Category Archives: Early Christian

Seeing at the Tomb, An Easter Mystery Revealed

John’s Gospel was revered by early Christian fathers and mystics alike. Not only is its structure deeply esoteric, so is each scene. Let’s examine one such scene of Chapter 20, the Easter scene.

descent from the cross RubensThe chapter begins with Mary Magdalene coming, “on the first day of the week”, i.e. Sunday, to the tomb where the body of Jesus Christ had been laid. The tomb was owned by Joseph of Arimathea.  This Joseph had asked Pilate for the dead body. When he took the body down from the cross, Joseph was accompanied by Nicodemus as secret disciples. They prepared the body according to Jewish customs and placed it in the tomb. This all was accomplished before sunset on Friday as, in these times, the new day began with the day’s darkness.

Although John’s gospel does not state this, we learn from Mark and Matthew that Joseph had a large stone rolled to seal the entrance to the tomb. That too happened before sundown on Friday. The next morning, Matthew [27:62] writes that the Pharisees petitioned Pilate to place an armed guard at the tomb so that no one would be deceived by grave robbers that Jesus had risen from the dead as Jesus had predicted.  John’s gospel does tell us that Mary “seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.” [John 20:1, KJV]. Using a Zondervan Interlinear Bible the sentence reads “sees the stone having been taken out of the tomb.” The verb “sees” is the Greek word “βλεπειν” (blepo).

Here is esoteric writing indeed! The meaning can be read both from the physical reality and from the spiritual reality. The stone has been taken away! The mineral element of His body was gone. Mary at this point could only see with her physical eyes and thus could only see the mineral part of His body. But His body was not there – the stone had been taken away or more exactly “taken out of the tomb”!

Now I want to reference a deeply moving paper by Jos Verhulst entitled The Esoteric Content of Descent from the Cross (P.P. Rubens 1612).[1] Jos explains John 20:5-6 as a mystery. Here we find the disciple whom the Lord loved sees “lying flat on the ground the pieces of linen” while Peter when he looks, he sees “the pieces of linen lying flat on the ground.” Like other esoteric writers, the writer of this gospel embeds esoteric content directly into the story by using not only imagery but in this case reversing the word order. What has changed from the disciple’s viewing to Peter’s? Is the wording reversal just literary technique? Jos makes clear the esoteric quality herein.

Now we come to the description of Peter and “the disciple,” upon hearing Mary say that the rock at the tomb is gone, running to the tomb. The first to arrive is the disciple. He stands outside the tomb and peers in seeing (βλεπειν) “lying flat on the ground the pieces of linen”. Then Peter arrives and with stronger will is able to enter the tomb. The first of the three reversals is that the disciple arrived first but Peter is the first to enters the tomb. This theme will play out in Chapter 21 where Peter will be asked to be the first to lead the Church.

Now come the second reversal. Within the tomb, Peter sees the same things as John saw from outside the tomb but now from a different perspective, namely from within the tomb. Of note, Rudolf Steiner often referred to the physical body as the tomb in which our pre-birth, living thinking is laid. To make clear this change in sight, the verb ‘to see’ changes from βλεπειν  to θεωρει (this is the root word for ‘theory’). My Greek Interlinear uses the verb “beholds” for its literal translation. At this moment, Peter is witnessing what reads as a reversal of the physical description. What Peter is perceiving is the next higher level called prana or chi or etheric in spiritual science. It is described in these traditions as reversed in sequence from the physical, as though what one reads left to right in the physical, here in the etheric one reads right to left. Note, Leonardo da Vinci practiced this reversal.

Then ‘the disciple’ also enters the tomb. In the Mystery schools of old, to go through initiation, one was put into a death like state. At first one’s perception was of the nether-world, the world of the dead. Later the neophyte would, through the guidance of the hierophant, rise into spiritual heights and be changed forever. The disciple “saw and believed” (eiden kai episteusen). Here is a third verb that again is translated to “see”; the Greek, in this case, is ειδεν (eiden which is the word horao) which, according to Strong’s Concordance means “to see with the mind” (i.e. spiritually see), to perceive with inward spiritual perception.”

