacrificed two children in Egypt when stayed
by contrary
winds; three Persian boys were offered up at the
battle of Salamis. It
was only inthe time of Hadrianthat the annualhuman
sacrifice toZeus
was abolished at Salamis in Cyprus. The God man Jesus
was hung upon a
tree;he was also thelamb of God.As such the
sacrificeand Eucharist
of the God man Jesus is purely Pagan in origin.

686
Part of the older Pagan sacrifices was in the King
sacrificing his

only begotten son. Jesus was the only begotten son of


the King of
Israel, sacrificed to take away the sins of the world.
This practice
was overturned in the myth of Abraham and Issac when
it was found
detestable andinjurious to thetribe or kingdom.Yet
the Godman Jesus
wassacrificed in the flesh.This was done to appealto
the underground
Greek mystery cults who had much in common with the
Jewish Christian
Cultist.
"During centuries of this evolution, the Jewish
people tasted many
times thebitterness ofdespair and theprofound
doubt denouncedby the
last of the prophets. In periods when many went openly
over to
Hellenism, it could not be but the ancient rites of
the Semitic
race were revived, as some are declared to have been
in earlier times
oftrouble. Among therites of expiationand
propitiation, nonestood
traditionally higher than the sacrifice of the king, or
the king's son.
The Jews saw such an act performed for them, as it
were, when the
Romans under Anthony, at Herod's wish, scourged,
crucified [lit. bound
to stake], and beheaded Antigonous, the last of the
Asmonean priest
kings in 37 B.C." _Pagan_Christs_ page 44,45 by J. M.
Robertson
ThemodeofsacrificewaspredeterminedbypreviousPagan doctrine.
The type of sacrifice was also predetermined by Pagan
doctrine. Both
the sacrifice of the king, and the king's son were
incorporated into
the Gospel myth.The God man Jesusis both the
Kingof the Jews andthe
son of God, the king of Israel.
As stated before the sacrifice of the king or
king's son was found
injurious to the state. Before animal and grain
sacrifices, criminals
and prisoners of war were substituted. Yet the
criminal had to be
identified with the king. This was done by putting
royal robes on the
sacrifice and parading the sacrifice around, calling
it the king.
"The number three was of mystic significance in
many parts of the

East. The Dravidians of India sacrificed three victims


to the Sun-god.
Inwestern as ineastern Asia, thenumber three
wouldhave its votaries
in respect of trinitartian concepts as well as the
primary notions of
'the heavens,the earth,and theunderworld.'
Traditionally,the Syrian
rite called for a royal victim. The substitution of a
criminal for the
king or kings son was repugnant, however, to the
higher doctrine that
thevictim be unblemished.To solve thisproblem
oneof the malefactors
was distinguished fromthe other criminalsby a ritual
ofmock-crowning
and robing in the spirit of 'sympathetic magic'. By
parading him as
king, and calling the others what indeed they were, it
was possible to
attain the semblance of a truly august sacrifice."
_Pagan_Christs_, by
J.M. Robertson page 45
There is nothing in this mythos that did not
originate in other
cultures.
"We can only conclude that the death ritual of the
Christian creed
was framed in a pagan environment and embodies some of
the most
widespread ideas of Pagan religion. the two aspects in
which the
historic Christ is typically presented to his
worshipers, those of his
infancy and death, are typically Pagan."
_Pagan_Christs_ by J.M
Roberts, page 52.
What about the man Jesus then? Was he divine? Did
he exist? Is/was

687
he the Savior?
Most, if not all, of the Christian Belief System
is Pagan in
origin. It is indeed hard to force oneself to believe
that Jesus is
the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God when such
titles were readily
copied from Pagan doctrine. Perhaps the only item not
borrowed from
Pagan sources was the Messiah concept. That, of
course, was taken from
the Jewish hysteria of the time. In the siege of
Jerusalem in 72 C.E.

there were some18 Messiahs insideJerusalem alone.


Neitherthe Godman
Jesus nor the self proclaimed militant messiahs saved
Jerusalem. Such
was the measure of hysterical superstition upon the
nation of Israel.
"There is not a conception associated with Christ
that is not
common to some or all of the Savior cults of
antiquity. The title
Savior was given in Judaism to Yahweh; among the
Greeks to Zeus,
Heilos, Artemis, Dionysus, Hercales, the Dioscurui,
Ceybele and
Aesculapius. It is the essential conception of Osiris.
So, too, Osiris
taketh away sin, is the judge of the dead and of the
last judgment.
Dionysus, the Lord of the UnderWorld and primarily a
god of feasting
('the Son of Man commeth eating and drinking'), comes
to be conceived
as the Soul of the World and the inspirer of chastity
and self
purification.[J. M. Robertson maybe referring
toAttis here.] From
the Mysteries of Dionysus and Isis comes the proclamation
of the easy
'yoke'. Christ not only works the Dionysiac miracle,
but calls himself
the 'true vine.'"
"Like Christ, and like Adonis and Attis, Osiris
and Dionysus also
suffer and die and rise again. To become one with them
is the mystical
passion of their worshippers. They are all alike in
that their
mysteries give immortality. From Mithraism Christ
takes the symbolic
keys of heaven and hell and assumes the function of
the virgin-born
Saoshyant, the destroyer of the Evil One. Like Mithra,
Merodach, and
the Egyptian Khousu, he is the Mediator; like Khousu,
Horus and
Merodach, he is one of a trinity, like Horus he is
grouped with a
Divine Mother;like Khousu heis joined tothe Logos;
andlike Merodach
he is associated with the Holy Spirit, one of whose
symbols is fire."
"In fundamentals, therefore, Christism is but
paganism reshaped. It
is only the economic and doctrinal evolution of the
system--the first
determined byJewish practice andRoman environment,
the secondby

Greek thought--that constitutesnew phenomena in


religious history."
_Pagan__Christs_ by J.M. Robertson pages 52,53
No religion develops in a vacuum. All religions
are influenced not
only by it's predecessors but by the contemporaries of
the time also.
Such is the nature of Christism yesterday and today.
Now about Jesus the man, did he exist? I think
not. All the
teaching of Jesus can be attributed to other sources
and grafted over
the Gospel myth. Nothing he said was substantially
different in any way
from previous sayings. Jesus was not a man but a
contrived myth.

