Passion of Sophia – Gnostic Creation

crucifiction-in-light-ramon-martinez
In the two slightly different tellings of the Gnostic creation story we have at the center our Divine Mother Sophia. Before we get to the shortened Passion of Sophia we really need to know a little more about Gnosticism, starting with Sant Mat.

The term Sant Mat literally translates as the Path of the God-Realized. A Sant is defined as an individual that has attained to the highest spiritual potential to which any human can aspire – complete self-knowledge and God-realization. This spiritually transfigured being, is commissioned by his own Sat Guru, as the literal embodiment of the Sat Purusha, the True God, sitting in all humility amongst humanity. His way, according to Sant Mat, is that of love, forgiveness and compassion. He teaches the necessity of individual spiritual awakening through certain methods of meditation practice. He also teaches the cultivation of ethical virtues including strict vegetarianism as an essential aspect of ahimsa, the virtue of non-violence.

One of the cardinal functions of a Sat Guru is to absolve through his own grace, sympathy and suffering, the accumulated karma of the spiritual aspirant, referring to the cycle of action and reaction that keeps the soul bound in creation, and is the motor force of the wheel of birth and death, the cycle of reincarnation. Without this forgiveness of the karmas of the past, there can be no liberation, for the soul remains ever bound in the karmic wheel. Therefore the guru, as the Word-made-flesh, the embodiment of Spirit incarnate in human form, plays a critical and central role in Sant Mat, and is regarded as an absolute prerequisite on the path of spiritual liberation.

The spiritual practices taught by the Sant: meditation on the inner spiritual Light and Divine Music. The spiritual practice is based on the belief that creation emerges as a state of vibration having two aspects: Light and Sound, termed the God-Into-Expression power, as its true nature is consciousness itself. The spiritual aspirant is guided into contact with the lowest links of these spiritual principles, as they represent the fundamental and formless nature of spirit and regarded as a direct contact with spirit. The first method involves meditation on the Ajna Chakra or third eye, while repeating a mantra consisting of five names, given by the Spiritual Master. These five names relate to the five major divisions of creation and are imbued with the spiritual power of the Sant who has attained each of these stages. They are also said to confer protection on the inner spiritual planes. Meditation at this center, leads to the awakening of inner vision and revelations of light.

The second spiritual practice is meditation on the inner spiritual sound. This practice does not involve any mantra, but attunement within to inner harmonics that first are heard on the right side, then gradually seems to come from above, changing character at each stage and having the quality of dramatic musical tones.

The practice of meditation on the Light and Sound principle as the fundamental worship of spirit, can be traced through various schools of Sufism, through the ancient Upanishads of India, through the practices and references of the Pythagorans and in the Egyptian Book of the Dead itself. It can also be found in the writings of the Gnostics: “I cast a Sound into the ears of those who know me. And I am inviting you into the exalted perfect Light.” – Trimorphic Protennoia

The Sant’s teach that their path has been maintained in its pristine form, unchanged and unchanging in its spiritual principles and practices, and as ancient as humanity. However, its outer expression and terminology has taken different forms according to the circumstance of the time. Kirpal Singh quoting Hazur Baba Sawan Singh in his biography of Hazur: “True Saints are not fastened to any religious sect or dress. They are free personalities. They are neither a party to one nor a foe to the other.”

In other words, in the mind of the Sants, they regard the spiritual teaching as universal, not a distinct sect or cult, but a basic spiritual dharma or truth teaching that is for all humanity regardless of their cultural/religious background. Therefore, they are not tied to any place, time or religious identity but adapt to the environment of the time.

Gnosis is a term synonymous with the Sanskrit term Gnana, and distinguishes direct spiritual realization from belief based on faith alone. As the Christian church grew and attempted to standardize, socialize and politicize its beliefs and doctrines, these mystic schools of Christian thought were increasingly viewed as heretical. Over several centuries, the church gained political power, suppressed the Gnostics and systematically destroyed their works. It was only in the latter part of the nineteenth century that original Gnostic writings came to light. In the early nineteen forties the remains of an entire library of Gnostic literature was found buried near the village of Nag Hammadi in Egypt.

The esoteric spirituality of the Gnostics existed within the setting of a great cosmic drama in which humanity is held captive by a creator God who functions through the rule of law (karma), and seduces man into his false worship. Yahweh is one of the many names of this false God. The True God on the other hand is a transcendent and Unknowable Absolute whose realm is the true place of spiritual liberation and whose nature is truth, love and forgiveness.

As with most of the great myths and “fairy tales” of the old world, story and allegory are meant to speak to the innermost recesses of the heart, mind and spirit. These are esoteric tales regarded as a symbolic/mythic rendering of the actual process and structure of creation. Some of the chief characters such as Sat Purush (The True Form of God/Gnostic: The Only-Begotten) and the opposing force, the energy that gives rise to materiality and rules the realms of karma, known as Kal (Dharam Rai, the Negative Power/Gnostic: Ialdabaoth, the Demiurge, etc.) are a very real presence in the discourses of the Gurus of Sant Mat.

