Archives for posts with tag: orthodox christianity

One outcome of my awakening experience was my personal discovery of books from early Christianity that had been largely unknown until a large cache were discovered in the desert of Egypt in 1945. One book purported to be the secret teachings of Jesus to his innermost circle. What I realized, or thought I did, was that these books were describing awakening with a pretty high degree of specificity. It wasn’t only that, but how they appeared to veil the teachings in many cases by using descriptions that made it difficult for anyone not having the experience to even know what the writers were refering to. It was to my mind like a way of coding the teachings just enough that it made it hard to understand. This may have been intentional, but it could also have been the result of not having a specific enough vocabulary with which to do the describing.

This might sound strange, but let me give you an example for what I mean. Not long into awakening, me and a person who awoke along with me (a country apart, didn’t know each other, this all happened from a distance) we both referred to what was happening to us as “it.” That was how sophisticated our vocabulary was. We had no reference point, no context, nor a teaching to guide us. Overnight, innexplicably, we had a tellepathic connection (which was proven numerous times each week). “It” fit though, because how on earth would you describe “this” (we used that term also)? It also kept what was happening to us from prying eyes and ears since who would understand or believe it? There was no real context in which to put it in. When that’s the case, you create a language or vocabulary for it much like people who are dealing with it do today (witness the use of words like “downloads” and “portals” to refer to aspects of the experience). You create your own vocabulary to help describe what is happening to you.

How could it be, I wondered, that these books were described as heresy by certain people within the church when they so clearly revealed a sophisticated understanding of a very rare state of being?

When I first found these books and realized they were pretty clearly describing my state, I considered that it was a conspiracy that they were not just shoved aside, but that in many cases, the books that were part of an unnacceptable take on Christian thought were destroyed. Now however, I am realizing it was little more than a conspiracy of ignorance…and an easy trap to fall for by anyone who was not in the know, who hadn’t had the experience, or wasn’t initiated into the system.

Was it as many scholars have asserted, that these books were jibberish, mere speculation, and could not be tied to Jesus at all? Was it true that as some Orthodox apologists have said, that these people, called “Gnostics” were late-comers? Were they forging documents, slapping Jesus’s name on them in order to give their own “wild speculations and fantasies” more caché?

I have learned that the opposition will say just about anything in order to put a good man or woman down. Maybe this speculation was right, and my initial gut sense was all wrong. There were times when this certainly appeared to be the case.

This question put me on a 15 year journey where I made myself familiar with early Christianity. I didn’t spend years in seminary getting my doctorate in divinity, nor did I learn Greek or Hebrew. I knew next to nothing about the field and I just couldn’t square my sense that these early Christians were on to something of immense importance versus what those in what would become known as the Orthodox church had to say about these teachings. Something didn’t add up.

I have realized that while I lack the background in the history of early Christianity that many scholars in the field have, I have something most (perhaps nearly all) do not: I have the experience of awakening with all of its dizzying effects, signs, and symptoms. I have read at length even scholars who specialize in the Gnostic texts speculating about the meanings of the gospel of Thomas or Philip. My sense from the beginning was that these Gnostics were the real deal, and that these works constitutes a “lost Christianity” as Bart Ehrman has described it. Having said this, I will also say that they go far afield from the words of Jesus as we have come to know them. The difference between an esoteric system and an exoteric one (the Gnostics as we refer to them ate esoteric) is that esoteric systems have much greater production of documents because the followers keep having experiences and writing about them. In the case of these early Christians, they believed that the Christ was revealed to be within a person (some Gnostics considered Paul to be a bit of a hero because he writes in his letters that God revealed to him the Christ which was within him when he was struck by a blinding light on his way to Damascus). For the Gnostics, then, the crucifixion lost much of its importance because they found salvation from the awakening to the indwelling Christ.

I ask you: what teaching by Jesus ever made anything appear to be outside of ones self? The kingdom was all within one, and seeking was done inwardly. Those who “seek him” were seeking a quality that was already there. It is worth noting that this is precisely what most Eastern traditions that describe awakening say. It is also a completely different story that Orthodox Christians have put forward since about 100-130 A.D.

I will say, however, that there were times in my work on this subject where it looked like the Gnostics were a later “invention” or movement and could not be definitively pinned to Jesus. I was, for a time, considering that for as insightful as they were, there just wasn’t a connection to Jesus’s life. I got used to the idea that these were amazing people who spun their own insights into what the Christ was all about. Maybe they were a seperate development that still managed to “get there” even though they came later.

That was before I found out about the work of Walter Bauer who did a study or survey of documents from earliest Christianity, who, in the 1930’s (and before the discovery in 1945 of this cache of early books in Egypt) determined that heresy came first and Orthodoxy came later. Orthodoxy, based on Bauer’s work, placed Orthodoxy a hundred years after the heretics (give or take a decade or two). Source: Orthodoxy & Heresy In Earliest Christianity

Heresy has always been described by the church as that branch off of the “main vine” that represents a divergence from the central truths of the dogma (see church father Origen since he originated this concept). This begged the question: how could this be so in light of what Bauer found? This may have been the result of the church, a group within it, seeking to hide the truth about how things were in the early days of the movement. It could have been as simple as ignorance by another group who didn’t have the deeper teachings (and thus could easily not understand them even when they saw them).

Then there is the troubling reality that Bart Ehrman points out in his book Jesus Interupted which is that most of the discoveries we have made in the last 100 years of Christian documents are nearly all Gnostic (which is used to describe this group of Christians today—gnosticism meaning ‘one who knows’ or who has inner knowledge not attained through books or instruction alone). Ehrman asks pointedly, did the Orthodoxy not have anything to say that there have been so few new discoveries of Orthodox books or letters during the same time period? It is plausible, then, that Gnosticism was far more robust, engaged, and involved in the matters of Christian thought than the early heresy hunters would have us believe. The historical record is certainly showing us this in spades in this regard. In Bauer’s work he points out letters that show that the church gave up trying to convert Asia Minor because the heretics were so numerous and resistant to their message. It would be easy to just say they were deluded and utterly lost, but it hides the fact that this was a situation that had always been described as no big deal by those in the Orthodox wing of the church, something more like a few flies that needed to be swatted away as the Orthodoxy has tried to represent it as. No, “heresy” was much more developed than Orthodoxy was, and at a very early period. It begs the question as to which tradition was the original or earliest one.