688
"The Christian myth grew by absorbing details from
pagan cults. The
birth story is similar to many nativity myths in the
pagan world. The
Christ had to have a Virgin for a mother. Like the
image of the
child-godin the cultof Dionysus, hewas pictured
inswaddling clothes
in a basket manger. He was born in a stable like
Horus--the stable
temple of the Virgin Goddess, Isis, Queen of Heaven.
Again , like
Dionysus, he turned water into wine, like Aesculapius,
he raised men
from the dead and gave sight to the blind; and like
Attis and Adonis,
he is mourned and rejoiced over by women. His
resurrection took place,
like that of Mithra, from a rock tomb."
The man Jesus did
sources that speak
of others seeing him.
No direct
observations were
haveall had avision
of Deity in our minds.
mental image.

not exist. There are however


These were secondhand sources.
made. Atone time oranother we
Such is the sight of Jesus, a

What of the Gospels then? They are passion plays


designed to be
read or acted out in front of an audience. Passion
plays were a common
feature of pagan religion. Looking at the Gospels
themselves one finds
a choppilywritten, scene byscene, display of
thelife of theGod man.

Only the important aspects of his life are described.


The minor events
and influences of the life of Jesus are not recorded,
which leaves one
to think that the Gospels are indeed a play.
"When we turn from the reputed teaching of Jesus
to the story of
his career, the presumption is that it has a factual
basis is so
slenderas to benegligible. The Churchfound it
sodifficult to settle
the date ofits alleged founder's birththat the
Christian erawas made
to begin someyears before the year which
chronologistslatter inferred
on the strength of other documents. The nativity was
placed at the
winter solstice, thus coinciding with the birthday of
the Sun-god. And
the date for the crucifixion was made to vary from
year to year to
conform to the astronomical principle which fixed the
Jewish Passover.
[The Passover is moon based, an already familiar pagan
method of
cyclic, monthly dating.]In between thebirth
anddeath of Jesus,there
is analmost total absence ofinformation except about
thebrief period
of his ministry. Of his life between the ages of twelve
and thirty we
know nothing. There are not even any myths. It is
impossible to
establish with any accuracy the duration of the
ministry from the
Gospels. According to the tradition it lasted one
year, which suggests
that it was either based on the formula 'the
acceptable year of the
Lord', or on the myth of the Sun-god." _Pagan_Christs_
by J.M.
Robertson, page 68

689

{file "Gnosticism" "bos167.htm"}

A Shared Vision
by
D. M. DeBacker
June 23, 1988 11:36 PM

Gnosticism is a religious/philosophical
tradition that began
sometime in the last
era1. The word

present

"tradition"
of the tenets of

should

century before
be

stressed

the

because

one

Gnosticism is that of a general disdain for

authority or

orthodoxy. The
in strict equality

Gnostics adhered

to a

belief

among the members of the sect; going so far as


the role

to chose

of priest
participates at gnostic
revelation

by

drawing

lots

among

the

gatherings2. They also stressed direct


through dreams

and visions
of the revelations

and an

individual interpretation

of fellow Gnostics and sacred scriptures.


"Gnosticism") and

The Greek word gnosis (from which we have

the Sanskrit
"Buddhism") have exactly

bodhi (from

which we have

1 see J.M. Robinson, Introduction, in


Hammadi
Library (New York, 1977); hereafter cited as
NHL, for a general
discussion of the origins of Gnosticism.
The

Nag

York, 1979); p 49

2 Pagels, Elaine; The Gnostic Gospels;(New

695

refers

the same
to a knowledge

meaning. Both

that transcends
through means of

gnosis and

the knowledge

bodhi

that is acquired

it

empirical
intuitive

is

reasoning

knowledge
the Gnostic this

derived

or

rational

from

internal

thought;
sources.

To

knowledge is necessary for salvation3.


"I say, You are gods!"
-John 10:34
The Gnostic sects were essentially
eschatological; concerned
with salvation,
world of error (as
Living God,

with transcendence

opposed to sin) towards


who is

knowable only
experience. The object of

through

gnosis is God- into


transformed monistcally.
This notion
is known in

essence

from the

a knowledge

of the

revelationary

which the

of assimilation

soul is
into a

divine

Gnostic Circles as "immanentizing the

Eschaton"4.

"Christ redeemed us from the Curse of


the Law."
-Gal.3:13
3 Barnstone, Willis, ed.; The

(San Francisco,

Other Bible;

1984); p 42
4 Wilson, Robert A.; The Illuminati Papers;
(Berkely, 1980);
p 46

696
The Gnostic defiance towards authority took
on many levels.
They developed
defiant opposition to
For

the

Jew

traditional
and

an elaborate

Jewish

Christian, it
god that created
that

and

cosmogony, in

Christian

beliefs.

was a good, though authoritarian,

Adam and Eve. It was through


they fell into

their own

sin

corruption. Yet for the Gnostic, the creator was


not good at all,
the

rather he became
Demiurge1, a

secondary god
the unknown God-

known

also known
Saclas- acted in error

the

below Sophia,

who-is-above-all-else.2
who is

Demiurge-

to

as

Gnostics

Mother Wisdom, and

To the

Ialdabaoth,

Gnostics,

the

Sabaoth, and

when he created the material universe


thought of

mistakenly

as

and

himself as the only god.


In

are seen as heroic


serpent,

Gnostic

Adam

and

Eve

by

the

figures in their disobedience; aided


who gave

them knowledge
some sects as Jesus,
the

literature,

and who will later return in

to redeem humanity by teaching disobedience


curse of the
laws of Yahweh the Creator3.

1 Greek for "craftsman", much like the


Masonic "Architect of
the Universe". From Plato's Timaeus.

"Theoseulogetes"

2 I

to

have

come

up

with

Greek

term

to

describe "God-who-is-above-all-else" which I


in Paul's
Epistle to the Romans (9:5), but I hesitate
to make use of it
because I am not sure how it should be
pronounced.
found

3 Hypostasis of the Archons 89:32-91:3 (NHL


p. 155)
3

697
Many writers when discussing Gnosticism

approach the subject

with a scholarly morbidity. They tend


upon the Gnostics

to look

as a cult of dreadful ascetics who shunned the


world of error and
but

delusion. Yet as a neo-gnostic, I can not help


see a gnostic

world-view
universe not as some

as

that

of

looking

sinister mistake, but more


complicated cosmic

as a

upon

the

complex and

joke.
Gnostic

literature

one

first

begins

contained in the pages of the


note p.