Formless God and the Eternal Realm of God’s Attributes The Eternally Unmanifested Absolute takes form as the Timeless,
Changeless and Perfect Realm, known as Sach Khand (the True Realm) in Sant Mat or the Pleroma (fullness) of the Gnostics. Its inhabitants are the Perfect, Eternal and Distinct Elements of the Divine Totality. According to the teaching of Sant Mat in all ages, it is not given to the hypostasized elements of the Absolute to have the experience of the Wholeness from which their distinction takes its value.

”Only human beings, of all creation, can realize God within their lifetime. In the mystery of humanity is the opportunity for reconciliation between the parts and the whole and in this is hidden the very purpose of creation. It has been said that if even the angels wish to realize God, they too must take on human form, through which the potential for Godconsciousness may be fulfilled.” – Kirpal Singh

“In one there is always the delusion of many, and the totality does signify the existence therein of so many parts. The idea of a part and of the whole go cheek by jowl, and both the part as well as the whole are characterized by the similarity of the essential nature in them. The essence of a thing has its own attributive nature and the two cannot be separated from each other. Just as the essence is both one and many, so is the case with its attributive nature.” – Kirpal Singh

The Gnostic term, Pleroma and the eastern term, Sach Khand, are used interchangeably. These cosmic attributes are known as the Sons of Sat Purush in the East and the Aeons in Gnosticism. Sat Purush or the Only-Begotten is the Aeon that is the Being or the Mind, of the Absolute: pure consciousness and consciousness on all planes, thus also the bridge to creation proper.

“The Only-Begotten Mind alone, having issued from him directly, can know the Fore-Father: to all the other Aeons he remains invisible and incomprehensible.” – Hans Jonas

‘It was a great marvel that they were in the Father without knowing Him.’ – Gospel of Truth 22.27

Creation, Version One:
The myths now run in distinct and precisely opposite directions, at least in the Gnostic forms. The Kabiran version and one of the Gnostic versions states that there was an Aeon that cherished a desire for its own creation as an inherent part of its nature. We could say that the potential for separation from God is itself an Aeon. This leads ultimately to a creation existing in negative polarity with eternal Sach Khand, spinning the universes that exist in Time.

This separative Aeon, known as Mind or Time (Kal), is Sat Purusha’s first expansion in the Gnostic version and fifth in the Kabiran version. Kabir’s Anurag Sagar states that “He is created from the most glorious part of the body of Sat Purush”. Thus Sat Purush is cosmically linked to the “lower” creation, which eventually develops through Kal’s activity. In this we are warned away from value judgements of good/evil, and reminded that this entire process is under Divine Will (Hukam).

This Aeon was female: “Rushing up to the depth of the Father, she perceives that whereas all the begotten Aeons generate by copulation, the Father alone generates out of himself (being in this version without consort); in this she wants to emulate him and also generate out of herself without spouse, so that she may not fall short of the Father’s achievement. She failed to perceive that this is the power solely of the Unbegotten One, and so she managed only to bring forth a formless entity.”

Creation, Version Two:
In the second Gnostic version, the motivation is exactly the opposite; rather than a desire for separation, there is a longing for union. Structurally the tale is very similar in many respects. Here the longing of the Aeon, Sophia, to know the Absolute completely, is the primary force that sets in motion the process that eventually leads to
the development of the lower creation.

So it was that: “The Aeons longed only secretly to behold the begetter of their seed and to search for the root without beginning.” This longing is “the beginning of a crisis in the Pleroma”…since the Aeons “cannot forgo the aspiration to know more than their limits permit and thus to abolish the distance separating them from the Absolute. The last and youngest (and therefore outermost of the Aeons), the Sophia, leapt farthest forward and fell into a passion apart from the embrace of her consort. That passion had originated and spread from the vicinity of the Mind and Truth but now infected
the Sophia and broke out in her so that she went out of her mind, pretendedly from love, actually from folly or presumption, since she had no such community with the Father as the Only-Begotten Mind…The passion was a search for the Father, for she strove to comprehend his greatness. This, however, she failed to achieve, because what she attempted was impossible, and so she found herself in great agony; on account of the depth of the Abyss, into which in her desire she penetrated more and more, she would in the end have been swallowed up by its sweetness and dissolved in the
general being, had she not come up against the power that consolidates the All and keeps it off the ineffable Greatness. This power is called Limit: by him she was consolidated, brought back to herself, and convinced that the Father is incomprehensible. Thus she abandoned her previous intention and the passion engendered by it. These, however, now subsist by themselves as a ‘formless entity.'”

Sophia’s return to harmony in the Pleroma is, as noted by Jonas, “..the first restoration and salvation in the spiritual history of total being, and it occurs entirely inside the Pleroma, though as we shall see it is the cause of a chain of events outside it.”

The image of what has taken place in the Pleroma itself, indicates that the Aeon’s longing, which will ‘later’ lead to the lower creation, is eternally latent, eternally activated, and eternally reconciled. This certainly casts the mold for the triune attributes of creation described by Hinduism, that is, the triple Godhead and the three gunas. However, Kabir and Soami Ji assert that Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, satogun, rajogun, and tamogun come much later, far outside Sach Khand. In the meantime, ‘the formless entity’ created by Sophia’s passion, as we shall see, becomes the basis of all subsequent creation outside the Pleroma.

Creation Born of Sophia’s Passion
Once the “integrity of the Pleroma” had been restored and Sophia rejoined to her consort, she contemplated on her fate and the ‘formless entity’ to which her passion has given birth. This gives rise to various emotions, which also become embodied in the formless. The emotions evoked vary according to different Gnostic authors, but include grief, fear, bewilderment, shock, and repentance. A lesser Aeon is thus created out of the admixture of the Sophia’s longing for union, as well as her emotions in the wake of her failure.

The residue of this disturbance in the Pleroma “has become hypostatized as a positive realm by itself. Only at this price could the Pleroma be rid of it.” Thus the Limit (‘which separates the Aeons from the unbegotten Father” above and the ‘formless entity’, soon to be below – NT.) was not planned in the original constitution of the Fullness, i.e., of the free and adequate self-expression of the godhead, but was necessitated by the crisis as a principle of consolidation and protective separation.”

As ignorance and formlessness had appeared within the Pleroma, deep perturbation remained among the Aeons, who no longer felt safe, fearing like happenings to themselves.” A collective prayer to the Father invokes a new pair of Aeons whose purpose is to restore true serenity to the Pleroma and take care of the residual formlessness. These are Christos and Holy Spirit. The Christos imparts to the Aeons knowledge of their relationship to the Father that leads them to perfect repose. “As a fruit of their new unity, they all together, each contributing the best of his essence, produce an additional (and unpaired) Aeon, Jesus, in whom the Fullness is, as it were, gathered together and the regained unity of the Aeons symbolized. This ‘perfect fruit of the Pleroma,’ who contains all its elements, has later, as Savior, to carry in his person the Fullness out into the Void, in which the residue of the past disturbance, meanwhile
“formed” by Christos, still awaits salvation.”

The new Aeon, the Desire of the Sophia, is now separated as an entity unto itself, is called the Achamoth or the lower Sophia. Together with the Passions she is cast “outside” the Pleroma. Energized by the Christos reaching out from the Pleroma, she is left “with the awakened awareness of her separation from the Pleroma and the aroused longing for it. This initiates a redemptional task whose accomplishment requires a long detour of suffering and successive divine interventions.” In other words lower creation now becomes an inevitable development, yet paradoxically essential for
the higher purpose of reconciliation.

“The deserted Sophia impetuously sets out to seek after the vanished light, but cannot reach it, for the Limit obstructs her forward rush. She cannot penetrate through him, because of her admixture of the original Passion, and forced to remain alone in the outer darkness she falls prey to every kind of suffering that exists. In this she repeats on her own level the scale of emotions which her mother in the Pleroma underwent, the only difference being that these passions now pass over into the form of definitive states of being, and as such they can become the substance of the world… grief, because she could not get hold of the light; fear, lest besides the light also life might leave her; bewilderment, added to these; and all of them united in the basic quality of ignorance (itself counted as an ‘affection’). And still another state of mind ensued: the turning (conversion) toward the Giver of Life.”

The essential ignorance of the Demiurge, which leads him to declare himself to be the “unique and highest God”. “Ialdabaoth was boastful and arrogant, and exclaimed: ‘I am Father and God, and beyond me is none other.’” However, the processes he sets in motion, believing them to be his own, are in fact, fashioned by his mother. In this it is again suggested that no matter how ‘fallen’ creation ultimately becomes, the entire process is an expression of Divine Will.

The polarity between an ignorant creator God, well removed from even his Mother, and a far distant Eternity of Consciousness, i.e., the True God, is at the center of Gnostic and Sant Mat theology. Soami Ji repeatedly asserts, as did the Gnostics, that the God of the various world religions is none other then Kal or the Demiurge. Therefore, his worship is false and leads to ever-greater enmeshment rather than true liberation.

The Achamoth, the lower Sophia, leads the Demiurge into the knowledge of what is above him; “however, he keeps to himself the great mystery of the Father and the Aeons into which the Sophia has initiated him and divulges it to none of his prophets.” Imparting knowledge of the Father to the lower creation itself is left to “the incarnation of the Aeons Jesus and Christos from the Pleroma in the person of the historical Jesus.” This, at least, is an interpretation of
the Valentinian perspective, that being the Christian Gnostic tradition from which this story is derived. However, the extension of this concept in other Gnostic circles and so essential to Sant Mat, is that the incarnation in the world of “the common fruit” of the Pleroma, to bring salvation to the lower creation, is a perpetual manifestation,
somehow essential to the structure of the world. This is none other then the Living Master, the Grace bearing manifestation of Sat Purush. In this conception, the Godman, or Word-Made-Flesh, is ever present in the world, not a periodic incarnation as with Vishnu, or one that appears once in history and then again at the end of time, returning as judge and savior, as in the Christian conception.

Unwittingly, the Demiurge, (also known as Ialdabaoth), is led to the creation of godlike, yet innocent primal humanity, but leaves them in ignorance of their true origin and potential. His mother, the lower Sophia, however, working through the snake of wisdom, imparts Adam with gnosis, the spiritual knowledge of his true station. Seeing this awakened state, the jealous and angry Demiurge casts humankind farther into matter, where human nature recapitulates the passions and longing of its high progenitors. This, of course, is the tale of Adam and Eve turned on its head. The first children are
banished, not by God, but their apparent creator, who is, in fact, an impostor.

Despite the jealous machinations of the Demiurge it is the destiny of humanity to be the receptacle of the highest mysteries.

“…Listen to me, the Sound of the Mother of your mercy, for you have become worthy of the mystery hidden from the Aeons..” – Trimorphic Protennoia Nag Hammadi Library p.467

“Behold, Zostrianos, you have heard all these things of which the gods are ignorant..” – Zostrianos Nag Hammadi Library p.392

According to the Gnostics, the hope for salvation from the bondage of Time proceeds from the original passion for mergence in the Absolute God of the primal Sophia, which necessitated creation in the first place.

“Since Oblivion (the lower world) came into existence because they (the Aeons) did not know the Father, therefore if they attain to a knowledge of the Father, Oblivion becomes at that very instant nonexistent”

“Thus the world, unbeknown to its immediate author, is for the sake of salvation, not salvation for the sake of what happened within creation and to creation.” – Gospel of Truth 18. 7-14

In Gnostic theology there is no primal act, such as Eve’s so-called sin against God’s commandment, for which, all of humanity collectively partakes in guilt and for which salvation exists as a path to restoration, according to Christian doctrine. Indeed, true Gnosis is not the reconciliation of God and his rebellious creation, but in the poignant metaphor of the Gnostics, the vicarious fulfillment of the longing of the eternal Children of God, the Aeons, to merge in the Absolute. In this noble vision, though creation is a bridge extending from the fully illuminated realms to the dark, density of matter, this long journey out into Time and Mind generates a path of return transcending all attributes and merging in the undifferentiated Source.

“In Your Absence,
where is the once blooming
and ecstatic state of my heart?
I’m afraid lest the secret of our love
may be disclosed now.
Otherwise, who knew this hidden tale besides You.” – Sant Kirpal Singh

Source used: Dr. Neil Tessler’s book Sant Mat and the Gnostic Myth of Creation
If this resonates with you I recommend the Gnostic book Pistis Sophia (http://gnosis.org/library/psoph.htm)

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4 Things You Should Know About Your ‘Third Eye’

Third-Eye
We still lack a complete understanding of the pineal gland — but that doesn’t stop us from speculating.

Located in nearly the direct center of the brain, the tiny pinecone-shaped pineal gland, which habitually secretes the wondrous neurohormone melatonin while we sleep at night, was once thought to be a vestigial leftover from a lower evolutionary state.

Indeed, according to recent research, we could be increasing our chances of contracting chronic illnesses like cancer by unnecessarily bathing its evenings in artificial lightworking night shifts or staying up too late. By disrupting the pineal gland and melatonin’s chronobiological connection to Earth’s rotational 24-hour light and dark cycle, known as its circadian rhythm, we’re possibly opening the doors not to perception, but to disease and disorder. A recently published study from Vanderbilt University has found associations between circadian disruption and heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

By hacking what pinealophiles call our mind’s third eye with an always-on technoculture transmitting globally at light-speed, we may have disadvantaged our genetic ability to ward off all manner of complicated nightmares. No wonder the pineal gland is a pop-culture staple for sci-fi, fantasy and horror fandom, as well as a mass attractor of mystics and mentalists. Its powers to divide and merge our light and dark lives only seems to grow the more we take it seriously.

“We still lack a complete understanding of the pineal gland,” University of Michigan professor of physiology and neurology Jimo Borjigin, a pioneer in medical visualization of the pineal gland’s melatonin secretion, told me. “Numerous molecules are found in the pineal, many of which are uniquely found at night, and we do not have a good idea of what their functions are. The only function that is established beyond doubt is the melatonin synthesis and secretion at night, which is controlled by the central clock in the suprachiasmatic nucleus and modulated by light. All else is speculative.”

Discerning between the science and speculation of the pineal gland hasn’t been easy since long before Rene Descartes called it the “principal seat of the soul” after studying it at length nearly four centuries ago. (Although “no evidence exists to support this,” clarified Borjigin.) So here’s a handy shortlist of things you should know about the pineal gland.

1. Third Eyes and Theosophistry

The current scientific understanding is that the pineal gland probably started out as an eye, and it receives signals from light and our retinas. Whether it was our only eye which shrunk into the brain once its perceptive tasks were taken care of by our two newer eyes, or whether it was a third eye with a spiritual and physical connection to previous spiritual and evolutionary states, or both, has galvanized science and speculation for centuries.