When I think about what happens to our leaders today it is easy to see how each side in a political campaign seeks to demonize and dethrone the leader who is in the opposition. Those with the loudest voices wind up being heard and believed. We are well aware of the sentiment that the winners of a war get to tell the history as they want it told.

Orthodoxy won the war of ideas not because their thinking was superior but because they were more worldly and systematic in their willingness to take down what they considered an opponent. You can easily see just how harsh the rhetoric was by reading the writings of these noted antiheretics like Tertulian, St. Justin, and others like them. In fact, we know a lot about early Christian “heretics” because the diatribes about them were so long-winded (and detailed) by those who were opposing them. Christians don’t like the idea that there may have been a larger story here because they have lived with a version of a story they have come to know and love. But to say that a belief system is right simply because we have lived with it for 1600 years or more is not evidence that it is necessarily right or the final word. It only means that one group stamped out another group such that their knowledge base was silenced.

Yes it seems strange and foreign, and yet this is just what archeology has revealed and the voice that was silenced was showing us the very keys to the kingdom. These keys as I call them are a suit of methods that appear in the so-called Gnostic writings mostly found in the Nag Hammadi Libray but that are also found in documents discovered earlier like the Pistis Sophia. These documents describe the same phenomenon as those in Eastern schools of though which describe the process of enlightenment.

I am not suggesting that these people went to India, but managed it on their own and that the “ressurrection” of the soul was achieved by attaining a quality that one culture called Christ while another called it Buddha. As such, this knowledge wasn’t predicated on belief alone, but pointed to a universal quality that every person has regardless of race or creed.

Rumi, the great poet and mystic once wrote about how we all squabble over the names of things and that we try to differentiate the light falling in one place as fundamentally different from the light falling in another when it is all the same source, the same thing. I think Orthodoxy tried to do this in an effort to carve out its own seemingly unique niche when in fact it had discarded important elements along the way that would have enriched it tremendously.

The Mar Saba Discovery

Then along comes Morton Smith in the 20th century. Morton Smith claimed to have made a discovery of a book in Mar Saba near Israel in the early 1960’s that contained writing by Clement, a figure from early Christianity. Clement quotes lines from a book that he calls “Secret Mark” which was, as he described it, part of a private teaching Jesus gave to his closest followers. Clement emphasizes that these teachings were never spoken before the uninitiated, a situation Jesus cautions about even in the synoptic gospels when he refers to swine and pearls, those who were “without.” In this case, Jesus was pointedly obfuscating his teaching so the Gentiles could not understand lest they be saved. The book was intended for the “perfecting” of those who were followers of this Jesus.

Morton Smith took photographs of the document and when he returned later to examine the book again, it had vanished. It has not been seen since. Here’s the thing: forensic examination of the photographs themselves have established that the book is an authentic document of the era. Christian apologists go so far as to criticize the writing as being “too Clementine” which to me may well be enough to prove the point. The writing style is consistent with what historians know about Clement, who has many writings attributed to him. Those within scholarly circles who are Christian apologists set upon Smith in attack after attack, however.

The letter was about one thousand words and had been copied onto the endpages of a seventeenth century book which no one had ever mentioned before. The find shook the scholarly world, although it’s existance made hardly a ripple in popular Christian circles because the letter denounced the group involved as heretical. That seems to be enough for any reasonable believer of the faith, but it raised important questions for many who find the discoveries of this kind to be suggestive of what Bauer had found to be the case and which continuing discoveries like the Nag Hammadi Library texts had done two decades prior, which was whether we have been told the whole story. Here is an excerpt from an article in The Nation about the discovery:

These heretics, as Clement and Theodore saw them, claimed that they possessed a secret version of the Gospel of Mark. Jesus, they believed, had taught his followers that they were freed from the law and could do whatever they wanted without sinning. According to one of their Christian critics, Irenaeus, they actually thought they earned salvation by “doing all those things which we dare not either speak or hear of, nay, which we must not even conceive in our thoughts.”

The Nation, Gospel Secrets: The Biblical Controversies of Morton Smith, January 8, 2009, Anthony Grafton.

It is worth noting that as a result of scholarly research we now know that it was Mark’s gospel that was the earliest of all the gospels. While Clement denounced the teachings in Secret Mark, he did not say that this Mark didn’t exist. Here we have a proof that books like Secret Mark were later destroyed by the Orthodox church, with copies that have yet to surface. Consider what would happen if the prevailing attitudes and beliefs of today were against you, what would you do? Would you perhaps hide away the books that you do have in order to preserve them? If your books were unapproved of, they would be destroyed with fire.

While some scholars like Ehrman have suggested that the Nag Hammadi find may well have been an effort on the part of local Christians to free up space in their libraries by burying the collection several kilometers away, I am reminded of an email from Elaine Pagels recently that the burial of the NHL documents is well within the same time frame as the letter by Bishop Athanasius, written in 365 A.D. which spelled out what books were to be acceptable for use in the church. Every book Athanasius mentioned in his list is contained in the New Testament today. It was Athanasius’s letter that would set the die for all that would follow. Anything else would come under scrutiny and risk being remanded to the flames. Remember, before the printing press, books were copied by hand in what could take many months to complete. Burning one book or two could end an important thread within the early movement. Back then, in the first century, stories abounded about the life of Jesus, an oral tradition, that was only later written down after Jesus’s death.

This article is helpful to gain the full scope of the issue about how the New Testament was formed.