Library (cf.

1),
and the symbols of
fright

When

one

is

tempted

to

reading

the

Nag Hammadi

filter the language

Gnosticism through a mindset


conjured by

of

`hellfire'

images brought from the Book of Revelations or


Daniel. The key to
distressed

reading the NHL is not to be frightened or


by some of
the images,

of the NHL were

but to

realize that

the tractates

the
be

collected as consciousness raising


Gnostic, the
taken

as

pages
the

of

NHL

are

not

to

tools.

be

meant

authoritative, apostolic writings of


bible or the

Christian

prophetic and
bible, but rather

To
to

the

patristic writings of the Jewish

as visions shared with


following discourse

fellow Gnostics.

The

is meant to be just that- a Gnostic sharing his

vision.

698
"When the Elohim began to
create..."
- Gen 1:1
As all religious thought has as its
ultimate aim the thought
by

of God, it is best that


imparting my

begin

my

"vision"

perception of God.
inscrutable, and
ultimately
invokes,

To me, God is indescribable,

"nonexistent". Any attempt


what a

catastrophe"2.

friend termed, the "great


It is wrong, I

at

describing

God

syntax

believe, even to use the pronouns he or she when


speaking of God;

and it
"not" rather than to
theChinesephilosopher,
Lao

seems better to speak of what God is


speakof whatGod"is".Toparaphrase

Tse "The god that can be named is not the God"3.


It is best not to even attempt a
description of God, but to
think of God as inscrutable by

definition: that

which cannot be
1 For a discussion on this translation of
the opening verses
of Genesis cf. Asimov, Issac; Asimov's Guide to
the Bible; Vol.
II; (NY, 1968); pp 16-17

2 A friend tells me that


this term from an
evangelical Christian in Georgia.

he picked up

3 "The Tao that can be trodden is not


enduring and
unchanging Tao. The name that can be named is
not the enduring
and unchanging name." Lao-Tse; Tao teh Ching
(I,1)- trans. by
James Legge
the

699
easily understood,
mysterious, unfathomable,

completely obscure,

and enigmatic; the "Mystery of the Ages"1.


existent";

not in

Many Gnostics speak of God as

the atheistic
does not exist in
in

being "non-

sense, but in the sense that God

the same sense as you or


the Universe

or

anything

else

exists. In some Gnostic

is referredto as
the

writings

God

"unbegotten one"2.
emphasizes

As
the salvic

influence
influence of pistis

Gnostic
of

Christian,

gnosis

who

(knowledge)

(faith), it is not enough


that God

believe

one

for

over

me

the

merely

to

exists; I must know that God exists.


In
tells

us

his

epistle

to

the

Galatians,

Paul

that

ignorance of God is a form of bondage3; and in


his epistle to the
Colossians, he
to "be filled with
spiritual

the knowledge
wisdom and

tell us
of

that man's purpose is

[God's]

will

in

all

understanding,.. and increasing in (gnosis)


knowledge of God"4.
an unquestioning
evidence.

Many Christian

sects teach that "faith" is

belief that does not require


To understand

proof

or

1 Col 1:26

55)

2 Tripartite Tractate; 51.24-52.6; (NHL p.

3 Gal. 4:8-9
4 Col. 1:9-10

700

"faith" properly
belief and opinion are
not one and
that is

something

asserted
all in evidence or
to

it requires knowing that

the

or

same.

accepted

mere

without

reason1. Whereas, to believe


exercise one's

faith
could be said to be

or

trust

opinion

in

any

is

basis at

in something

something.

Faith

is

then

"trust"; and `faith in God' is, therefore, the


`trust in

same as

God'.
The basis of any degree of trust must be a
certain degree of
knowledge
The more

situation.

knowledge
person, determines the

concerning
one

has

given

concerning,

object
say,

or
a

amount of trust allowed that person. For


if you know a

example,

person to

be completely unreliable,

youthen have very


little
faith inthat person. Conversely,You
havea

greatdeal of
faith
that

person is not to be trusted. If you know

that a person
degree

is highly reliable, you then have built up


of trust in

that person based on your knowledge of him.


Therefore, knowledge

of God must parallel

faith in God. Yet


how can God be known when we are not even sure
that he exists? If
we

say

that

God

is

essentially

`unknowable

and can only be


how can

spoken of in terms of what God is


we come to
have any knowledge of God?

not, then

1 See Adler, Mortimer J.; Ten


Philosophical Mistakes; chap.
4; (New York, 1985); for a detailed discussion
of knowledge and
opinion.

701
There are

basically two

God. The first is by

ways to

know

way of reason or logic and second, by way of


intuitive knowledge
or gnosis.
paragraphs how the former
method may
we are faced

We shall

problems

with in
will see, also, how

help us

see in

following

in understanding

our attempts

to know

the

God, and many

severelylackingthe pathof logiccan


becomparedto that of
the
gnostic path.
In
proofs'

of

studying

existence I have
arguments of

historical

the

problem

come

across

of

`logical

God's

which I
Seven Arguments and

have grouped

several

into what

I call "The

the General Argument for the Existence of the


Almighty." I have
labeled these
as in idea), the

arguments the

Ideological (ideo

Etiological ( `aetio' meaning cause), the


Teleological (`teleo'
(`cosmo'

meaning
meaning

final

outcome),

the

Cosmological

universal),
being), the

meaning

the

`pantheism'),

Pantheological
and
the

Ontological
(`pantheo'

(`onto'
as

in

Psychological (`psyche' meaning soul) Arguments.


I

will provide
a brief discussion of each.

1] The Psychological Argument


concerning
One

Before anything
the reality of
God or
take a

must

of

anything

skeptical stance.
that of doubting

else

can be

said

for

A skeptical

that

matter.

stance would

the reality of absolute or universal

truths. In

other words one


8

702
could say
impossible and that

that the certainty of knowledge is


onecan

knowledge,
whose

reading

achieve only `probable'

i.e., ideas

validity is
this would be to say

highly probable.

