There was a pre-Christian sect called "the Essenes" that was influential in the moulding of Christianity, and it behooves us to look at them briefly.
According to tradition, the Essenes are said to have originated centuries before the advent of the embodiment of Love and Purity, represented by Jesus and John--the Harbinger. This unique segment of the Great White Brotherhood is said to have originated in Egypt, and is related with the Theraputae, a sect that specialized in healing, to be found among the nations surrounding the Mediterranean. Some esoteric historians trace their roots to the school of prophets established by Samuel--the Prophet, who anointed Saul as King of Israel. The brethren of this mysterious sect were sometimes referred to as "the Mysterious Ones," "the Secret Ones," and "the Silent Ones," on account of their mystical practices, disciplines, behaviour, and the expression and habits of their normal secular life. A community of Essenes once resided along the shores of Lake Moeris, in Egypt. Some of the members were celibates, those that married probably practiced specific spiritual exercises that permitted lofty souls to incarnate. Like the Christ initiate, the Essenes abhorred animal-sacrifices. It is probable that the former adopted this attitude from the latter. The Essenes had no slaves nor servants, and lived communally, sharing worldly goods; and cooperating harmoniously with every venture that they undertook. They were healers, and made much use of herbs, minerals, the "laying of hands," and invocation of the healing angels. Members of the community were considered holy and pious by outsiders of their group.
Nothing is mentioned concerning the Essenes in the New Testament except for a hint or two regarding the mysterious men in white who often appeared to the disciples of the Nazarene Master to offer words of advise. The white woolen robes that they wore, which suggests pre-Islamic Sufism, apparently signifies their status symbol as higher degree members. From the dietary aspect of their way of life, the Essenes were known to be vegetarians; they are also believed to be "God-eaters," a term indicating the ability to nourish the physical body with the life-giving qualities to be found in the pranic ethers. This and the harmonious attunement with other Cosmic forces may account for their unusually long life span ranging from a hundred to a hundred and twenty years.
Roman historians such as Pliny, referred to the Essenes in their writings in a somewhat sketchy manner, due to the private and isolated lives that the Essenes led. The absence of any concrete references to the Essenes in the Bible is a fact worth considering. While the other influential sects upon Judaic's social milieu were mentioned, such as, the Sadducees and the Nazarites, the compilers and writers of the gospels for some reason thought it necessary to leave the Essenes out of their texts; or could it be that references regarding their existence and activities were deliberately expunged from the gospels for political reasons by Church Fathers? It is noteworthy that while Jesus criticized some of the other sects for their iniquities, he did not attack or condemn the Essenes. Was there a good reason for this? Certainly he must have known about them, being a son or initiate of the Mysteries.
It is believed by some esotericists that the parents of Jesus, Joseph and Mary, were Essenes. Jesus himself is said to have had his early spiritual training among the brotherhood. What Jesus taught in later years, in his ministry, resembled the precepts, doctrines, practices, and disciplines taught by the Essenes, such as the practice of baptism; invocation of higher forces and intelligences; the blessing of meals; the practice of prophecy and healing; teachings concerning the Kingdom of God; and angelology, or the science of energy-forces of Nature personified by those beings.
The Essenes appeared suddenly upon the world scene, and vanished with hardly a trace of their existence. It is often inquired by scholars regarding the purpose of the brotherhood's establishment. It is conjectured by some, and supported by tradition, that the prime purpose of the institution of the Essene community was the preparation for the coming of the Messiah and his ministry here on Earth. When the Master Jesus disappeared from public view, so did the Essenes shortly after. Whether they chose to disband, or to operate in a clandestine manner, it is believed that a good deal of their doctrines found their way to other esoteric schools in later centuries such as Masonry, the Rosicrucian Brotherhood, the Knights Templar, and many others. Extensive manuscripts discovered in a cave at the Wadi Qumran along the shores of the Dead Sea in the latter half of this century is expected to shed more light on the Essene belief and lifestyle when the manuscripts are wholly made public. Nowadays there is a revival of the Essenes and that which may be regarded as Essenic thought among spiritual occultists.