My thesis has been and continues to be that Jesus was a man who attained awakening. The books attributed to his private teaching happen to also describe what is known in India as kundalini. While there isn’t compelling evidence that Jesus had gone to India, there is no good reason to suggest that in order to awaken he would need to study under an enlightened guru either. It’s possible he got instruction locally from John the Baptist, or the Essenes. We just don’t know because for as a man as famous as Jesus is, there is a huge gaping hole that is unaccounted for in his life in terms of time. I never studied under a guru and managed to trigger the first initiatory steps into awakening on my own. Likewise, it is quite possible that Jesus did the same. All he would need would be a quality of intense curiosity and a drive to seek. I suspect that this is just what Jesus meant when he said seek and ye shall find. He sought, and he found. But what did he find? He described it as a world that was within each person. At no point does Jesus ever say that his kingdom was outside of himself. All of this was an inside job. So meditation would have been part of it, something Jews of the time were well familiar with. The right kind of meditation would do it, nothing fancy, but something that would serve to achieve a first release of inner emotional material followed by inner inquiry.

It turns out that I did precisely what the heretical Jesus prescribed, which was to remove what keeps one divided within the self. This is actually a prescription Jesus mentions in the gospel of Thomas and mentions in the gospel of Phillip. The way I achieved this was through a conversation with a holy man when I felt a long-standing frustration guilt, and frustration with the universe, afterwhich everything began to change. I unburdened myself of a giant knot that had me tied up for decades, it was almost like an insurmountable impasse for me at the time.

I suspect that the story of Jesus’s baptism was like this or served a similar purpose for him because in the Gnostic texts he is teaching about how to attain the kingdom by resolving what divides you within, and a teacher always relays to his or her students how they achieved it themselves. The elephant in the room is if Jesus was God why was he going to John to have his sin removed? Why did Jesus need baptism? He obviously felt like he needed it, and instead of seeking the God, according to Orthodox scripture, which had always been within him. It’s a huge leap around the question that Christians never seem to ask. I think that it is a perfectly reasonable question to ask and actually makes loads of sense once the private teachings are known and taken into consideration.

With John, who claimed he could relieve the burden of sin through ritual washing, or baptism, Jesus was relieved enough of his own burden for the first flashes of “the light” to begin showing through. Jesus also spent forty days fasting and praying in the wilderness near where John was located. I will point out that this is the same approximate time that the Taoists prescribe for awakening the secret of the golden flower, their take on the awakening process. Similarly, in Hindu practice the number of 40 to 45 days comes up a lot for a time frame. It takes some effort to break through the veil of the earthly self to attain to the “heavenly” one (regardless of what tradition you ascribe to). Orthodoxy glosses over this precisely because it knows nothing about these practices. Then, when presented with the very means to do so, they cried foul heresy. The kingdom thus was found and then lost within a few short generations. The apostolic era came to an end not because of some God-ordained event with dubious reasoning but precisely because people no longer had access to the teachings that would have kept the era chugging along nicely. All of the signs of the holy ghost, and of awakening, were gone because the knowledge had exited the building.

If Jesus had awakened, the libertine attitude shown in the works of some of the Christian mystics like the Carpocrations that Clementine was speaking out against in his letter mentioned earlier has a very good chance of being true. Awakening pushes you beyond the normally accepted mores of the time by virtue of the fact that the energy of awakening vivifies and stimulates the body in new and novel ways. The Hindu describe it as a libidinous force, a creative current that leads one to new levels of bliss that are experienced and described as orgasmic. It’s not that it is literally so, but that this is the only way to aptly describe it so it can be halfway understood. Awakening absolutely impacts the master glands of the body resulting in high outputs of all sorts of hormones. Kundalini a sexual energy? I have always felt that the energy of awakening stimulates all sorts of things, including libido. Kundalini does much more than just stimulating libido.

Many people who are awakened know about the futility of skirting issues. No, the energy seems to push us to leap headlong into the cleansing fire that is the holy ghost, the feminine aspect, what in India would be called Shakti or the Ida current. All of this is consistent with awakening, and there is no reason to think it wasn’t the case with Jesus.

The problem with the Orthodoxy was that none of the secret teachings made any sense to them. How was it possible that by finding the savior within, the Christ, one washed away ones shame of human sexuality? Or guilt, or any other issue that represents stored emotional material that awakening can help the person to clear? Awakening can do this, though. It cleanses and returns you to a renewed mind and state of being. It is a salvific force.

It is now more likely that Jesus did have a private teaching and that the synoptic gospels represent only a thin slice of a larger picture. While Clement railed against this “Secret Mark” as heretical, I ask the question: says who? On whose authority? Why should I pay any attention to someone who was never included in the private teachings of a realized master? Even when Jesus says “No one comes to the father except by me” Christians don’t consider how that statement could mean something significantly different than what they assume it does. In Jesus’s day he was the only person around who had attained to the level that he had, so yes, Jesus was the only game in town. Like any great teacher, if you wanted to get there quickly, you studied under him like any teacher anywhere who had a grip on the esoteric or hidden things.

Many Christians today are accustomed to thinking in certain ways about their faith which is based on a narrative that the Orthodox church put forward over centuries. It has been a way of thinking that I have come to call “orthocentric” thinking. It has resulted in conclusions that range from defining the divinity of Jesus, his nature, and the composition of the trinity.

Today, most Christians take these beliefs for granted as if they were always known. In the early days of the Christian movement, there was a broad range of ideas and interpretations about what a number of central themes meant. What hasn’t been clear to today’s Christians were the broad range of beliefs or ideas that existed back then. This often comes as a surprise to many of the Christian faithful. Wasn’t it all perfectly clear from the beginning what the life of Christ was all about?

What the Christian Orthodox movement did was to make it seem as though there was only ever one right way to understand or interpret the life of Jesus. In large part due to discoveries of documents that were suppressed by the orthocentric view, most people didn’t know that there were as many differing ideas about Jesus Christ as there were. What happened was with 1600 years of Orthodoxy able to define and frame the belief system so completely, that would seem like a very strong indication that Orthodoxy was right….right? The story isn’t that simple.

Orthoxy fought and won a war of ideas and the winner was the one who then got to write the history. The history that was written was what agreed with their view. Why this matters is that for Christians who might want to know the deeper story, a lot of it isn’t available anymore. That isn’t just Dan Brown sensationalism about a hidden truth at the core of the church, it is part of what happened if you are willing to discover what we know now about the lost Christianities that existed early on. There was more there, and it showed a broad and deep understanding about the mechanisms within consciousness that made union with the divine possible.