An example of

that it is only highly probable that you


this page,

are

but that neither you nor I can be absolutely


certain of this.
existence of absolute

Yet probable knowledge implies the

knowledge.
that the objects of

be

For instance a skeptic could deny

his perceptions exist, but he could not deny


that his perceptions

exist. St. Augustine stated that the person who


doubts all truths
is caught
exist in order that

in a

logical dilemma, for he must

he may doubt. As Descartes, put it "I think,


therefore I am.". In
the act of doubting one establishes the absolute
reality of one's
own consciousness or "psykhei".
comprises

For
entire

the

Augustine

personality
aware through

becomes

of

the

the

"psykhei"

living

being,

who

self-consciousness not only that


or

he

she is a real
integrated

existing person
absolute certainty
intellect,
doing

but also

that he

his own activities and powers


and will.

Thus the
in the act of

being

`remembers'

of

knows with

what

memory,
it

is

self-doubt; it understands or knows the


immediate experience; and
it can
Hence three aspects

will to act or not to act as it does.

of the individual "psykhei" may be described as


powers of memory,
intellect,
being, knowing, and

and

will,

or

as

activities of

willing.
9

703
2] The Ideological Argument
Prior to the history of any object the
ideal had to exist as

the source
object. Humanity

imparting reality

to the particular

must exist as a universal ideal before any


individual human being
can possibly exist. An object's essence (ideal)
must be a reality
before the particular object can come into

existence.

Many people, when first confronted by this


argument

fail to

understand it.
was preposterous,
because
could be

things

he

One fellow thought the argument

thought

discovered by
example involving a
the

course

somehow

denied

accidently

invent

glue

discovering

disease such
needed cure for cancer
on

as cancer

the

in

cure

for

the notion

of

and the idea of a

existed long before this bumbling


his glue

project. Both
ideological arguments are

and
a

fellow failed to realize is that


death dealing

started

that

accident. He gave a convoluted

chemist seeking to
of his

research
cancer. What this
a

it

psychological

chemist
and

really not arguments for the existence


but are intended

of God,

as an introduction to the following arguments.

3] The Etiological Argument


as a first cause
this

God,

by

because every
must have been

world iscontingent,
unable

definition,

must

effect requires

have
a cause

existed
and

true ofentire universe. Thematerial

10

704
to create itself, hence
a necessary,

else,

spiritually uncreated
existence and impel

requires

something

Being to bring it into

it to continue its progress.


The same
ideological argument said
that
and that it

head"

the

etiological

debated the

argument

"hurt

his

reminded him of "the old chicken and the


The key

argument".

"uncreated"

egg

wordsinthis argumentare"contingent"

(meaning,"dependent
on

chance"; "conditional"), "necessary",


(see the

General
argument is almost
wording

fellow who

Argument

below).

The

and

cosmological

identical to the etiological argument, yet the


is quite
different.

4] The Cosmological Argument


There must have been a time when the
universe did not exist,
for all things in the universe
possibilities dependent
on some
development; the fact
a

necessary

of

creating

that
or

the

other objects
universe

noncontigent
the
universe.

Being

are mere

for their being and

does
exists

exist
who

implies
was

that

capable

5] The Ontological Argument


Since we possess an idea of
Being

(and

perfect

we can

think
such a Being must

of

nothing

greater

or

more perfect),

necessarily exist because perfection implies


Any idea

existence.

11

705
that is
has no objective
whereas

one

lacking in

reality of its
of the

reality (any

own)

would

be

concept which
imperfect,

attributesofa perfectBeingis
actualexistence(not merely
an
idea in

external to any

any person's

mind, but

real existence

mind which happens to conceive of it).


The ontological argument is possibly the
oldest argument and
dates back to the 4th C.
This argument has
in
The

caused a
the pages of
key

great debate

of the

present era.

that rages

modern textbooks on philosophy


to this

argument is
"any concept which

"perfection" and

has no objective reality of

imperfect" (and

therefore not
which the validity

exist) is

of argument hangs.

to this

and

day

theology.

the statement:
its

own

would

the thin thread upon

be

6] The Teleological Argument


The presence of design in the

world, the

fact that objects


are designed with a purpose, to function for a
given end, implies
the existence of an intelligent, competent
designer, who planned
the purpose of each thing that exists.
of

its own. The

The teleological

argument posses

same fellow who debated the previous


that he

insisted

needed proof
everything has a

of a

not think
universe. My mind

arguments

design to the world and that

purpose. The problem in replying to


is that I can

argument

problems

his

of one useless thing existing in the

12

706
invite

draws a blank in this respect and I


anyone to show

would

me one thing that exists in this universe which


is without design
or purpose.

7] The Pantheological Argument


God, the supreme unity, the original Being,
and the Ideal of
all ideals, has caused all things to become
manifest by means of
a logical unfolding of particulars from their
ideals. To speak of
creation is to speak
particularization, a process of

of

unfolding that makes individual


objects out of ideals.
Conversely,
immortality is an opposite process whereby the
particulars return
to their universal essence
Immortality means the
return
that
of

is

of

things

to

or archetypes.
God

(apocatastasis),

their

deification, so
all things in

that there

is complete

unity

God; pantheism.
The Pantheological
negative in the sense
comparison

God is

that God can be characterized only in terms of


on the

ground that
comprehension; however
of the

vision of

the infinite

is beyond human

not beyond human contemplation.


nature of

God and
speaking of the nature

When speaking

using the terms of argument #1 in

of the psyche as that which possess memory,


intellect, and will,
one may say that
possessing absolute memory
will;

God is

Omniscient,

and intellect; Omnipotent, possessing


and in the

terms of
Omnipresent, possessing

the

pantheological

absolute

argument,

13

707
space.

pure randomness and non-localized in time and

The General Argument for the Existence of


the Almighty is as

follows and derived in part from the argument as


put forth in How
to Think About God by Mortimer J. Adler:

1. The existence of an effect requiring the


concurrent existence
and action of an efficient cause implies the
existence and action
of that cause.

2. The cosmos as a whole exists.

3. If the
is radically

whole

existence

contingent, which
needing an efficient
everlasting,
of

it

the

does

cosmos

as

is to say that, while not

cause of its coming to


then it

nevertheless
its continuing

prevent

of

need

be,
a

existence, to preserve it in
from being

since

it

is

efficient
being

cause

and

replaced by nothingness.
or
3a. If
of many possible
infinite
if

the cosmos

which now exists is only one

universes that might have existed in the


past, and that

might still
a cosmos which

exist in the infinite future, and

can be otherwise is one that also can


and conversely, a
14

708

not be;

cosmos that
is one that can be

is capable of not existing at all

otherwise than it now is, then


radically contingent
in
its existence not

existence,

would

not

the cosmos,

exist

at

all were

caused.