Now the two men leave (my Interlinear says they “went away to themselves”) but Mary remains. She is crying at the tomb when she “stooped into the tomb” (‘into’ according to the Interlinerar) and now comes her spiritual awakening as she, like Peter, sees (θεωρει) at this etheric level. She beholds “two angels in white”.  One angel is where the feet of Jesus had been while the other was at the head. Jos Verhulst brilliantly compares this to the image on the Shroud of Turin! (I was so excited to read this.) Now Mary performs the third reversal! She reverses her gaze to behold (θεωρει) Jesus standing there. Keep in mind this beholding is within the etheric realm. At this point she cannot understand her perception until her hierophant calls to awaken her to a higher consciousness by using, as all hierophants did, her name. Mary’s initiation is complete. She too can now understand what it is she is experiencing.

This chapter closes with Thomas the Twin doubting the reports and claiming that “Unless I see (ϊδω – this is the same word as ειδεν) the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”  When Jesus later appears, he has Thomas touch his wounds and then says to Thomas “Because you have seen (εωρακας – heōrakas) me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen (ϊδωντες – idontes) and yet have believed.”

In this one chapter, we have three different verbs all translated in English to “see”. Impoverished is English in this case to reveal the progression of sight, of spiritual sight in this chapter.  John’s Gospel moved from the sight of sensory perception to sight of the etheric realm to sight in the soul realm.  Note in the mosaic how all the sheep save the one being touched are looking in reverse.

Mausoleum Galla Placidia Ravenna
Mausoleum Galla Placidia Ravenna

In the next chapter, John’s Epilogue, we again have differentiating Greek words translated to a singular English word. In this case “love” applies to “eros”, “philia”, and “agape” (only the later two appear in Chapter 21). Here Karmic redemption is instantly bestowed upon Peter for his three denials. Christ asks him “do you love me?” three times. The first two questions use the word “agape”. Peter responds with “yea Lord, you know that I love (philia) you.”  After each answer Christ makes a request. First Christ asks him to “feed my lambs”. Next Christ requests Peter “take care of my sheep.” Now a third time Christ questions Peter thereby offering redemption for his third denial. Peter bemoans being questioned like this.  In this third question, Christ no longer uses the word “agape” but now uses “philia”. Peter’s reply tells of the level of love Peter is capable of, namely Philia, when he says ” Lord, you know all things; you know that I love (philia) you.” Peter cannot stretch the truth and he knows Christ knows the truth even of the level of love in one’s soul. Peter, the rock on which Christ was to build his church, honestly knows, at this time, that Philia, love as in the lover of Sophia, the philosopher, is the heights of his love. The disciple whom the Lord loved, however, was capable of agape. But the world was not. So the church must begin with Peter who first entered the tomb and must wait for a future time for the Christianity of Agape. Has that time arrived?

[1] Jos Verhulst, https://www.academia.edu/11734939/The_esoteric_content_of_The_Descent_from_the_Cross_P.P.Rubens_1612_our_ladys_cathedral_Antwerp_._Part_II_relationships_with_Johns_gospel

Significance of 153 Fish in John 21

Why 153 Fish?

Let’s start with the scene in John 21:10-11 [King James Version], “Jesus said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.’ So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of fish, a hundred and fifty three of them; and although there were so many, the net was not torn.”

The catch of 153 fish in the Epilogue is a story about the resurrected Christ and the Fishers of Men. Throughout the early years of Christianity, Christ is depicted with two fish. The time of the coming of Christ was in the Age of Aries, hence he is called the Lamb of God. In 1413 we entered the Age of Pisces. Soon followed the Renaissance. Later the Reformation as materialism continued to sink deeper and deeper into science, cultural, and religion. By the year 1900, many Christians saw Jesus as just a remarkable man, or maybe even a myth. The nets of the Fishers of Men were empty.

But why 153? Many have attempted to solve this because the writer of John did not waste words. Such details indicate deeper mysteries to be sought.

Before we get into this, let me first describe a mathematical operative called the Power of. Its symbol is a triangle with a number written inside. So the Power of 10 is 1+2+3+…+9+10. There is a formula one can use to quickly calculate the result: n* (n+1)/2. For the Power of 10 = 10*11/2 = 55.