The Esoteric Life of Jesus
Much of the hidden esoteric life of Jesus is unknown to followers of Orthodox Christianity. From their point of view, all important events that occurred in Jesus' life were recorded in the canonical gospels and further inquiry into the matter is undesirable and of no importance; however, several questions are raised by scholars, the most notable are the lack of information of Jesus' spiritual, mystical and secular training; and the non-chronicling of the activities of Jesus between the time of his debate with the Doctors of the Law in the Temple at age twelve and his sudden appearance at the River Jordon awaiting to be baptized by John in the prime of his manhood. What occurred in the interim? Though exoteric Christianity is silent on the subject, the esoteric side with its psychic investigations sheds some light upon the subject. One may well ask the validity of the information regarding the esoteric side of Jesus' life--we can only suggest that it is as much valid as the canonical gospels--and there is more to this statement of ours than what a cursory apprehension can tell.
Much of what we are about to relate is derived from the book "The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus," a manuscript scribed from what was witnessed in the akashic records by Levi, an American pastor of the 19th century. The events and account of Jesus' life mention therein are supported by the investigations of other psychics and scholars. We will summarize the contents below and correlate them with other information:
Born to parents who were Essenes, Jesus was a normal child in every way except for being exceptionally bright and precocious. The three magi who visited the newly-born babe, are believed by students of esotericism to be the past incarnations of spiritual Masters familiar to Theosophists: El Morya, Kuthumi, and Dwal Kul. The Star of Bethlehem, witnessed by the magi, was, esoterically speaking, the highly developed causal body of the Initiate Jesus. The Star has a higher significance; however. A poet once wrote about the "trailing clouds of glory" that follows the birth of every child. The cloud that trailed behind the babe destined to be the Christ was exceptionally radiant. Incidentally, there was a prophecy among the magi that Zarathustra, or Zoroaster, declared to his followers that he would return again with his angels to lead them. Apparently, it would seem that the magi believed Jesus to be the reincarnated Zoroaster.
A holy figure keeps appearing in the pre-natal and early life of Jesus. He is known among the parents of Jesus and John--the Harbinger, as "Gabriel." Judging from the interest that the Essenes had in the child Jesus and the characteristical nature of their higher ranking members, it is probable that Gabriel was one of their holy brethren who was an adept in the art of bilocation, or psychic projection. One of their members could also have been overshadowed by this lofty archangel. No matter how Gabriel manifested himself, he certainly was instrumental in conveying important matters and protecting the Holy Family from the attacks of negative forces.
Later, after receiving the news of a babe having been born and destined to be "King of Israel," Herod ordered his soldiers to massacre every child in the kingdom. Joseph and Mary, the parents of Jesus, fled to Egypt taking the promised child with them. Thus far, the events mentioned are in accord with the canonical gospels; however, the accounts of Luke, Mark, Matthew and John fails to relate further developments which were essential to the spiritual upbringing of Jesus.
In Zoan, Egypt, Mary and her cousin were trained in the workings of Cosmic Law and were taught the spiritual doctrines by the Masters of the Egyptian Brotherhood. These various teachings were given to them to be later passed on to Jesus and his forerunner, John--the Harbinger, at the appropriate time. After a few years of educational activities, word was given to the mothers to return to Israel.
As a child, Jesus loved to read, and he enjoyed perusing the holy scriptures of the world such as the Avesta and the Vedas. He especially loved the Psalms of David, and committed most of the things he read to memory.
The Embodiment of Love revealed his nature for the first time in the narrative by subsequent events. A birthday feast was given by the grandparents of Jesus in his honour. When requested by the host as to the gift desired by Jesus, the child pleaded on behalf of the starving children to be found in the area. Permission was granted for the child to invite the famished ones to join the feast, and this filled the heart of the young Jesus with joy.