4. If the cosmos needs an efficient cause of its


existence or of
its continuing
annihilation, then that
uncaused,

cause must be one


and one

which has
i.e. The ultimate
cause

cosmos is

existence to

the existence

reason for

being in

of which

is

and of itself;

and being of the cosmos.

5. If the
that about

ultimate cause and being of the

which nothing
being must be thought
of as
omniscient,

will;

prevent its

greater can be thought, that

omnipotent,

possessing absolute
non-localized in

possessing

absolute

knowledge; and omnipresent;

time and space.

PART TWO

Intuition differs
man

from reason

is a finite

beingpossessing
limitedsensualcontactwiththeuniverse;it
is

in that

as

impossible for man to fully understand God


his senses or

through

by empirical
the understanding

means. This,

therefore, involves

15

709
of abstract concepts. We
as being

universe

"conceptusensual"; that
objective universe there
is a universe made
abstract universe is

means

the

parallel to the

up of

viewable to

symbols; objects not


possessing

must understand

abstracts. This

us through

means of

objectivity. These symbols cannot be known by


of empirical

reasoning, but
conscience use of
understanding.

by means of gnosis; without the

reasoning, immediate apprehension or


It should be realized

that

while

this

abstract universe,
that
and is sometimes

sits

parallel

to

the material universe,

referredto asthespiritual worldor


heaven,isbeyond logic
and
reasoning;
reasoning. You will

it

is

supported

recall that imperfection or


perfection" implies the

by

logic

and

"degrees of

existence of perfection (cf. Arg #3 and Arg #5).


Perfection is an
world, yet

abstract ideal having no analog in our material


it is
intuitively known to exist.

Just as

there are

degrees of

knowledge

concerning mundane
truths
of gnosis

degrees

in

the

material

world,

there

are

concerning revealed truths in the spiritual


world. Because man in
his human form is by nature limited there
certain limit to
his understanding
all things are in a

and

knowledge.

Yet

is a
as

constant state of flux and change, man's


is constantly

knowledge

growing. For everythingthat is


knownobjectively thereis
an
abstract idea that precedes the object.
The Scriptures speaks about angels and
devils, the creation
16

710
of the
many Christian sects

world

in

seven

days,

etc.,

require of their followers acceptance of


"revealed truths"

and

by way
the Bible as being

of

faith

or

trust.

Many

these

speak of

infallible and without error even when portions


are contradictory
or counter
the Bible is first

to logic.

I, however, assert that

and foremost an anthology


religious/philosophical tradition

of

compiled over the centuries from about 750 BCE


to around 150 BCE.
"closed

It should,
canon" or a

in no

compilation of
truth, revealed or

way, be

the sum

advertised as

of man's knowledge of

otherwise. The Bible was written by men and


therefore subject

is

to human error. This does not, however,


discount the presence of
within

revealed
scripture

any

truths

within

the

Bible

or

(religious writings).
If any

of the

above arguments

fall short

of convincing an
individual of God's existence,
cannot be

argument that

denied is
proof of one's own
"taking

the argument which provides for the

existence (cf. Arg #1). Here


a skeptical

existence.

the one

stance"; one
Through the

of

doubting

we

the

process of
reality of our

self-doubt we

existence;
perceptions-

we

our

cannot

one's

spoke
own

become faced
deny

the

of

with

object

of

ourselves.
"life and death".

The question, then, is

raised concerning

One may wonder: "If I exist now, was there ever


a time when I did
not exist and will there be a time when I will
not exist?" We can
17

711
limit this
lifetime and will

by asking: "Did I exist before this

I exist after this life?" Perhaps


questions can be

before these

broached more should said concerning the subject


of gnosis.

As stated

above, the Apostle Paul spoke of

ignorance of God
as being a form of slavery; and told us that
our purpose

was

it

to know (gnosis) and obey God1. This is


reiterated in his first
epistle to the Corinthians, when Paul gave
"thanks to God... that
in every way [they] were enriched in [Christ]
with all speech and
all knowledge"2.
we may

In John's first epistle,

come to

we are

told that

know (gnosis) God, if we keep God's Law and


"walk in the same way
John's

in which [Christ] walked3. This echoed


Gospel chapter

14, verses
that the Holy Spirit
and

bring

will be sent
to [us]
remembrance

[us]."

20-21; and
to
all

at verse

"teach
that

[us]

in

26 he adds
all

[Christ

things,

had]

said

to

have

important part

emphasized the word "remembrance"


of the

as an

process of gnosis. This will be discussed in


detail below.
"riches of assured
God's

In

another

epistle

understanding and knowledge


mystery, of

Paul

spoke

of the

(epi-gnosis)

1 See above p. 4

2 1 Cor. 1:4-5
3 1 Jn 2:3-4

18

of

712
of

wisdom

Christ,

in

and

whom

are

hid

all

the

treasures

knowledge"1. In the seventeenth chapter of


John's Gospel, Christ
tells us
equivalent to eternal
Paul tells

that

gnosis,

knowing

God,

is

life2; and in his epistle to the Philippians,


us that
gnosis supersedes all3.

spiritual knowledge

In

Matthew's

Gospel

we

are told that

comes to us through Christ:


"I thank thee, Father, Lord of
heaven and

earth,

wise and prudent

that thou hast hidden these things from the


and revealed them unto the

yes,

have been delivered

such was
to me

the

little

ones;

Father, for
thy great pleasure. All things

by my

Father; and

no one

knows

Son except the

Father, and
except the Son and any

no one

knows the Father

one whom the Son chooses to reveal him.4"

Paul's

When we read the thirteenth chapter of


first epistle
1 Col 2:2-3
2 Jn 17:3
3 Phil 3:8-10

4 Matt 11:25-27 & Lk 10:21-22

19

713
is

the

key

to
to

the

Corinthians,

we

learn

that

"love"

maintaining spiritual knowledge (gnosis) and


faith (pistis)1; and
in John's
who does not love,

first letter

we are

told that "he

does not know God; for God is love"2.