Most believers know little to nothing about these movements because even understanding it required a new or more advanced level of awareness, and here we are with a 1600 year entrenched belief that has been handed down through the generations. The refrain has often been “If there was more to all of this we would know about it.” The problem here is that no, the point apears to have kept these ideas from mainstream Christianity, and of course the church did this very well. Pastors don’t tell their parishioners about it either, even though most are schooled in the ideas that constituted “wings” within the church.

It was easy to push this more advanced understanding off the stage because those in the know about these different ideas were a minority once the tide of Orthodoxy came along. It surprises many people to discover that Orthodoxy was a late-comer to the belief in the beginning. This would be in the time period of the first two centuries after the death of Christ.

Enlightenment has always been a rare bud that blooms ocassionally and few see it for what it is. Why do you think so many visionaries have met their end with such violence? The conspiracy to keep people in the dark about a deeper more esoteric tradition, was one of ignorance. Orthodoxy does not know what it does not know and is not aware of the riches that it took from humanity. It may also be true that the people forming Orthodoxy knew and just didn’t care.

The other strands within Christianity at the time were quickly driven from the stage by the tide of Orthodox thinking, and these movements or groups in the faith that differed from the Orthodox one were both reviled and criticized by early church fathers within the that wing of the church. The orthocentric view won out so that there existed for centuries no other accepted way of understanding what the Christ drama was about. If you wanted to know about Jesus and Christ, your go-to books were the ones that were sanctioned by the Orthodox wing of the church.

The orthocentric view has created the impression that there was only ever one acceptable way of approaching Christianity, and that group went to great lengths to make sure that their view was the one that would be accepted. Part of this orthocentric view includes the idea that heresy was a kind of later outgrowth, a distortion of the original “truth” of Christianity. Origen, an early church father and Christian historian, characterized heresy as that action which took place after the “truth” was known, a “veering” away as he put it, from what we all know is the one accepted group of central truths that animate Christianity and give it it’s life. While Origen in his day struck out against what he believed was heresy, he was later was deemed a heretic himself, an act that was performed after he had died. Still, the idea stuck and his characterization would be taken up by new generations of heresy hunters.

This, though, isn’t true. In 1935 Walter Bauer wrote a book entitled Orthodoxy & Heresy In Earliest Christianity. In it, he poured over numerous letters and other writings from earliest Christianity and found that instead of heresy being a late-comer to the faith, it was instead present even before Orthodox thinking got a foothold in the early Christ movement. The upshot of his work was that Orthodoxy was the late-comer, not heresy. The suggestion here was that maybe heresy wasn’t quite what we thought it was or that we were told it was. But how could that be?

Over and over, as Bauer conducted his detailed survey, he found the language of heresy was preexistant over Orthodox language and thinking. He found many examples that heresy, as the later church would describe it, was more robust and established from the very beginning, which is contrary to the writings of Orthodox writers and historians from the first three to four centuries. Now a believer in the Orthodox view might well ask, “Doesn’t this just prove only that there were heretics from the very beginning?” Not if what these “heretics” knew and believed in was something more substantive than the Orthodox strand understood. Orthodoxy, based on what Bauer dug up, was the late-comer.

It should be noted that “heresy” was itself not a unified or monolithic body of thought but was composed of many different groups with different thoughts on a range of ideas such as the divinity of Jesus, and whether Jesus was a man who became God, or that was a man who was later adopted by God when he was baptised by John, for example. There were the earliest converts to Christianity, for example, who were Jews that Jesus had inspired called the Ebionites. These earliest of followers were branded as heretics by the church. We are told that if we want to get to heaven you better believe in the right things instead of what the heretics believed, or else hell waits for you. It was a compelling strategy because with the fires of hell hanging over your head, people wouldn’t want to chance it. There were groups who claimed knowledge about the makeup of the trinity that differs from the one that Christians know today, which involved a feminine aspect involved in Christhood. This was a more egalitarian movement that saw how important women were in the cosmology of the Christian faith. In the earliest churches women were in top leadership roles as bishops, for example. There are letters of Orthodox leaders complaining about women’s prominent roles in the early church, and wall paintings in Italy clearly show a woman installed as a bishop to her congregation.

Bauer’s work sent shock-waves through the Christian community when it was first published. His work was criticized as going too far and making too many assumptions about what the many documents that he examined meant. However, in 1945, a giant discovery was made in Egypt with the unearthing of a treasure trove of early Christian writings, some of which historians had written about in early Christianity and others no one even knew had existed. While some scholars suggested that these books were not part of a significant tradition, a possible “one-off ” a later discovery of a second fragment of one of the books found in 1945 (Thomas) helped to support the contention that the books had been circulated and used by early Christians and lent support to the idea that the books were more widely circulated than thought.

This find came to be known as the Nag Hammadi Library (NHL), and while they were found in Egypt, the chief reason for their discovery was due to how dry the environment has been there for many thousands of years, which helps to preserve documents just like it does with mummies.

Bauer received considerable vindication once the NHL was unearthed because it showed that there were different understandings in circulation about central tenets in Christianity. In the Gospel of Philip, which was included in the find, it clearly points out that many early Christians considered the Holy Ghost to be female. How this could change dogma was significant. In the concept of the “Bridal Chamber” mentioned both in the Gospel of Philip as well as the synoptic gospels, the bridal chamber becomes a sacred act of union that generates the Christ. Philip also points out thatt Jesus wasn’t just the Christ, but thst he was showing people the way to be Christs themselves. The implications for this idea alone are huge.

This line of thinking also links Christian thought to concepts tied to enlightenment that had existed for centuries in the East…not because Christianity borrowed from them, but because the spiritual acumen of the group that produced the books which described or put forward these concepts was so formidable. What’s more, many of the books in the collection claimed ties to Jesus and his teaching in private.