Even at an early age Jesus criticized animal-sacrifices practiced by the Jewish priesthood. Hillel, the head of the Sanhedrin, was unable to offer any solace to the grieving heart of Jesus regarding the blood-ceremony when the lad sought his assistance. Hillel, humbled by the sincerity and wisdom of Jesus offered to train the child concerning the exoteric law of the Jews. The early esoteric training of Jesus was with the Essene Brotherhood.
Once he complained to his mother of the narrow-mindedness of the Jews and voiced his desire to meet his "other brothers" in other nations to study of their ways. This opportunity came quickly when an Indian Raja visited the land, invited and offered to sponsor Jesus' mystico-religious education in India.
It would be proper at this time to digress for a moment to point out the various ways with which the mystical and spiritual training of Jesus were effected. The following were his main modes of study and the acquisition of knowledge:
1) Attunement with the Cosmic Mind, with God's Omniscience.
2) Recollection of knowledge and training from former life-times.
3) Personal observation of people, their beliefs, and way of life.
4) Personal research and study of ancient, secret manuscripts.
5) Tutorship under various Masters of Wisdom.
Back to our summary: In India, Jesus taught and studied; it was in India that he learnt the mystic art of healing. Here,among the Arya-Hindus, he made friends, and he made enemies. He spoke against the caste system which angered the Brahmins. The situation became so perilous that he was advised by a friend to flee. Circumstances being as it was, the young avatara decided to visit Nepal to carry on his ministry there. Prior to Jesus' leave from India, he received news of his father's death and wrote to his mother to console her. In Nepal he discovered from an Indian Master the existence of secret teachings in Tibet. He decided to read the texts himself and commenced his journey to the monastery in Tibet where they were kept. In the land of Lamaism, he is received warmly by Meng-Tse, a Chinese sage, who assisted him with his spiritual researches.
Certain manuscripts are said to have existed in one of the monasteries concerning Jesus' sojourn in India and Tibet. Among the witnesses said to have seen or known about these manuscripts was the famous Russian painter, Nicholas Roerich.
After a brief stay in Tibet, the young avatara headed for Nazareth, his homeland, stopping in Persia and Assyria. In Persia he was received by the magi that visited him in Bethlehem when he was just a babe. Together, with several others, he meditated in silence upon the spiritual needs of mankind. His other activities in Persia, and later Assyria, included healing and preaching. Among the Persians he instructed the "few" a meditational process of mystical development. In Babylon, Assyria, he visited some ruins in the company of Ashbina, a mystic Master of the Land. Shortly after, he is homeward bound. Following his reunion with mother, family, and friends, he sets on the trail again, this time for Greece and Egypt.
It was in Egypt that he applied for initiation into the Mysteries of the Egyptian branch of the Great White Brotherhood--like his western predecessors before him--Plato and Pythagoras. After passing several tests with honors, the hierophants of the Brotherhood initiates the Nazarene into the deepest secrets of Man, Nature, and God. This culminates in his graduation with the title "Christ."
Before leaving for Nazareth, the crowned Jesus, with an important mission entrusted to him by the Karmic Lords and Cosmic decrees, is blessed by the Seven Sages of that particular world-period, and convened to discuss upon the spiritual requirements of man living in the new dispensation of the Piscean Age. The Seven Sages, making out a "Council of Seven," were representatives of the exoteric rays that radiates from the Great Central Sun. They are somewhat related to the "Seven Chohans of the Rays," known in New Age spirituality.
It is believed by mystics that the mission of Jesus consisted of 7 goals:
1) To instruct the masses concerning the immortality of the Soul and a salvation from physical bondage by personal effort.
2) To embody and replace the imagery of wrath surrounding God with that of Love.
3) To demonstrate the birth and perfection of the Christ within, followed by the spiritualization of the physical form.
4) To anchor a certain spiritual force into the physical plane and planet.
5) To live out a parable of the Soul.
6) To fulfill the various prophecies concerning the Messiah in the Holy Scriptures.
7 To demonstrate the divine potentiality, the occult talents and powers of Man.
Through exoteric and esoteric sources, we know that the Nazarene Master fulfilled his spiritual mission successfully. Unfortunately, throughout the centuries the Church had misrepresented and misinterpreted the teachings of the Avatar. The scriptures, the gospels, were altered by the Councils of Nicea and Trent for political and personal purposes. Wine, when poisoned, is undrinkable whether in new skins or old.
The nature of blessings is interesting enough to comment: All blessings are derived from a spiritual source. It is God that blesses through man. Man can only be the tool with which God's blessings and grace flows. Love is the principle that prompts the heart of man to bestow a blessing; and Love, as all mystics are aware, is an aspect of the triune nature of God. Blessings cannot be revoked, as illustrated in the narrative of Isaac and his sons, Esau and Jacob, for the simple reason that the divine intelligence does not create errors. Love functions impersonally according to Law--to the Law of Karma, the Law of Grace, the Law of Giving and Forgiving. It is a joy to bless rather than to curse. The latter is an egoistic expression, the former a divine flow. Power flows through the hands--whether the operator is conscious of it or not--thus, the hands in its many mudras, or mystic gestures, are often used to implement the blessings upon another. When blessing the Nazarene, the seven Masters placed their hands, the tools of their will, upon the crown chakra of Jesus. As in many rites in Esoteric Christianity, especially in transmitting a divine influence upon another, invocation is often made upon God or the angelic hierarchy.
Divine power through the hands, divine words uttered from the purified throat chakra, and divine love flowing from the radiant anahata chakra, all of which unify in one tremendous force that uplifts the consciousness of the recipient of the blessing. It is man's prerogative and responsibility to bless all lesser life, for the greater life has blessed man with individuality, self-consciousness, and potential immortality; however, blessings should be given wisely and discriminately, in accordance with the need of the individual. It is not simply the recipient that is blessed by the grace of God, by the grace of the giver--the instrument of God's blessings is likewise graced by the spiritual transmission. Eventhough the blessings that we are referring to here is of a psycho-spiritual nature, it could even take on a material form. The effects of blessings are creative, constructive, curative; curses are inherently destructive--even to the one cursing. Our modern society seems to have lost the urge and instinct to bless. In contrast, curses have become a pseudo art-form, a warped-sense of pleasure to those destroying the nobility of man's fine sensitivity to Nature's manifold expressions. The Kali-Yuga is a pot under extreme heat and pressure. All dross eventually and inevitably rises to the surface at the personal and global level to be dealt with by Man; for Man is the originator of most of the dark effluvia, the misqualified energies that each Divine Fragment of God should transmute and purify.
After the appearance of Jesus at the River Jordon to be baptized by John--the Harbinger, the narrative follows along similar lines to the canonical gospels. It is unnecessary to recapitulate this, we will instead discuss some of the arcane doctrines of Christian esotericism.
Throughout the centuries following the ascension of the Nazarene, various esoteric schools were established to perpetuate the secret teachings of Jesus, under the decree of the Great White brotherhood. Most of them operated in a clandestine manner for fear of being persecuted by Church and State. In an Age of superstition, fear and ignorance, it was only appropriate for these Mystery Schools to guard the treasures of the Spirit for the elect, the "chosen few." Not casting pearls before swine was an oath deeply held by the brethren of mystical circles. Cathars, Rosicrucians, Templars, Alchemists, Christian Qabalists, Gnostics, and Martinists, were just some of the brotherhoods and traditions that taught the inner meaning and mystical sense of the Holy Scriptures and the esotericism of religion. The doctrines and precepts of these prestigious Orders had teachings in common, with slight variations as to detail and methods with which the spiritual goal, the "Holy Grail" may be attained : The quest for the Chalice in the Grail stories required a warrior's will, discipline, and determination; the purity of a maiden capable of enchanting a unicorn; and the simple faith of a child in attunement with Nature--all of these were embodied by Sir Galahad, the only knight successful enough to attain the Chalice in the Grail Mysteries without any problems. At this time we wish to discuss briefly upon the following esoteric topics:
1) Man's Fall
5) Man's Divinity
8) The Esoteric Concept of God
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