Besides the
we

are

necessity

of

loving

God,

told that

knowledge of
Paul's letter to

truth equals

Titus, Paul greets his


by describing

faith"

that, as
purpose is to "further

an apostle

knowledge of God. In

"child

in

of Christ,

common
his main

the faith of God's elect and their knowledge


truth which

the

accords with
are told that the

godliness"3. In

Holy Spirit is the


(material) world
cannot receive,
nor knows him; you
know him, for he

of

John's Gospel we

"Spirit of

because it

truth, whom

neither sees

the

dwells with

you, and

him
will be

in you"4. Jesus
you
truth

are

tells
truly my

us:

"If

you

continue

in

my

word,

disciples, and you will know the truth, and


will make
you free"5.
1 1 Cor 13

the

2 1 Jn 4:7-8
3 Titus 1:1
4 Jn 14:17
5 Jn 8:31-32

20

714
Atsomepointsthissavingknowledgeisreferredtoas
a
to

his

secret
disciple,

knowledge.

Timothy, Paul
knowledge that has

In

his

tells him

been entrusted to him and

as

who imagine
they ought to

know2. In
that the mystery of
blinded

and in

that they

to

avoid

those

who

first Corinthians,

know, yet

second Corinthians,

do not

know

Paul tells us

the Gospel is "veiled" to those who have been


by the god

of this world3. This


"hardening the hearts" and
befound in Isaiah4,
Mark5,
process

remarks

to guard closely the

"chatter" about

false knowledge1;
he speaks of those

closing

Luke6,
of gnosis as

concept of

the

"shutting the eyes"of the peoplecan

and

Acts7.

Paul

speaks

of

spiritual maturity when he tells the


Corinthians that they were

the

"fed with
were not ready for

milk, not

solid food;

for [they]

1 1 Tim 6:20-21
2 1 Cor 8:2
3 2 Cor 4:3-6
4 Isaiah 6:9-10
5 Mark 8:17-18

6 Lk 10:23
7 Acts 28:26-27

21

715
it."
We are told that Jesus

because "seeing

they do
hear"1; and that "not

not see,

spoke

and hearing

in

parables

they do not

all men can receive this [knowledge] but only


those to whom it is
given (revealed)"2.
that those who could

He said

that in

order

not understand, be allowed to understand that


would have to

they

"turn again"
"turning again" or being
below.
mystery as

and

be

forgiven3.

This

"reborn" will be discussed in greater detail


In Colossians, Paul speaks
having been

of this

hidden from
generations)4. There is

angels

and

men (aeons and

evidence in many of the books of the

Bible that

books which are

known to authors have either been lost or


intentional kept out of
epistles, Paul

the Bible for a variety reasons. In his


speaks of

epistles
is evidence of a
that

that

do

not

appear

in Bible. There

third epistle to the Corinthians; perhaps


went between

one

the first and second epistles5; and in his


closing remarks to the
1 Matt 10:13-17
2 Matt 19:11
3 Mk 4:11-12
4 Col 1:26

5 1 Cor 5:9 & 2 Cor 2:3-9; 7:10

22

716
Colossians, Paul speaks of an Epistle
Laodiceans1. First
Chronicles speaks
the Book of Gad2;
of Nathan

of the

Book of

to the

Nathan and

while Second Chronicles, also, speaks of a Book


and a

Book of Shemaiah the Prophet3. In Jude's Epistle


there is a quote
books

from the Book


have contained

of

Enoch!4

Could

these

"secret knowledge" that could not be understand


by all?
books

which

part of

Turning
are not

to

the

"apocrypha",

considered by some Christian sects to


the "closed

those
be a

canon" of the Bible, we are able to discover a


possible answer to
our question. The Apocrypha, or "hidden" books,
were never really
hidden, but
Each Christian sect

were kept

apart from the Bible.

has a different "list" of books


their individual
each

other

majority

"canon"
many

and

because

those

that belong

"lists"

overlap

in

Christians today are quite familiar with a


of the books
contained in the Apocrypha.

Esdras, a book that


has

One book

is found
the following

books":

in

contained in
many

Roman

the Apocrypha, 2
Catholic

Bibles,

information to impart to us concerning "hidden

1 Col 4:16
2 1 Chr 29:29
3 2 Chr 9:29; 12:15
4 Jude 9 quotes Enoch 1:9

23

717
you have seen in

"Therefore write

all these

things that

book, and put it in a hidden place; and you

shall teach them

to the
hearts

wise among

your people,

whose

you know are


able to comprehend and keep these

secrets.1"

(It is curious to
of 2

note that

this portion

Esdras was

century AD; when at

added to

original sometime in the third

the same time


compiling

Gnostic

Christians

were

the Nag
Hammadi in Egypt!)2

nothing

Yet

can remain hidden forever. In

it

Luke's Gospel Jesus prophesies


that shall

is hid

seems

that

that "nothing

not be made manifest, nor anything secret that


shall not be known
came

and come
true when,

following
II, two astonishing

to
the

light"3.

Perhaps

dreadful

this

destruction

prophecy
of

WW

discoveries of hidden works were made; the first


at Nag Hammadi,
Egypt in
Q'umran, Palestine

December of

1945, and the second at

1 2 Esdras 12:37-38, cf. 2 Esdras 14:37-48


2 see introduction to "The Second Book of
Esdras" in the
Apoc

New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha;

p 23

3 Lk 8:17

24

718
in 1947.

PART THREE

Even in

the Bible

itself there is found

"secret knowledge"
that is never spoken of amongst the christian
sects that consider
themselves to
of this is in the
opening line

be "orthodox".

The best example

creation account of the Book of Genesis. The


of the

first book of the Bible has been translated


throughout history to
read: "In the beginning God created the heavens
and the earth1."
Yet if we translate the first verse literally we
find it to read:
the earth2."