The books which were part of the find were bound in fine kid leather with tooling on them with both Christian and Egyptian symbols. These books showed every sign of having been important to the monks who hid them. While Bart Ehrman suggests that the books were likely buried where they were to free up space in one of several nearby monestaries, there is perhaps a more accurate theory which suggests that by the time of their burial (around 400 A.D.), the writing was on the wall where books like these were concerned: anyone found holding books that were not accepted by the church were to be consigned “to the flames.” It is much more likely, then, that the NHL exists today because a monk could not bear seeing them destroyed and hid them away for later discovery.

One compelling piece of possible proof that may have prompted monks to hide the documents where they were found in 1945 is found in a letter written by Anathanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, who was the first to spell out what books were acceptible and which ones were not: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the letters of Paul. Those books would later form the early corpus of Orthodox belief, with others added later. Anyone found to have books other than these would come up on the wrong end of church doctrine and its burgeoning authority as the “right” way to believe.

In the centuries that followed, Christians were anathematized or excommunicated from the church for heresy. In still later years, some heretics would even be executed in horrific ways. See: 39th festal letter of Athanasius written in 367 A.D. and found at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library (www.ccel.org)

Instead of being a movement on the very fringes of Christianity, the books in the NHL show how developed and incredibly sophisticated the esoteric wing’s teachings were. The problem is how their meaning escapes most Orthodox Christians and its descendant Protestantism. I will quote one comment made by a reader online who was referring to the gospel of Thomas recently as “gobbledygook.” It is hard to crack the code of these books and theur meaning when you yourself have not entered into the “light” of the knowledge that a state like enlightenment confers.

Today, though, Christians aren’t used to referring to the Gospel of Thomas to glean from it teachings which, the author who wrote the gospel contends, are the private or secret teachings of Jesus. No Christian is used to reading the Gospel of Philip and pointing out how its descriptions of the Christ are incredibly similar to ideas in Hindu, Tibetan, and Chinese writings. That’s not to suggest that the Christians writing these books had been to India, but that they had uncovered the Christ as a potential that exists within every person on the planet, and as such was not subject to belief in the same ways many beliefs put forward by the Orthodoxy depend on those beliefs. Additionally, the Christ was only ever found within, not without, something that Jesus was known to teach even in the Orthodox sanctioned Gospels.

Paul says he was shown the Christ within himself. This is a critically important point. If you are exhorted to seek him, then the seeking must be done within. How many can say that they seek inwardly to find the Christ hidden within themselves? What methods were laid out on how to do this in the mainstream view? It amounts to accepting Jesus as your savior. You must look to and believe in the cross. Did Paul believe? Not at all, not in the beginning. He was busy persecuting Christians. Belief was not what brought Paul into the tent, nor did it bring me either. He was converted when he found the Christ within himself. He said so.

Being able to see how the Nag Hammadi Library offered a substantive and sophisticated understanding of the mechanisms at work in regards to enlightenment was made possible for me because of an awakening process that began in 2006 and “completed” with a full initiatory process that culminated in early 2007 with a full kundalini awakening. With little more than the symptoms and phenomenon in hand in my direct experience, with no teacher or guide to help me, I discovered the NHL and saw that they were describing my condition. You should understand, though, that when I use a word like “kundalini” to describe or to place my experience, I didn’t know about it at the time. Further, kundalini is NOT a spirit or even a religious belief held by the Hindus. Instead, it is an observed phenomenon which experiencers sought to describe and explain. At the time my symptoms were so startling that I considered that it was possible that I could have a brain tumor! I soon realized that whatever had happened to me as the result of a very simple meditation practice, was not only benign, it was transformative. What I did was to inquire within to find the Christ within. I didn’t know that this was what I was doing since much of the effects found in awakening lay buried under layers of beluef and programming.

I did not find a person, I found a level of consciousness that upended my life, began setting it aright, and instituted a regime of inner transformation. I can see, though, how some might attach this to the man Jesus. Jesus himself makes it seem like he is the Way by stating that no one comes to the father but by him. In the esoteric wing of early Christianity this was true because Jesus was the only one who attained to this new level of consciousness, so yes, he was the only game in town. I will also point out that while he was thought to say he was God in the synoptic gospels, what he said in one important case was “Does your scripture not say ‘ye are gods’?” The implication here is that the state Jesus was referring to was one that anyone could attain to. It is also something supported in Philip as well. We can do even greater things than Jesus because each of us can learn how to reach this place within.

The problem, though, is this type if teaching doesn’t appear to be well fleshed out in the synoptic gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John. There are many hints of something deeper but what they are we barely know. Jesus did say that to know you had to inquire within (by “knocking”). While some might want to interpret this differently than I have, I would ask you to consider where else would a Christian inquire? Jesus explained over and over that the kingdom was found within. You don’t knock on a real door, you knock on what seems to be a door within where this new world exists.

It may be that we don’t have the details because Jesus didn’t teach to just anyone. He hid his teachings inside parables so that those who were “without” would not be able to understand. Here we find in Mark and Luke a startling example of a private teaching at work where, teaching by the lake, he explains to his followers how he hides his teachings from all but those who has been “given” to know the secrets (of the kingdom). It’s really quite remarkable.

When I awakened I found myself encountering an intelligence which I knew was the Source of all life and existence. It was only possible with this new level of consciousness, that I could sense directly and vividly an intelligence which was a part of everything and that tied all things together in a way that felt like family. What I found was that what I had experienced was in harmony with what the gospel of Thomas and Philip (as well as others in the NHL) had to say, which was that Jesus was making his followers into Christs. I decided to read further into the NHL and this in turn led to a 15 year research project where I scrutinized the books that were found along with the books that are a part of mainstream Christian thought, mist notably the New Testament. This has led me to letters and accounts going back to the earliest days of the movement.

I came across the NHL for the first time a few months after my awakening and saw for the first time someone describing what had happened to me. These weren’t Sanscrit texts but the Gospel of Thomas, Philip, and many others. Hard to understand without the inner knowing or “gnosis” that awakening brings, I am convinced that the authors deliberately sought to keep hidden the direct meanings contained in the documents in order to protect the uninitiated. Still, their meaning was consistent with awakening in both Thomas and Philip as well as in the other documents which modern Christian scholars have dubbed as Gnostic in character.