Many before me have found that 153 is the Power of 17. Early church father Augustine described the significance of 153 as the sum of 1+2+3+4+…..+16+17. That then leads to the question what is the significance of 17?

Augustine says 17 means 10 + 7 and represents the ten commandments plus the seven spirits of God, that is the solar system to Saturn. Gregory the Great agreed with Augustine’s 17 but he comes to 153 by multiplying 17 by the number of heavenly hierarchies, 9.

I see the significance of 17 as the combination of the number of heaven, 7, and the number of earth, 10. Now we can better understand Christ’s words in the Epilogue “unto me is given all authority in heaven and earth.”  [We’ll discuss this word “authority” in a later blog].

17 also equals 12 + 5. This would represent the zodiac, the fullness of the Cosmic Archetype of Man plus the fullness of the Earthly Man. In this formulation, the number 153 represents every possible people group in the world and each fish represents one power of the archetype-pairing to people the world.

This Wikipedia entry has several more mathematical attributes to 153.

Why does the author of John say “the net was not torn”? Earlier, when Peter and Andrew were called we read, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of me. Immediately they left their nets and followed him.” In Luke 5:2-6 we read, “And he saw two boats by the lake; but the fisherman had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had ceased speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.’ And Simon answered, ‘Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.’ And when they had down this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking, they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them.” At the calling, the nets of the Fishers of Men break. Here in the epilogue of John, these nets no longer break.

Where else in the gospels do we have something torn? In Mark 15:37-38 we read, “And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed his last. And the veil in the temple [to cover the Holy of the Holies] was torn in two, from top to bottom.”

In summary, the Epilogue to John’s gospel is a scene where the Resurrected Christ stands on the shore of a lake.  This scene recapitulates the scene in Luke where Jesus Christ calls the fishermen Andrew and Peter.  In Luke, they fish all night but catch nothing.  Christ advises them where to cast their nets and in so doing the catch is so great the nets break.  When he says “follow me” they immediately do so.  Here in John’s Epilogue, Christ again is on the shore of a lake and again they were fishing unsuccessfully in the night (dark).  When he advises where to cast their net, again the nets are full but this time they do not break.  It is said they contained 153 fish.  Only after this do they all recognize the Resurrected Christ and only through the elevated vision of John.

 

Ox and Ass = Mysteries of Mithras and Isis?

During the Age of Taurus (roughly from 3000 BCE to 800 BCE), the bull and the calf were venerated. As this Age transitioned to Aries, the Mithraic Mysteries arose where one was now to overcome the bull within:

 

Note the symbol of the snake. Mithraism apparently grew out of Persia and became popular throughout much of the Roman empire just before the spread of Christianity.

Many of the Old Testament books have the expression ox and ass. For example, in Job 1:14 it adelphia sarcophagussays “and there came a messenger unto Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the asses feeding beside them,”

Andrew Graham-Dixon of the Independent writes in his Arts column from December 1992, “The first reference to the ox and ass at the Nativity comes several centuries after the fact, in a book that is not much read these days: the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, written [down] some time in

Giottothe eighth century [most researchers date this to 600 AD]. The author of this apocryphal text is unlikely to have invented this detail on his own. It seems probable that the early church fathers had also placed the ox and the ass at the Nativity because of what seemed a suggestive reference to the two animals in the Book of Isaiah: ‘The ox knows its owner and the ass its master’s stall; but Israel, my own people, has no knowledge, no discernment.'” The Adelphia Sarcophagus relief (to the left) is from roughly 330 AD; note the ox and ass in its nativity scene.

Giotto also places the ox and ass in his nativity scene. In his Escape to Egypt and the triumphant entry of Christ Jesus to Jerusalem includes an ass for travel (frescoes by Giotto).

In Luke 13:15 we read “The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?”

A bit later in Luke, 14:5, it says “And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?”

OK, lots of other references are possible – you likely are aware there are many such references in the Bible and other related ancient texts. I have had a question about the symbolic or mystical purpose of these two beasts. In reading David Ovason’s book The Two Children, I found a treasure! “The ox was intended as a reference to the bull of Mithras, and perhaps even to the bull of the Egyptian god Apis – both important cults still offering initiation at the flight to egypttime of the birth of Jesus. … Just as the bull would have been familiar to the early Christians as being emblematic of the Mithraic cult, so the ass would have been familiar to them through the writing of the 2nd century AD African writer Lucius Apulcius.” Apulcius’ esoteric book The Golden Ass, is the story of a “human who had been metamorphosed into the body of an ass” but finds libEntry to Jerusalemeration through the “initiation rites of Isis”. David goes on to say that Gnostic deities were depicted with the head of a ass.

The gospel books are full of passages where the event could be happening in the physical or in the spiritual world or both (typically both).  I find it plausible that both the bull (ox) and the ass each represent a stream of the ancient mysteries. Linking the bull to Mithras and Egyptian Apis mysteries makes sense. And I can be persuaded that the ass represents the Osiris-Isis mysteries of Egypt but I’ll need more persuasion. Anyone want to persuade me?  Any other thoughts?

Was Leonardo a Christian Mystic?

This theme has been one that has caught my attention for the past 15 years or so. We all know that Leonardo da Vinci was an incredible genius and is known as The Renaissance Man. The inventions in his notebooks were way ahead of his time. Did young Leonardo receive special training in Florence from the likes of Ficino, Plethon, and Argyropoulos? Were the initiations of the Cathars still active in Florence despite their genocide via the Albigensian Crusade and the Dominican-led Inquisition? What was taught at the Plato Academy at Careggi that so inspired Florentine artists to depict scenes from Greek mythology?  My lecture on this subject can be found here.

I was given a book on this subject a couple years ago but it has waited until this month for me to begin reading it.  OMG – anyone interested in this subject should read it. While I don’t agree with all of the conclusions reached, the research, investigation, and academic thoroughness are top notch. The book is The Two Children by David Ovason, Century press in London, ISBN 0 7126 84921. Wow, I wish I had read this 15 years ago! Of course, it was only published in 2001.

How I Became So Interested in How Christianity Spread So Easily in the World

My ancestors were often Congregational ministers. I even have roots that go to the Mayflower. This background led me, in my early teens, to wonder how it was that Christianity spread so easily if what spread is the same as what one meets in churches today.

To get a handle on this question, I had to go way back to study the Early Christians. It is indeed difficult to do so because many of the early writings were destroyed or altered by the proto-orthodox zealots and heresy hunters.  Serious theological changes came already in the 3rd century and in the next century with Constantine’s effort for unity and the Ecumenical Councils that followed.The leading “mysteries” (clues) to find the true Christianity that I see include:
  • the whole point of Christianity is the three years from baptism to ascension with the event on Golgotha followed by the resurrection, “if He had not risen, then our faith is in vain.”
  • something magnificent happened at the baptism
  • something important also happened at 12 in the temple
  • the birth of Jesus in Luke and the birth of Jesus in Matthew are different stories – different families, different hometowns, etc.
  • the expectation of a Savior existed in many religions
  • the concept of reincarnation (and karma) was common but fading
These led me to conclude:
  • Jesus (in Matthew) at birth was a man – a very significant man who the Magi (Zoroastrian Initiates) could “see” was incarnating (they accepted reincarnation)
  • Jesus (in Luke) is deeply connected to Adam – perhaps a pre-Fall purity (no karma)
  • Matthew Jesus was born first, slaughter of the innocents happened, then Luke Jesus born
  • These two are “combined” at 12 (when Luke Jesus was 12) in the Temple (see the lecture on Leonardo da Vinci in the website here)
  • This perfect vehicle for the Logos is offered to Him at the Baptism
  • Now this being is Jesus-Christ
  • In this being the Logos FULLY becomes a human being on the cross, on Golgotha
  • Of the beings of the Heavenly Hierarchies, this is the first and only to experience Death
  • The Logos overcomes Death and resurrects with a body whose physical matter is fully spiritualized (called Atma in Vedic traditions) so that one incarnated in a physical body can sense it
  • Paul calls the resurrected Jesus-Christ, the new Adam for this event opened the future for Humanity; the descent was over; the ascent could begin – and this was possible because the Logos, a God, became a Son of Man
  • The Logos, whose blood flowed into the Earth, resides now and forever more with the Earth and is joined with its destiny; at first and till now in the periphery of the Earth working inwardly (one could claim that the Logos was the Sun God, Ahura Mazdao, that Zarathrustra and others including the Jewish Prophets foresaw as coming)
  • To Moses, as the burning bush, He says “I am The I-am” (it is a mistranslation that says “I am that I am”); one should contemplate this, what is an I-am?  What is THE I-am? In tribal times, did people realize their core being as people do today as something fully independent, as an I-am? Or was that just coming to one’s awake consciousness in the time of Moses?
  • The Three Years fulfilled the Ancient Mysteries and the Law – this enabled the spread of Christianity through the apostles who brought this realization to the initiates of the dying mystery centers (e.g. Delphi, Eleusia) who grasped this and joined with their pupils (Paul establishes the Christian Mysteries at the Aeropagite’s School of Athens)
  • The so-called Second Coming will happen “in the clouds” (I sense this is happening in our times) in a realm we, in our materialism, cannot normally perceive – a realm where Life’s formative forces exist – but a realm where one today can perceive if the organs of higher perception are developed
  • Christian initiation has occurred throughout the past 2 millennium – we find this in the Perfects of the Cathars’ Elect, the Knights Templar, and the Rosicrucians – even the Mass itself has vestiges of initiation ceremony