"When the Elohim began to create the heavens and


The term "Elohim" should not be translated

directly

to read

"God" or
plural of god (Eloah)
and should
or "offspring of

"god", because it is the feminine


probably be

translated "goddesses"

the Goddess" . Now, to many "orthodox"


christians the notion that
most

there exists "gods", in the polytheistic sense,


likely is a

bizarre notion.
not "monotheistic",

Yet the

early Hebrews

were

that is, a person who believes in the existence


of one God, as is

usually thought; but, rather, they were


"henotheistic", and while
believing in a multitude of gods, they focused
all their worship
1 Gen 1:1
2 Cf. p 3 note 1

25

719
on
henotheism can be

their

found in
Kings, chapter 18

"national

there
a prophet of the

god".

is

throughout the
an

account

Examples of Hebrew

Old Testament.
of

the

In 1

prophet Elijah,

Israelite god Yahweh, engaged in a

contest with

the prophets of
the god
(Ishtar)1. In 2 Kings,
of

Ba'al

and

the

chapter 3 we are told that


the Moabites,

goddess Asherah
when

Mesha,

king

sacrificed his son to the Moabite god Chemosh


"there came a great
Further on

wrath upon " the army of the Israelites2.


in 2 Kings

there is
who is afflicted

the story

of Naaman, a Syrian general

with leprosy. Following a raid in Israel, Naaman


is told

by one

of his captives that there is a prophet living


in Samaria who has
the power to cure leprosy. Naaman then visits
Elisha, where he is
told to
After bathing seven

go and

bathe in

the Jordan

river.

times in the Jordan, Naaman is cured of leprosy,


as a result

and

Yahweh,

he converts
god of the

and

becomes

worshiper

of

Israelites. He is now faced with a dilemma; as


must return to

he

Syria, he
Israelite soil back
plot

must take

"two mule's

with him. This is done so


of Yahweh's

land upon
Israelite god. Elisha

which to

burden" of

that he

may have

offer sacrifice to the

does not argue this matter with Naaman, but only


tells him to "go
in peace"3.
1 1 Kngs 18:19
2 2 Kngs 3:27
3 2 Kngs 5:1-19
26

720
Perhaps

the

strongest

suggestion

of

Hebrew henotheism is
contained in line from
the women weeping
for

the

Sumerian

Ezekiel that

harvest

god,

tells of

Tammuz1.

The

Jewish calendar
summer) and

contains the month of Tammuz (usually in the


one of

the titles
the Hebrews as a

for Tammuz, "Adonai", was adopted by

title for their god. The phrase "Adonai Elohim"


is translated in
the
The Greeks, also,
term

english

Bible

to

read

adopted "Adonai" and called


used today in

"Lord of Hosts".
him "Adonis";

the english language to describe a good looking

young man.

In the
Saint Paul that there

New Testament,

we are told by

are "many gods and many lords"2. In Colossians,


he refers to them
as the
Archons3. Could it
one

"elemental spirits of the universe" or

be that the
the same:

and

Archons

and

the

"elemental spirits
Ephesians, he refers to

of the

them as the "world


darkness"4. In John's

rulers of

Gospel,
with the Archons by

Jesus

puts

us

Elohim

were

universe"? In

on

the present
equal

footing

quoting Psalms5; and in Acts we are called


"God's offspring"6.
1 Ezekiel 8:14
2 1 Cor 8:5
3 Col 2:8
4 Eph 6:12
5 Jn 10:34 & Ps 82:6
6 Acts 17:27-29
27

721
concept

of pre-

The scriptures

in

places

speak

of

the

existence. God tells Jeremiah, "before I formed


you in the womb I
"chose

knew you"1. In Ephesians, we are told that


us in him

God

before the foundation of the world"2.


that the Scriptures
are

Could it

be that

the "secret

have to impart to us is that we


one and the

same? That
That we created our

we were

message"

and the

Elohim

present at the creation?

own universe
were not in

under God's

guidance, but

harmony with
tried to "lord" over

each other,

because a

because we

how

few us

the others, because we were not in agreement


to go about

on

making the universe, and instead of making the


universe according
to God's design, we made it
in "our

design,

image";
such an imperfect

could

this

be

why

according
the

to

our

universe is

place?
Between chapters 16 and 19 of the Book of
Genesis

there is

a curious exchange that deserves to be followed.


In chapter 16 we
are told the story of Hagar, the mother of
Ishmael. Hagar, one of
Abraham's concubines, is sent out into desert by
Sarai, the first
an "angel

wife of Abraham. At verse seven Hagar is met by


of the

1 Jeremiah 1:4-5
2 Eph 1:4

28

722
Lord". Later, after conversing with this "angel
of the Lord", she
refers to the angel as a "god of vision". She is
shocked to think
that
lived1. In the next

she

has

actually

seen

"God" and has

chapter, Abraham is visited by a


describes himself as
"El
translate this to

Shaddai"2.

Most

english

read "God Almighty", but


render it

would

"El, one of the


Abraham, we are told, is
looking up he
"three

being who
language Bibles

a literal

gods". In

translation

chapter 18

visitedagain by the"Lord", and upon

sees

men".
in this chapter of

The

persons

that

appear

to

Abraham

Genesis are usually described as being God and


two of his angels,
yet strangely
thought to be God, the

enough

the

one

who

is

Almighty (omniscient and omnipresent) does not


know what's going
in a city on the planet Earth and remarks: "I
will go down to see
the

whether they have done altogether according


outcry which
has come
with

After wrangling
cities

to

to me; and if not, I will know"3.

Abraham over whether or not he would destroy the


of Sodom

and Gomorrah,
rained... fire from the

we are told that "the Lord

Lord out of heaven"4.


1 Gen 16:7-14

2 Gen 17:1
3 Gen 18:21
4 Gen 19:24

29

723
The "main of event" occurs in the first
chapters of Genesis.
Here is
first time1, and go

where the

Elohim see

about the process of

light for the

the first

creation2, that

of "calling and
creating" the
cause a separation to

material world3.

The Elohim

be made between the spiritual world, "the waters


which were above
the
waters which were

firmament,

and

the

material world, "the

under the firmament"4. Genesis 1:9-31 details


this "ordering" of
the material world.
Elohim created, or
that

In Genesis

developed the
the Elohim

1:27, we

perceived.
this image was the
reflected

idea

According

mankind
to

that the

in

Rabbinic

image of the Higher God that


in the

firmament which
own. In the second
material

of

are told

the

an

image

tradition
Elohim

they took to be that of their

creation, that of "making and forming" the


world in the

"day that
heavens"5, we are told

saw

the Lord made the earth and the

that the Elohim actually


it was

dust, but

"formed" man

out of

1 Gen 1:4
2 Gen 1:1 - 2:3
3 Isaiah 43:7
4 Gen 1:7
5 Gen 2:4

30

724
only after the Elohim breathed into man's
nostrils the "breath of
life", did man become a living being1.
Yet it seems that the Elohim had made a
mistake.
created

In Genesis
man

1:28,
as an

we

are

told

androgynous being,
created them." Most
Gnostic
we were originally
combined.