The more I looked, the more evidence I tended to uncover that supported my thesis. Yes, this work is hampered by a kind of information black-out in some ways but in other ways there are important clues that I have found that makes a case for not just an alternate or deeper understanding of Christ, but also that it was possible that Jesus did have a private teaching, something that the Gospel of Thomas proclaims at its beginning.

One of the suspected authors of Thomas and Philip according to scholars is Valentinus who lived in the second century. Valentinus wrote how he had a vision of the risen Christ. At that time, he knew about Paul’s own vision of the risen Christ.

Valentinus explains how he had gone to a direct disciple of Paul, a man who had learned directly from Paul who was named Theodas. When Valentinus spoke with this disciple he learned from him that Paul had a private teaching which he reserved for his closest followers. Valentinus goes on to say that he was taught in this private way by the disciple.

The elephant in the room, for me at least, is if Valentinus was the author of Thomas or Philip, was it the result of having received a more esoteric teaching which he himself was ready for? Did Valentinus go on in his own way to produce writings perhaps based partly on the teachings of the disciples and with his own inner knowledge about the “body of Christ”? Did Valentinus have access to other Christians that were sharing privately these teachings? Did he just make them up as some Orthodox apologists contend?

While some might point out that this would amount to forgery, let me put this activity in perspective. At this time in history it was not uncommon at all for books or letters to be forged. Back then, a student or disciple would sometimes write after the teacher had died as though the teacher had written the document. Christianity has many of these forged documents as examples. Many are not included in the New Testament, but there are documents that are known forgeries that are still in the NT today. How do we know this? Because the content in some cases deals with issues that belong to a later date, after the death of the teacher. Take for example some of the letters of Paul. In Timothy and Titus there is content in them that simply did not exist during Paul’s life, so we know that someone else other than Paul wrote them. Someone forged the documents and in the process achieved a way to drive how the church might later be organized, for example. Additionally, in the case of Timothy, the writer makes Paul into a mysogynist, something that does not appear in any other of his other letters (not even once). If keeping women out of the church leadership was so important to Paul, it would have been repeated a number of times to the churches in other areas that he was known to write to. Today scholars tend to agree that five, possibly six, of Paul’s letters were written by someone other than Paul.

To loop back around to heresy once more, an important fact has remained throughout the last two hundred years since new documents from early Christianity have emerged (thanks in part to archeological digs and efforts searching libraries and monestaries). If heresy was the unimportant movement that the orthocentrics would have us believe, why are ALL the newly discovered documents always heretical documents and not Orthodox ones? I contend that the narrative or picture we have been given to believe is in fact not the true one, not completely, not by a long shot.

Additionally, Orthodoxy represents a more literalist and authoritarian take on Christianity. The heretics proposed that you didn’t need a priest to get you there, you need only to discover the Christ which is in you, something that would have eroded the power that the Orthodoxy went on to seek to increase over time. What did the church do in its earliest days? It grew and gained the attention of Emperor Constantine who made it the state religion. The heretics, as they were called, were driven from the stage despite how closely aligned many of their teachings were to the documents the Orthodoxy championed: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” (Matthew 7:7) It has ever been thus!

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vimana#/media/File:The_Celestial_Chariot_(6124515635).jpg

Now for something completely different. Following disclosures by the U.S. government of some of what it knows in regards to the U.F.O.’s (rebranded now as Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon or UAP’s), it may help to learn of a project that was undertaken by a linguist that may have shed some light on our ancient past as it relates to the ET presence on the earth.

Mauro Biglino was tapped by the publishing arm of the Vatican to perform its most up to date translation of the oldest versions of the Old Testament in existence. This work, which took some years to complete, included 23 books total. Some books the Vatican decided not to publish since they went against long-standing beliefs concerning what people have long-believed to be the “real story”.

Biglino was familiar with the process that other linguists have performed when translating these documents in the past. A system is used that assumes that certain words in Hebrew result in specific types of translations. In Hebrew there are no consonants, which means that the reader must bear in mind the context of what is being said in order to arrive at the correct words intended. While this isn’t a problem for the bulk of Old Testament reading in Hebrew, there are instances where words can be changed. Biglino thus went to work making a literal translation rather than using the standard program for translation that had been in place for a very long time. While the Vatican approved and printed 17 of his translated books, there were others that they did not publish. In those unpublished works, our understanding of what was written is brought into question, with the result that the Elohim of the Old Testament reads more as beings that came from the sky, who mingled with people of the Earth, and who were involved in the affairs of humans for many generations.

Using his knowledge of other languages like Sumerian, he goes into the Sumerian creation myths and finds that the stories told are startlingly similar in them as those in the Jewish tradition, often bringing up similar people (sometimes with different names) serving the same roles from one culture to the others. In The Jewish tradition there are angelic beings called the Watchers that show up in the Sumerian tradition, for example. In some cases, stories in the Sumerian tradition do not show up in the Jewish one, but bear so many similarities as to the nature of the characters described that Biglino suggests that these may well be the same people, the same story, describing how humans were created by a race that came from the stars. Sound impossible? Judea and Babylon are not far removed from each other, and Jews were taken into slavery by the Babylonians during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. But, we are told that the Jews had Genesis well before this time. Was it possible that the two cultures had previous contact? It does not seem out of the question.

When Biglino has debated Hebrew and Christian priests on this matter, many have agreed that his translation work is accurate, what they don’t agree with are his conclusions.

From a video presentation Biglino has given explaining some of these issues he says: “Actually the Bible says that we were made using a certain amount of material which contains Elohim’s image and that has been cut out. Now everyone today knows what we are referring to when we say that we take something that contains the image of an individual that has been cut out, it’s the DNA. With all probability this biblical tale is the summary of the Sumerian tablets tale, in particular the “Enuma Elish” that is when the Sumerians tell about the beginning, but where the Sumerians are much more precise than the Bible, because the Sumerians who never thought of creating a religion. They never built a temple, never talked of Gods,the way we mean it, but they spoke of those people….with respect because they were much more developed technologically.” (see video below) Is this merely a coincidence, an appearance, a conflation? If so, then in Biglino’s work, these types of things happen a lot. After a while, it can begin to strain credulity and it gets harder to not see that the Jewish stories and the Babylonian ones weren’t taken from the same root story, which describes how beings called the Annunaki came to earth, described the solar system and the planets within it, and where earth was located in that order (really!) and performed a process that sounds remarkably like cloning or a hybridization of earthly beings (primates) into the species known as humans.