Cain and Abel: Male and Female Mystery Wisdom

Last post we looked at the creation of Adam and Eve and the story of Cain and Abel.  We saw that the Elohim (plural) were the creators of Adam and Eve: Adam was principally created by Jehovah and Eve by another unnamed Elohim.  All the Elohim were involved.  The Hebrew word ‘Elohim’ is typically translated into (singular) God.  The Elohim are known to be one level of the Heavenly Hierarchy which in the Christian Greek model (by Dionysius the Areopagite) are called the Exusiai.  Eve’s first child, Cain, is the result of her creating-Elohim causing her reproductive system to bring forth Cain.  Now her womb is opened.  She then unites with Adam and this results in Abel who carries the Jehovah stream.

Before Adam and Eve, according to the Mysteries, a different, less physical body existed for human incarnation – a single sex body rather than dual bodies divided into male and female.  The former body no longer suited human destiny with the changing conditions of earth.  The Elohim became involved to create a transformed body in their image. Adam and Eve were the first “to try them out”.

What applied to Adam and Eve applied to all of future humanity.  The same for the two streams of Cain and Abel (who was replaced by Seth).  These are able to find wives indicating more incarnating humans were able to find suitable, newly transformed bodies from the continued work of the Elohim.  Again, the story of Cain and Abel applies to all of humanity.

Cain’s stream becomes known as the Sons of Fire because they strive for fruits through inner fire: desire, enthusiasm, and moral motivation.  Cain’s stream is also know as the Sons of Man.  It is connected with the Sun’s mystical influence. Abel’s stream is known as the Sons of God.  Their wisdom remains calm, detached, even cool because they see that ‘it is all in God’s hands.” In that it is connected with Jehovah, it is considered connected with the Moon’s mystical influence.

To the keepers of the Mysteries, Cain’s stream represented Male wisdom while Abel’s stream represented feminine.  For fraternal orders such as the Freemasons who felt connected to Cain’s wisdom, the Abel stream had to be excluded, hence, women were not allowed to be members (until the dawn of the 20th century).

The Mysteries indicated that Jehovah instilled strife between Cain and Abel (Seth) and between their offspring.  While Abel represents the priestly linage, Cain represents the worker/warrior linage.  In ancient societies the priests ruled.  But, later, in most societies, the king arose from the worker/warrior line.  As time marched on, the priestly line remained connected to the Abel linage while the emerging kingly line was associated with the Cain linage.

The Essenes and other mystery streams expected two Messiahs: one priestly and one kingly.  These would somehow be united into one Messiah.  During the heights of the Florentine schools where Leonardo da Vinci studied, this mystery was known and Leonardo had fun depicting this in his painting Madonna of the Rocks while he had his pupils depict the scene where the two Messiahs were united into one (click here for more).  In the teenaged Jesus at the Temple in Jerusalem, the two streams, kingly and priestly, Cain and Abel, are united.