Earth’s ancient cultural histories are filled with folklore featuring both one-eyed and three-eyed beings of great power, from Shiva and Cyclops to that amiable fellow in The Twilight Zone‘s classic episode, “Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?” and beyond. (From Beyond even: See below.) Associations can be found in Hinduism, whose seventh primary chakra Sahasara is a multilayered lotus that looks like the pineal gland’s pinecone, and whose primary function is to perceive universal oneness, scientifically and spiritually speaking. Theosophists, who have been studying what they perceive as hidden knowledge since the Greeks and Romans ruled philosophical and scientific inquiry, have more recently claimed that the pineal gland is the spiritual engine of our evolution into “embryo gods, beings of consciousness and matter.”

That description seems apt, given the astronomical power we have achieved in a few million yeas of evolution. While Homo sapiens‘ third eyes likely transformed into pineal glands along the way, today we can still find animals with photoreceptive third eyes, now called parietal eyes, like New Zealand’s endangered tuatara. Fossils from other ancient creatures feature similar sockets in their skulls, making our pineal gland a candidate for an ex-eye.

2. What Was Once Hidden Is Now Hi-Res

Michigan University professor Borjigin and his team are hard at work on how the pineal gland and melatonin regulate our lives.

“The central circadian clock controls timing of almost all aspects of our life, including physiology and behavior, and melatonin is the best marker to decode the fingerprints of circadian timing in both humans and animals,” he told me. “In the past, it was very difficult to study circadian properties of melatonin in animals due to technical limitations. My lab invented long-term pineal microdialysis, which permits automated, computer-controlled and high-resolution analysis of melatonin secretion from rodent pineal gland from four to 10 weeks in the same animal.”

These visualizations could go a long way toward understanding how to hack melatonin, which the pineal gland secretes when we sleep and helps the brain repair and sync our bodies to Earth’s rotation. Melatonin is a stunning compound, found naturally in plants, animals and microbes. A powerful antioxidant, its list of its medicinal uses only seems to grow each year, as we learn more about its ability to help with immune disorders, chronic illnesses, and neurodegeneration.

“Pineal microdialysis allows us to monitor melatonin secretion closely under various conditions to simulate jet lag, shiftwork, light pollution, diet manipulation and more to define the fingerprints of circadian response to environment, he added. “It also allows us to discover animals with extreme chronotypes, like early-birds or night-owls, to understand how individuals with different chronotype respond to circadian challenges differently. These are still ongoing studies, but hopefully some of the works will be published this year.”

3. Artificial Light = Dark Future

What has been recently published about melatonin is already pretty significant, especially for those looking to combat breast and prostate cancer. Harvard University School of Public Health researcher Itai Kloog and his group published a series of studies in the last few years explaining how our “modern urbanized sleeping habitat” (PDF) is a massive hormone-based cancer risk. “We have blotted out the night sky” with artificial light, wrote Earth Island Journal‘s Holly Hayworth,” citing Kloog’s research and noting that half that light is wasted anyway.

“We’ve proven beyond a doubt that it’s a risk factor,” Kloog told me. “Light at night has been proven on many levels, by our group and many others, to definitely contribute to higher risk of developing hormonal cancer.”

Kloog’s team published five studies altogether, including analyses at local and global levels, and all of them found firm correlations between circadian and melatonin disruption and higher risks of cancer. Analyzing NASA’s Defense Meteorological Satellite Program archive (to illuminate Earth’s light-at-night coverage) and data from the World Health Organization, Kloog’s group “found clearly that as women were more exposed to light at nighttime, their rates of breast cancer went up. Our Israel study found that going from minimum exposure to average exposure to light at night resulted in a 36 percent higher standard rate of breast cancer, and going from average to maximum was another 26 percent increase.”

Using kernel smoothing to create density maps showing light exposure and cancer rates, Kloog’s team found that another of its studies, which sourced more than 20,000 light sources by height and intensity, showed a clear association. For their two worldwide studies, they developed an algorithm to assign population weight average light exposure for every person in every city across the world, using WHO data, and again they found a clear association between cancer and light at night.

“For average light exposure per person, if you take an underdeveloped country like Nepal, we’re talking about 0.02 nanowatts per centimeter squared,” Kloog explained. “Compare that to the United States, where the average light exposure of a person is 57.5. Up until around 120 years ago, humans were basically exposed to 12 hours of sunlight and 12 hours of darkness on average, seasons and latitudes permitting of course. But since the invention of the lightbulb, we’ve artificially stretched the day. We go to sleep late at night, we have lights on while we sleep, we have a shorter sleep duration. We have a lot of factors stretching out our days, relative to the light period we experienced during millions of years of previous evolution.”

“It’s something that’s easy to take out of the equation,” Kloog told me. “Go to sleep in a dark room. Use less light. Close the shutters. Circadian disruption is carcinogenic to humans.”

4. Occult Classic

This is not to say that late-night viewing itself isn’t good for the mind, especially when it comes to pineal glands and third eyes. Because pineal glands and third eyes remain singular components of an otherwise binary brain with an extraordinary past, they have stimulated some stranger explorations of their spiritual and supernatural possibility. The pineal gland’s circadian dualism has achieved particular resonance with influential occultists like horror influential H.P. Lovecraft. Who, in turn, have spawned new generations of speculative talents that have used it as a quite flexible receptacle for expansive meaning.

“My first exposure to the pineal gland came from Stuart Gordon’s movie adaptation of Lovecraft’s From Beyond,” Javier Grillo-Marxuach, creator of the cult sci-fi television classic The Middleman, told AlterNet. “In truth, everything I know about that particular endocrine body probably derives from that seminal experience, which explains why I am a television writer and not a brain surgeon.”

In From Beyond, a supernaturally activated pineal gland turns mad scientists into brain-eating zombies. The recently reissued 1957 exploitation film She Devil features a “female monster” whose hyperstimulated pineal gland turns her into ”a demon, a devil, a creature with a warped soul!” In both films, and many other third-eye head-trips, functions as a sexualized organ, rather than a circadian regulator. Today, some use melatonin supplements, available since the ’90s, to aid with sexual dysfunction. But the pineal gland’s expansive mythic and scientific history has much broader applications when it comes to folklore and entertainment.

“In The Middleman, we quickly discovered that because this most mysterious of glands is so misunderstood, even though its very name connotes a certain frisson of scientific accuracy and technical understanding, it was a fantastic shorthand for whatever otherworldly qualities we needed to justify,” Grillo-Marxuach added. “Over the course of 12 episodes, the pineal gland became the source of psychic ability, communication between parallel dimensions, the magical influence of succubi and incubi over the libidos of ordinary mortals and, finally, the power source for our main supervillain’s armageddon device. Since Stuart Gordon and H.P. Lovecraft gave me such a gift in my teenage years by providing me with so fanciful an understanding of cerebral anatomy, I figured I’d pay the favor forward as many times as possible.”

By Scott Thill, AlterNet

About the Author

Scott Thill runs the online mag Morphizm.com. His writing has appeared on Salon, XLR8R, All Music Guide, Wired and others.

 

Christ Myth

what-if-jesus-was-fake-and-god-is-real-thumb

I found the following in my notes. I cannot source any of it, I just found it and decided to put it on my blog. I encourage open minded investigation into the well proven and sensible fact that Jesus never existed as anything more than a religious mythical idea, an energy if you will,  but not a person in history. It’s very important to realize this fact in order to grow spiritually. The “Jesus As History” has become a religion unto itself, it is a doctrine of men, and not very good men at that. Myth doesn’t mean lie. It is a way of teaching something that is other wise beyond words. It’s Jewish Midrash and like all religions is based on Astrotheology (The Holy Science of ‘As Above, So Below’). The fact is that Rome actually did take the writings and artifacts from the earlier Jewish Gnostic Christian sect in 325CE and had a new story written and the original stories destroyed. It was a clever political move, however it’s very cleverness depended on the stupidity of the masses. Then as now, the stupidity of the masses is solid and reliable. Ignorant people are easy to control. It was a Roman legal maxim that read: “Let he who wishes to be deceived, be deceived.” My love of the bible and the mystical teachings of Christianity (and other religions) is not in question. I am not an Atheist. I am a Free-Thinker, a Mythicist, and a modern Gnostic. I see symbolism and allegory everywhere, and the biblical allegories and symbolism is amazing if read with the spiritual eye, which resides in the right side of the brain. ”Cast your net to the right side and catch more fish.” Part the Red Sea and enter the right brain. Meditate and activate the Single Eye, the Pineal gland and release the Christified Light from the kingdom of heaven. Where is this kingdom? ”The kingdom of heaven is within you.” Myth teaches spiritual truths, history is a whole other subject.

The idea that Jesus may not have existed is still very controversial. It is difficult to raise the subject and present argument and evidence because frankly, few people are willing to listen. ・Everybody has always believed in the historical Jesus・ or ・No serious scholars doubt that Jesus really lived・ or ・how can so many people be wrong?・ are usual responses.

1. There is no evidence for the Christ Myth theory.

The Christ Myth theory is considered groundless speculation because there is no physical evidence that Jesus Christ did not exist. This is like arguing that, because there is no physical evidence that a giant purple monster is not standing on my head, I cannot prove that there is not one there. It is based on a logical rule that you can’t prove a negative, or can’t prove something that wasn’t there.

The flip-side of this criticism, however, is usually that there is evidence for a historical Jesus. This is nonsense. If there were such evidence, there would be no controversy – it would be ridiculous to claim that Jesus Christ was a myth if there were irrefutable evidence that he actually existed. In actuality, there is no evidence for Jesus whatsoever that is not hotly contested, which only shows that both theories are equally based on groundless speculation; the Christ Myth theory, however, is able to explain and answer a great many questions and historical factors which proponents of the historical Jesus are forced to ignore.