Christians

that

the

"male and

Elohim

take

had

this

female [they]
to

mean that

intended to posses both soul and spirit


It appears the

Elohim had made a mistake and formed a


"sleeping" soul which they
realized that

attempted to manipulate2, and when they


they were

mistaken they
"spirit" (Eve) out

found it

necessary to pull the

of the soul (Adam) in order to bring it to life;


hence Adam calls

Eve "the Mother of the living"3.


The

events

that

follow

in

the

third

chapter of Genesis
verse 9

deserve to be looked at in detail. In chapter 2,


we have

been told that there are two trees in the center


of the Garden of
Eden; the tree of life and the tree of
knowledge. In verse 17 of
that same
had ordered Adam

chapter we were told that the Creator

not to eat of the tree of knowledge, for if Adam


were to eat from
that tree he would die. In chapter three a
serpent appears to Eve
1

Gen 2:7

2 Gen 2:16-17
3 Gen 2:21

31

725
and the following exchange takes place:

Serpent: "Did [the Creator] say, `You shall


not eat of

any
tree in the garden'?"

of the garden;

Eve: "We

may eat of the fruit of the trees

but [the Creator] said, `You shall


not eat of the
midst of the

fruit of

the tree which is in the

garden, neither shall you touch it,

lest you die.' "

Serpent: "You will not die.


Creator]

For

[the

knows that
when you

will be opened, and

eat of

it your eyes

you be like [the gods] knowing


good and evil."

by

the

way, not

Later, after eating from the

dying, Adam
Lord God walking in

and Eve

tree,

"heard the sound of the

the garden"1. It is curious to note that


exchange that

the

follows that
know what has taken
seem

and,

the Creator

does not

from

seem to

place in their "absence", just as they did not


to know what
was happening

inSodom

andGomorrah

orwhat occurredto
Cain's
transpired

brother, Able2. Upon learning


the Creator

what

has

1 Gen 3:8
2 Gen 4:9

32

726
Adam.
when

then put
We then learn

a curse upon the serpent, Eve, and

that the Creator had


they told them

lied to

Adam and

Eve

that they
"Behold, the man

would die

and in

remarking

reveal:

has become like one of us, knowing good


and now, lest

evil;

and

he put forth his hand and take also of the tree


of life, and eat,
and live forever..."1. This speaking in
is echoed in

plural

the
go down and there

Tower

of

Babel

incident:

the

"Come, let us

confuse their language"2.


as

symbol

Throughout

of

immortality. Many

time

the

serpent

ancient cultures

has

stood

upon seeing

the shed skin


of a snake believed that the snake never died;
shedding one

only

body
god Prometheus is
gift of

for

new

one.

In Greek mythology the

often depicted as a winged serpent bringing the


fire to

man.
image of the wing-

Later

Prometheus

was

footed Hermes holding aloft


"serpent entwined

replaced
the

by the

caduceus

or

staff" as he brought the secret knowledge of the


gods to mankind.
These images
serpents can be found in

of winged

and fiery

the Old Testament. In Numbers "the Lord sent


fiery serpents among
the people,
that many people of
is

and

they

bit

the

people, so

Israel died"3. To counteract this attack, Moses


told to "make
1 Gen 3:22
2 Gen 11:7
3 Num 21:6

33

727
a fiery serpent and set it on a pole" so that
when the people see
the "brazen serpent" they would not
symbolic gesture
of the
is reminiscent not
of

Jesus

serpent lifted

up in

only of the serpent in the


on the

cross2.
describes the throne of

In Isaiah's

die1. This

the wilderness

garden,

vision of

but

that

God, he

God as being surrounded by "seraphim". Seraphim


may be defined as
"fiery winged
that the "brazen

serpents". In 2 Kings we are told

serpent" survived
of Israel. It

king

down into

reign of

Ahaz,

seems Ahaz did some house cleaning and broke the


"brazen serpent"
how

into pieces and threw


a prophetic

it

out.

Is

this

some

gesture of Israel's rejection of the Messiah3?

CONCLUSION

It should be remembered that when


approaching the subject of
is

"hidden works" or "secret knowledge" that "there


nothing hid,
1 Num 21:8-9

2 Jn 3:14-15
3 2 Kngs 18:4

34

728
except to
secret, except to

be made

manifest; nor

come to
nothing hidden that

light"1. In

cannot,
extols us to seek and

or

opened to
"divine plan" in
come

us2. It

known

not,

be

there is

found. Christ

can be

which God "desires all


to the

knowledge of
told that the end of
restored

other words,

find, and that when we knock at the


will be

mystery it

to

will

is anything

men

found that God has a

the truth"3.

to

"restoration

of

all

be

saved

In Acts

time will not come until all


to God.

This
to the early

door of

and

we are

things have
things"

been

became

christians as the Doctrine of Apocatastasis4.


Ephesians speaks of
the "plan for the fullnessof

time,to

uniteall thingsin
him,
things in heaven and things on earth"5.
Yet what happens to us when

we die

in a

pre-gnostic state
before the
are told to take

Apocatastasis?

heed of what we hear in


measure you give

In Mark's Gospel, we

the message,

for "the

the

will
of

Doctrine

be

the

measure

you

get"6.

This

is

1 Mark 4:22
2 Matt 7:7-8
3 1 Tim 2:4
4 Acts 3:21
5 Eph 1:10
6 Mk 4:24
35

729
of in

Metrethesis; the "measure for measure" spoken


Matthew 7:2

6:71.

and the
This is the

universe

"sowing" and

"reaping" in

Galatians

plan by which God allows all souls in the


to eventually
redeem themselves in the prison of

Metempsychosis.

Metrethesis
doctrines that are not
and

the

unique

Vedic

to

religions

and

Christian

Metempsychosis

these

Gnosticism.
doctrines

are

In

are
Buddhism
known

as
point.]

[The text is lost at this

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