Before these streams are united, there is a remarkable mystery story of the building of Solomon’s Temple (1 Kings).  Revealing this mystery will be the topic of my next blog.

Andrew

 

The Mystery of Cain and Abel

It is time for some mysteries to be made known.  Let’s start with an ancient mystery whose story applies today, namely that of Cain and Abel.  This quote of Genesis 4 (King James Version) from http://www.biblegateway.com will help us put the common story in our minds.

“4.  And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.  And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.  And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.  And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.  And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?  If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.  And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?  And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.  And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.  And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear.  Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.  And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.

And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.  And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.  And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.  And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.  And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle.  And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.  And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-Cain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah.  And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.  If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.

And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.  And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.”

Of these two, Cain and Abel, which is more like you and me?  Cain labors on the earth for his keep while Abel merely watches over what is given to him by Jehovah.   While we likely would not kill our own brother in a crime of passion, we can say that we are more like Cain but that we aspire to be more like Abel.

While Cain and Abel were separate blood lines, today we can say that all humans appear to be a mixture of both.  I shall leave for later the question of when did these blood lines become united?  Why was Cain’s sacrifice rejected?  It reads “to his offering He had not respect.”  Why was there no respect for the hard-won fruits of Cain’s efforts?

This story has been an important one for many Western mystery streams in answering this question.  The Sons of Cain become the builder of cities, agriculture, music and the arts, sciences and metallurgy.  The Sons of Cain work with the Lifeless world.  Out of the Lifeless they bring the Living.

With Abel gone without any offspring, Adam and Eve conceive another, Seth, to be the progenitor of the Abel line.  The Sons of Abel take what the Divine has offered; they take it as it is without altering it.  They see the perfection of God’s work in all of Nature.  They enjoy a gift of wisdom about life and their relationship to God.  They revere and keep this relationship seeking to sacrifice to God the best of what God has given to them.  In this way, God knows His creation is well.

But Cain engineers what was given.  Cain seeks to know and to change the world.  Cain expresses egoism – but not in a way that allows him to not only engineer the world but also himself.  He is capable not only of evil but also of supreme goodness through transformation of his soul.

Let’s look a bit deeper into the roots of this.  When Eve says, after giving birth to Cain, ” I have gotten a man from the Lord” she is indicating that Cain is not from Adam but from another Elohim.  Earlier in Genesis it read “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”.  The word “God” here actually is the plural of the word “Elohim.” In the mysteries, the Elohim together make Man.  One, unnamed, creates Eve and then she conceives because of this unnamed Elohim.  Another Elohim, Jehovah, creates Adam.  Adam then unites with Eve to bring forth Abel.  So Cain carries an inner initiative from one Elohim while Abel carries that from another, Jehovah.  When Cain and Abel make their sacrifices, they both sacrifice to Jehovah but Jehovah cannot appreciate or respect the sacrifice of Cain.  This in itself is fertile ground for meditation.  Contemplate the effect on one’s countenance when your best fruits of your honest labor is rejected by your God.  Contemplate the soul mood of Abel and of Cain – and of Jehovah.

Confusion easily enters here because of the translation of the Hebrew word Elohim into God.  Here Elohim is plural.  The translation uses the plural terms “us” and “our”. Many early Christians believed that the God,  Jehovah, of the Old Testament, was not the same God that Christ refers to as The Father.  They found proof of this in the different levels of love expressed by Jehovah and by Christ’s Father.  For these early Christians, Jehovah was one of the Elohim while God the Father is at the height of the Heavenly Hierarchies, one of the Holy Trinity. More on this theme later.

So, according the ancient mysteries, one Elohim creates Adam while another creates Eve who is impregnated by this unnamed Elohim.  After giving birth to Cain, Eve later becomes impregnated by Adam resulting in Abel – and later still, after Abel’s death, resulting in Seth.  These form two streams of humanity – one a priestly lineage from Abel/Seth and the other a builder/warrior lineage from Cain.

I have hinted that these two streams later will unite in the mystery of Jesus-Christ.  Another important story of these streams comes in the building of Solomon’s Temple.  We’ll take up that mystery in my next blog.

Andrew

 

 

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