Posted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 12:27 pm
Im happy for the opportunity given me,to participate in this excellent board.
Being all new to your tradition I have some questions.Im wondering what your traditions say about Jesus from a historical physical perspective?Im well aware that these questions might be considered to be
of a superficial nature.But never the less,I would like to know what your tradition can say about Jesus the man.
Does your tradition consider the story of Jesus as presented in the four gospels of the New Testament to be actual events?Or are the story mere
an allegory, assuredly containing profound esoteric truths, but still an allegory?The silence of contemporary historians and even 1st-century Christians might point to that.
My thought in this question is that perhaps not the entire portrayal is fiction.For example, the Talmud contains a number of passages that refer to a certain Jeshu ben Pandera.Said to have been the disciple of Joshua ben Perachiah, who was certainly a historical figure, being one of the most prominent rabbis of the time.
Perhaps this potrayal was used by some Christian mystics to idealize a fiction which reveals esoteric mysteries for the initiated?A cycle of initiation,founded on the precession of the equinoxes and the signs of the zodiac.Showing the initiation trials and tests of the candidate for initiation.
I don´t know just thinking out loud.
Even if the gospels where proven to be fiction,in my oppinion that doens´t diminish it´s importance.Fact or fiction nothing can take away it´s true essence,meaning & message.
Myth & History
Posted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 2:39 pm
Greetings and welcome!
First, let me say that I do not believe that your question is superficial, but rather I believe it is an important one – for each and every one of us, the answer to this question determines our gospel, our own knowledge, understanding and experience of the Gospel of Truth.
I cannot answer this question for all Gnostic Christians, nor even for all Sophians, as the answer is going to be somewhat different from one Gnostic initiate to another, depending upon how the intelligence of their heart (faith) instructs them and the nature of the Gnostic experience that has unfolded in their interior life. This itself, however, may well be the answer: From a Sophian perspective the view of the initiate depends upon his or her own direct spiritual and mystical experience of the Truth and Light, the Risen Messiah. More than the historical dimension, our interest is the spiritual dimension – a conscious evolution into higher states of consciousness, and ultimately Self-realization in Christ (Supernal or Messianic Consciousness).
Generally speaking, do we believe that the gospels are entirely historical? No, we do not. Do we believe they are entirely mythological? No, we do not. It seems that the gospels are a mixture of events that occurred in historical space-time, the material dimension, and events that occurred beyond space-time, in the inner and spiritual dimensions; hence, there are both historical and mythological elements in the gospels. What exactly is historical and what exactly is mythological begs a good question – I’d imagine the discussion could fill many volumes!
Generally speaking, Sophians believe in the Divine Incarnation, in the sense of a Self-realized Master, who experienced Supernal or Messianic Consciousness and a conscious unification with God and Godhead; the story of the Virgin Birth is understood in a purely spiritual context, not literal – but key events of the Divine Revelation are viewed as transpiring within space-time, as well as in the spiritual dimensions. The story of the Transfiguration is a good example, for among Sophians that are those who have witnessed a similar kind of event with a living adept or master in this lifetime, in this world – a very powerful spiritual and mystical experience of transmission. Thus, that this has occurred in the past seems clear to them, for in their experience it occurs in the present as well.
The mystery of the Crucifixion and Resurrection are also viewed as occurring in space-time, and in the spiritual dimensions, by most Sophians – also based on certain spiritual and mystical experiences, and on the instruction they have received from the intelligence of their heart (faith). However, the idea of a resurrection and ascension in a body of light, or the appearance of spiritual master following apparent death, is not isolate to the Christian stream of the Light Transmission, but similar stories are told of spiritual masters in the Eastern schools – for example, the rainbow body attainments spoken of in Tibetan Buddhism. In this sense, most Sophians generally do believe in the crucifixion and resurrection as having occurred within the continuum of space-time-consciousness and the historical dimension. But, of course, in the midst of the mystical experience and higher states of consciousness, the boundaries of the material and spiritual worlds tend to blur, and sometimes vanish altogether: time-eternity and timeless-eternity merge. Here we come to the great difficulty of this discussion!
This is not a superficial or idle question in the least, but it moves swiftly into the very heart of the spiritual and mystical experience – the direct perception of Reality as It Is, and God as God Is. It swiftly becomes a discussion on the nature of reality, which from a Sophian perspective, is occurring all in Consciousness; whether seemingly internal appearances or seemingly external appearances, it is all the radiant display of the One Being-Consciousness-Force. From a Sophian perspective, the entire purpose of the Divine Incarnation was the revelation of this Truth of Consciousness; specifically, the remembrance that each and every one of us is an emanation of the One Being-Consciousness-Force (God).
What is historical and what is mythological becomes a great question from this perspective. Perhaps we could say that what is mythological is laboring to be realized within the historical, and that which is historical is what has already been realized? This, of course, may depend upon our own experience of the Self-realization process; for it seems that what may be mythological and what may be historical changes radically in the Self-realization process – or at least our perception of it changes, at any rate.
Ultimately, whatever view we take of the events told in the gospels, its value and truth lies in the degree to which it facilitates our growth as a human being, and the spiritual life and practice through which we might unfold our Self-realization in Christ (Enlightenment). This would reflect the most basic Sophian perspective on the issue of historical versus mythological view.
In our lineage we tend to a dynamic blend of exoteric and esoteric Christianity – the Exterior and Interior Church. Thus, most often, you will find a combination of the historical and mythological view of the gospels among Sophian initiates, each finding their balance based upon their own experience of the interior life. It is relatively rare that a Sophian practitioner would take a purely mythological view of the gospels, but that is not to say that somewhere there is not a Sophian that does.
May the Mother Spirit reveal to us the Gospel of Truth so that we might acquire our gospel – our faith and gnosis, amen.
Blessings & shalom!
Posted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 2:55 pm
Thank you for taking your time to answer my question.
Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 2:43 pm
I agree that to deny the humanity of Yeheshua is to deny the the inner Christ. We have many levels of our consciousness and to deny our humaness is deny an integral part of ourselves. If we focus mearly on our spiritual developement and forget to humanity, we are focusing on transcendance and not transformation which is also an important part of the Sophian veiw. Being human we have the capacity to direct our conscoious through all states or levels of Being.
Also if we deny that Yeheshua we put Enlightenment outside of ourselves. We all are Children of Light, we just forget and Masters of the Light Transmition like Yeheshua help to remind us.
Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 5:07 pm
I thank you for sharing your experiences regarding this issue.For your willingness to share that light wich you have found.
Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 9:06 am
I wanted to comment on the whole topic of mythology.
Coming from a traditional church background it is interesting how different myth is seen in different traditions. In most traditional Christian Churches the idea that any of the Bible is myth is considered heretical and seen as something very wrong. On the other hand, most gnostic groups cosider at least portions of the Bible myth.
The interesting thing is that myth is not the dirty word that we were taught in the traditional church. Myth does not mean that something is not true or that it is fantasy. Myth is allegory... it represents a truth by telling a story. The best part is that Yeshua did this all the time. All of his parables are myth. They are stories to represent the truth he was trying to convey.
I have come to believe that the Bible (and all scripture) is a combination of myth and history. I do believe in Yeshua the man and as the Christ barer. I no longer worry about which details in the New Testament are actual accounts and which are stories because they are all truth. They all convey a message no matter if they happened as explained or not.