2. The Christ Myth is just a “proof from silence”.

A common attack on Christ Myth theory is that it often starts from a “proof from silence” argument. Many Christ Mythers try to show that there are few historical references to Jesus, and insinuate that,had Jesus existed, there would have been more. Critics argue that silence alone proves nothing; there were no TV or news casters in those days, and anyway, Jesus “flew under the radar” by staying mostlyin the countryside. While I agree that the lack of historical references cannot prove anything about Jesus, I feel that critics miss the overall significance of this point. If there were any solid historical references to Jesus, then the Christ Myth theory is obviously untenable.While Christians have been, for at least 1,000 years, adamantly affirming the historical reliability of a few selected texts which they claim verify the historical Jesus, a Christ Myther, as well as any historianor secular scholar, (even those who believe that Jesus was historical,) can point out that these same historical documents are not reliable; their authorship and genuineness are continuing subjects of debate. Therefore, to even begin a Christ Myth hypothesis, it is highly relevant to show that the assumption of Jesus’ ministry being the “mostheavily documented event in the history of the world” is blatantly false. Only after we have cleared away the assumptions surrounding the historical Jesus can we begin to look for the Mythical Jesus.

3. Christ-Mythers are not scholars.

There have been only a small handful of marginally academic writers who have published on the Christ Myth theory, and critics point out that they are “out of their field.” They don’t have Ph.D’s inrelevant studies, they may not be trained in the rigorous investigation, clear logic and referencing that is now demanded in intellectual circles, and they may allow their passion for the subject to a) quote from sources they haven’t personally checked or b) make comparisons and assumptions that can’t beproved empirically. They may even (heaven forbid!) self-publish, or publish with an ill-reputed publishing company.

I’ll admit, as a “Christ Myther,” or someone who doesn’t believe in the historical Jesus, I can be accused of all the same flaws. I’m inexperienced, and sometimes don’t care enough to back up every statement with irrefutable evidence, because I have seen that there is no evidence that is irrefutable – whoever does not agree with your conclusions will begin by questioning your research methods, and after that, attacking your character.

In an attempt to tear apart the Christ Myth theory some critics will demonstrate that all of its proponents are uneducated attention seekers – and yet, the largest claims of the Christ Myth theory opens windows into Christian tradition which refuse to be shut again. In the proverbial “finger at the moon” story, a Zen master points at the moon and says “don’t focus on the finger – look at what I’m pointing to.”  Criticism based on undermining professional experience simply cuts off the finger, hoping that without it, the moon will disappear. As more and more people become familiar with the Christ Myth theory, and recognize in it some questions that cannot be swept away by criticizing the author’s biography, there may eventually be too many people looking at the moon to cut off all the fingers.

4. No “real” scholars agree with the Christ Myth.

I find this unfortunate, but can guess several reasons why traditional scholars have not yet supported the Christ Myth theory. First of all, the tendency of the academia is to focus on and study the specific, not the general. They may begin with a B.A. in Philosophy, then an M.A. in Religious Literature, and finally get a Ph.D. in “The Influence of Paul’s Theology on the Writing of Mark’s Gospel.” They may be the experts of the details, but the Christ Myth theory is really about the big picture – comparing and making relationships between many historical and literary documents, from many cultures and time periods, and analyzing their similarities and possible influences.

For example, a scholar might find the remains of a Roman crucifixion, analyze the wood and the nails,and determine with certainty exactly how the punishment was inflicted; these could be interpreted by other researchers as applicable to the death of Jesus Christ. The Christ Myther, on the other hand, will search into mythology and religious traditions to find stories that echo the biblical description of Christ’s passion, and then, finding an underlying spiritual theme, try to interpret the story as a metaphor and release its original meaning.  It is unfair to compare a historian with a Christ Myther because they aren’t really in the same field; Christ Mythers are primarily concerned with textual analysis and literary criticism. When placed in the field of “World Literature” or “Sociology”, their methods no longer stand out as being unempirical.

Further, it is ridiculous to dismiss the Christ Myth theory by trying to separate it from the Academic Community, because almost all scholars do agree that nearly everything in the gospels and in Christian tradition came from Pagan tradition. All professors of Religion or Theology recognize that Christianity developed out of previous traditions and that many of its ideas and symbols are not new.

Most scholars also agree that when we cut out all of the Pagan influences, there is virtually nothing left to be said about the historical Jesus. The only difference between Christ Mythers and the average scholar is that, faced with a complete lack of evidence concerning the historical Jesus, scholars engage in sorting through the wreckage, dusting off the pieces, and trying to imagine what the historical Jesus would have been like. If he was a carpenter, what would his shop have been like? If he was married, what would his relationship have been like?

In short, taking the Biblical testimony as a starting ground, they form a hypothesis and then try and support it through historical research. Allowing that their foundation is nothing more than the assumed historical Christ, is the Christ Myther any less credible? Lastly, I want to point out that the academia is not necessarily the best birthing ground for Truth. Being a researcher or a professor at a University is a public career, and depends on both innovative research and peer review. Backing a controversial theory is not a good idea for most scholars, who are concerned with career, status and nice things, just like everyone else.

5. Christ-Mythers make comparisons and connections that cannot be verified.

I find it amazing that Christians can discredit Christ Mythers as fanatics, whose theories are absolutely without basis, because they see similarities between Jesus and other miraculous, dying and resurrecting sons of god. Even if we ignore every modern attempt to compare Jesus with other traditions, it is more than enough to provide just one quote from Justin Martyr, a Christian apologist who acknowledged the similarities between Jesus and Pagan gods around 1800 years ago.