It all sounds incredible, impossible, and this is why you should listen to Biglino explain what it was he found when he translated the Bible in a way it had not been translated before. Biglino suggests that the reason why we have the stories that we do is in large part due to how the translational method has hidden what may be the real truth which has been right under our noses the whole time.

In one tradition, they were beings that came and developed a breeding program, describing what sounds to modern scientific understanding to be a cloning process, or taking a primate and blending their own DNA to produce a being (human) who would be bred as a worker inside gold mines that the Annunaki needed for their home world. What is so interesting about the Sumerian stories of the creation of human kind that it is hard not to see it as beings from another world coming here for a mining expedition. What is curious is how in the Sumerian stories, they describe the use of the gold that they mined, which was suspended in their atmosphere to enact a change in their climate or planetary condition. At first the Annunaki were able to find gold easily, but later had to dig for it and this was where the breeding program came into play. In the Hebrew tradition, much of this material is left out. Biglino describes how the two traditions are describing the same story, with one being an abridged version. Biglino explains that once the literal translation was made, the story was quite different. Instead of one God who created humankind, it was instead a group of beings, and not all of them were on equal standing with one another. Yahweh, for example, was put in charge of a relatively fringe group in a desert region. He wasn’t given the best people or the best location. To hear Biglino explain it, the story takes on a very different implication.

When you read the Enuma Elish and see how similar it is to the Genesis account, what I came to realizing was that these two stories may well have come from the same earlier story which people in the region had been telling for many generations. What makes the Enuma Alish different from the Genesis story is that it includes much more detail. Same story, one shorter, the other longer. The longer story describes how these beings, the Anunaki, came to Earth and began to create a new species of creature on the earth. The story reads almost like a record of all of the failed attempts, pointing out that when the efforts at creating a being (a human) weren’t working, the head Anunaki offered his own (genetic) material from his body, thinking that it would somehow be the answer. But, this turned out to be disastrous. If the Anunaki were divine beings it seems that all of this fiddling would not be necessary. The account reads of numerous failed biological experiments: one being upon being made urinates constantly until it becomes dehydrated and dies. Another has its organs on the outside of its body. Still another does not have eyes. In each case the humans are created in what looks like a vessel like a bath which is situated in the ground. In all cases, humans are made using the blood of the gods. When you look beyond the talk of gods and goddesses, the story reads as a group of people who came who wanted a work force who would serve them. The deeper you go into the story, the more details that surface that look….well…consistent with physical beings instead of gods. Biglino points out how the Anunaki asked for humans to make burnt offerings because their chief god liked the smell, that it was favorable to him. He goes on to explain that during the Apollo missions, the material from the suits was used to create a scent that astronauts were provided with in order to get them used to the smell of space. It turns out that when astronauts were coming back into the capsule from being on the moon that there was a smell that was often described as smelling like burnt meat. Biglino asks the question, did these beings like this smell of burned meat because they were space-faring beings who had grown accustomed to it? In the Jewish tradition, the Elohim (which is plural not singular—itself a paradox since YHWY says that there are no others “beside me”) are told that they are the “Chosen” People. In modern day abduction literature the ET’s tell many abductees that they too have been chosen. When Biglino translates the encounter that Moses has with the Elohim on the Mount it begins to read like an ET encounter in which a heavy object which flies, comes up to the Mount and shows itself to Moses. Moses is told that he has to hide in a cleft in the rock or else he might die from exposure to something coming from the object. In the traditional translation this is because the glory of God is so great that it can kill a person. But how can a spiritual quality physically kill a person, Biglino asks? This reads as a physical effect that causes a physical outcome. What is interesting is that when Moses comes down from the Mount, part os his face is burned from his sighting and his close proximity to the craft. He has a cloth covering his head as it was in the full sun and he later felt poorly enough that we then went into his tent for the rest of the day. Moses sees the Elohim because he tells the voice in his head which has been speaking to him that he needs some proof as to the reality of the being and what it had been telling him telepathically. He explains that he needs to be able to tell the people below that this phenomenon is real and he isn’t just hearing voices in his head. You can perhaps understand his position: he is their leader and now he is going on about how he is hearing this clear voice in his head telling him what to do. Up until now the voice has led them out of Egypt, but humans are humans and require continuous proof if they themselves are not witness to it.

Here you can see his presentation from which the above quote is extracted:

The complete presentation can be viewed in the next video (below). It provides a lot of the background concerning the work that Biglino was tapped to do for the Church and how it proceeded. He also explains how he searched the roots of the words that he translated literally, which will help to explain how his translation take on a very different meaning especially the earliest books. If you would like to skip to the most relevant material, go to the 10:00 mark in the following video, which is where he goes into the translation and meaning of RUACH, the beginning of unwinding this translational tale.

It is worth mentioning that in India they have detailed descriptions of flying craft called Vimana. These devices are described not in a mythical fashion as one might expect with a chariot of the gods, but instead reads like a users manual. No allusions, no parables, no mythic language. One such vimana is called the chakra vimana. Chakra means disc. Flying disc. This is the same description made of ET craft. What gives? According to Biglino, similar craft are described in the ancient texts like the Bible but their meaning has been hidden behind the way in which the translations were made to turn ET’s into gods. If you watch the video you will see how Biglino dives into the device that David uses when he fights the giants. Biglino explains that this device is described as a communication device that brings the Elohim to David whereupon he is taken up into a flying object and taken to the Temple where others get out. Biglino goes to Ezekiel and the object he describes there is drawn by a technician at M.I.T. and the result? It certainly sounds and looks like a flying ship, and not altogether different looking than the description of the Indian vimana.