“When we say that the Word, who is first born of God, was produced without sexual union, and that he, Jesus Christ, our teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven; we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter(Zeus).” Justin Martyr, First Apology

If, as Justin testifies, Christianity’s central articles of faith (crucifixion, resurrection, ascension) areidentical to Pagan mythology, is it any wonder Christ Mythers seek out more similarities, or questionwhere these similarities came from? And while it is the overwhelming conclusion of modern scholars that Jesus was a historical person, there is plenty of evidence, especially from the first several centuries BC, that there has always been a debate over the historical Jesus. There were many heresies, decades after the alleged death of Jesus, that claimed Jesus had been born in appearanceonly, and was never an actual human being. Why should we believe the tradition of our Christian heritage, rather than investigating the claims of those other communities? Is it irrational, or crazy, to try to understand history from another point of view? Everyone knows that history is written by the winners; is there any reason to assume that in this case alone, the history written was absolutely free from prejudice?

The Christ Myth theory is not a modern idea; it is a revival of a very ancient and very common criticism of Christianity: that Jesus did and said some things that other, earlier, Pagan god-men didand said. Critics try to knock down these similarities by either questioning the source, or calling them “coincidences” by playing up their differences. While Jesus was born of a Virgin, some other savior was born “without sexual union”.  While Jesus was crucified on a cross, some other savior was nailed to a tree, or a rock, or a T-shaped bar, or somewhere in the skies. The problem with focusing on the differences rather than the similarities is that, while it may work in one or two isolated cases, it cannot be applied to absolutely every proposed similarity without weakening in effect. And it also doesn’t work on more specific cases; like Jesus was called “son of God”, as were others, or born on December25th, as were others.

In response to these claims, critics will say that many of the so-called similarities really were added onto the story of Jesus by Pagan influences, but that these don’t change the core Christian message. Firstoff, if you agree that Christianity absorbed some of its symbols from mythological traditions, then you are a Christ Myther. Relegating our position to a simple “Jesus did not exist” is too easy:  what we intend to show is that the person worshiped by Christians, along with all of his miraculous titles and abilities, is indebted to earlier traditions. It is meaningless to argue that Jesus was a historical person, but that motifs like his birth date, the virgin birth, crucifixion and resurrection, his role as son of god and savior were added into the tradition (and into the Bible!) by Pagans, and also that Jesus is still the Way, Truth and Life. What good is using this argument against Christ Mythers, and ending up with a human Jesus with no divine attributes?

Critics will also argue that mythology may have prefigured Jesus in some way, but the things said about those Pagan gods were just stories, while Jesus was a real, physical human being. This doesn’t answer why there should be any similarities at all. The only argument ever used to explain the similarities between Jesus and early Pagan saviors, which is continued by Christians in many ways today,  is called “Diabolical Mimicry”. This argument can only be accepted through a faith-based Christian paradigm that believes in a struggle between God and Satan, and for a non-Christian, it doesn’t go far explain how a historical person mistakenly acted out the precise details of hundreds of diverse cultural mythologies.

6.) Christ mythers have an agenda: to disprove the existence of Jesus. They already thought of the end result and take material and twist it to fit into their hypothesis. All historians should know this is not how research is conducted. Again, this is an easy way to dismiss Christ myth theory without actually looking at the evidence it presents. Criticizing the methodology, the intention, and the characters of the people challenging traditional Christian history is like a magician’s sleight of hand – great at keeping your eyes focused on the wrong thing entirely because, if you were to look at the truth, the illusion would disappear.

I’m not beyond accepting that the Christ Myth theory may turn out to be wrong. It seems to me, given the available evidence, to be a very reasonable and highly probable version of Christian history, but I won’t be upset if further evidence later induces me to change my ideas. However, what I find both disturbing and dangerous, is any attempt to disprove or vilify a hypothesis without referring to the argument itself or the evidence provided. To assume that the Christ Myth theory is false, because it wasn’t convincing the first time it was given, and that every subsequent version of it is likewise false, shows an aversion to truth that is difficult to respond to.

This is not an attemptat trying to disprove God. Some things may really be beyond our ability to comprehend – but Jesus Christ was either there, historically, or not. This is not one of those unfathomable mysteries. There is convincing evidence that Jesus Christ never existed as a historical person, and it is possible to discover in the history of Christianity the process by which a mythical figure was accidentally mistaken for a real human being. Or perhaps, worse, intentional literalizing of gnostic Christian science.

Jesus Is The Sun

Bill Donahue is one of the many ‘teachers’ I follow regularly. In relation to my last post, this is what I was saying about interpreting the bible in different ways. Bill is sharing his gnosis. Modern Gnosticism of my type is Intuitive Truths self evident to OneSelf. I hope you enjoy this presentation, which is one of many available on his youtube channel. He also has a website called hiddenmeanings.com you may find interesting.