There is also very compelling evidence of early Christians being aware of an ET presence, which they called the Archons. This is largely contained within the mystic writings of early Christianity and were pushed out by the more exoteric wing of Christianity which would today be known as the Orthodox church. In 100 A.D to the mid second century, however, the mystics existed alongside the exoteric-minded followers of Christ. In their books, specifically The Hypostasis of the Archons (p.161, The Nag Hammadi Library, John Robinson, ed.) and the First Apocalypse of James (p. 265, The Nag Hammadi Library, John Robinson, ed.), the Archons are mentioned in some detail. In the Apocalypse of James, Jesus is explaining how beings called the Archons, Described in the Hypstasis as looking like an aborted fetus, come in threes and attempt to take souls by theft. Only by performing a series of declaratory statements can one escape their efforts to take the person. In the Hypostasis of the Archons it is explained that these beings exert a form of synthetic reality called HAL which makes it seem as though they are like gods (but they are not), and also that these beings are often involved in wanting to interbreed with human women. The Gnostic Christians, as may be clear, were not fans of these beings, but how they describe them suit the modern abduction literature in some pretty amazing ways. In the modern ET literature (Budd Hopkins, Whitley Strieber to name a few) it is widely known that the ET grays perform their activities in threes and are able to take a person “by theft” or, that is, against their will through a form of mind control. In the modern abduction stories abductions always take place with three of the alien grays (there are some instances where this does not happen, but the “three” grays are a regular occurrence in the literature).

It is worth noting that books like the Hypostasis of the Archons were scrubbed from any mention in ancient or modern Orthodox Christianity. It was only in 1945 that these and over 50 books from this line of early Christian thought reemerged in an amazing discovery in the desert of Egypt near the town of Nag Hammadi. This was the same year that a giant trove of Jewish scrolls were discovered in Qumran near the Dead Sea. What is so interesting about this mystic strand of so-called Gnostic writings, is that they describe the process of awakening and its many effects. What these early Christians caught onto was nothing less than what the Hindu describe in their own texts as kundalini. It is interesting how when given some of the most sophisticated documents pertaining to the process of enlightenment, the church has chosen to remand them to obscurity. I will also point out that there is a high correlation between awakening and encounters or awareness of ET or other intelligence which could be called “galactic” in character (not human) which those awakened report communing with or having a sense of connection with (some suspect that they have had past lives AS ET’s, and this turns out to be somewhat common in the abduction community, too).

Further, when the Gnostic Christians began to explore the spiritual dimensions which were opened to them with their practice of seeking, they found what many find: a presence which underlies all things, is wedded to every molecule and resides within it, and is a silent presence that observes creation. Encounters with this presence were described as a pure white light in which existed a consciousness of a being that was pure love and compassion. Just entering into this light in meditation would change a person. They then saw how the God of the Old Testament was at odds with what they had themselves uncovered. They then created a myth to explain why the God of the Old Testament was so different from the God which they had discovered and it played out this way: The world was created from a failed attempt at creation, what is called a demiurge. Sophia, the feminine aspect of the divine went off and tried to create a world on her own without the father. This explains why the world is the way it is, because it was “begotten” imperfectly. Sorry, ladies, it seems men from the past can’t help but heap blame on women. While the story of the demiurge seeks to explain why things are they way they are, I observe that this was done in order to make sense, to do what many people do when faced with contradictory accounts in Biblical stories both Old Testament and New, which is they seek to harmonize them in some way that then makes sense. In the early Christian harmonization the God of the Old Testament is jealous and wrathful because he wasn’t really God at all, but a being that arose from an improper creation. Well that explains it! The real God was there all along. Me, I see people who were looking at an imperfect being, which could have been a physical being, an Annunaki from elsewhere, who acted like a god or who was raised to that status over generations in the old stories. When I awoke and began feeling the presence in the Light, I had a similar reaction: the God from the Old Testament does not cohere to my own direct experience. Was that “god” in the Old Testament even a god at all? When Jesus brought the “new covenant” was this equal to his pointing to the old God as being at odds with the God which we find when we seek within and which other cultures might call the Tao or Brahma, The Great Mystery, etc.?

Could it be that in our past we had contact with races from other planets, races that took an interest in us, perhaps even creating us using local planetary stock along with their own D.N.A.? In the abduction literature, those individuals who claim to have been taken onboard ET craft to be examined and who had sperm and ovum extracted, among other things, have reported that the ET’s told them when their captors were told that they had no right to be doing what they were doing said, “We DO have a right. We MADE you.” Now a human living today, unaware of our ancient past as far as the Annunaki and the creation myths are concerned, this might be impossible to hear, but given what Mauro Biglino and others have to say on the subject, it might be a relevant retort.

It might seem impossible to splice D.N.A. from a completely different species from another planet to that on another planet. However, consider that the universe is a very old place and it is not out of the realm of possibility that life here could have been seeded not just by comets, but by space-faring civilizations with an interest in spreading the genome far and wide. In billions of years it is not out of the question that what we think of as our D.N.A. could be part of a much larger subset of a D.N.A. spectrum that has a lot more in common with life on other planets than we might want to admit. Just the fact that nearly all ET’s are described as a “five star” (one head, two arms, two legs) arrangement could reveal that evolution of life beyond our planet may well have proceed along more similar lines than we might believe is possible (either seeded far and wide or a factor present in cosmic evolution). All ET’s are upright humanoid looking beings which, in some cases, have very different features, yet they tend to have all of the same features that we do (but in different proportions—smaller ears or noses, larger heads or eyes, etc.), but it is this kind of similarity that poses a unique question. Are they a version of us, or we a version of them? Or, is it just possible that cosmos-wide, all of nature, terran or not, there might be a preference for advanced life to share certain traits that wind up being common?

Most believers recoil in the face of the possibility that their cherished notions might be part of a different story. I have always been interested in the “marginalia” of our world because as is often the case today’s myth often had a way of becoming tomorrows certainty. The universe is a much stranger place than we could ever imagine.

~Parker

%d bloggers like this: