Gnosticism in Christinity

“The entire history of Christian and pagan Gnosticism is shrouded in the deepest mystery and obscurity; for, while the Gnostics were undoubtedly prolific writers, little of their literature has survived. They brought down upon themselves the animosity of the early Christian Church, and when this institution reached its position of world power it destroyed all available records of the Gnostic cultus. The name Gnostic means wisdom, or knowledge, and is derived from the Greek Gnosis. The members of the order claimed to be familiar with the secret doctrines of early Christianity. They interpreted the Christian Mysteries according to pagan symbolism. Their secret information and philosophic tenets they concealed from the profane and taught to a small group of especially initiated persons.” ~Manly P. Hall

While I have found much useful information in the writings of Mr. Hall, I have problems with a lot of what he wrote in this particular section.

He tells us that the Gnostics were an offshoot of the early Christian church. Actually, the original Christian church run by St. Peter and St. James, the brother of Jesus, was very much a Gnostic church. But the ideas of Gnosticism come from earlier groups, particularly the Essenes. Some people argue against the idea that Jesus and his family were members of the Essene sect, but cannot say what sect they did belong to. Surely Mary and Joseph belonged to one of the Jewish sects. If it wasn’t the Essenes, which one was it. Continue reading “Gnosticism in Christinity”

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The Real Druids

“The Druids were priests and physicians, curing by magnetism and charging amulets with their fluidic influence. Their universal remedies were mistletoe and serpents’ eggs, because these substances attracted the astral light in a special manner. …

“The Druids were initiates of a secret school that existed in their midst. This school, which closely resembled the Bacchic and Eleusinian Mysteries of Greece or the Egyptian rites of Isis and Osiris, is justly designated the Druidic Mysteries. There has been much speculation concerning the secret wisdom that the Druids claimed to possess. Their secret teaching were never written, but were communicated orally to specific prepared candidates. … The school of the Druids were divided into three distinct parts, and the secret teachings embodied therein are practically the same as the mysteries concealed under the allegories of Blue Lodge Masonry.” ~Manly P. Hall

Druids1JThe ancient Druids of the British Isles are among the most misunderstood of ancient wisdom schools. Since they left no written history or written teachings, this largely left their enemies free to describe them as they wished. This resulted in false tales of human sacrifice, satanism, sexual orgies, etc. none of which is backed up by facts. Continue reading “The Real Druids”

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Our Debt to Ancient Mystery Schools

“Every pagan nation had (and has) not only its state religion, but another into which the philosophical elect alone have gained entrance. Many of these ancient cults vanished from the earth without revealing their secrets, but a few have survived the test of ages and their mysterious symbols symbols are still preserved. Much of the ritualism of Freemasonry is based on the trials to which candidates were subjected by the ancient heirophants before the keys of wisdom were entrusted to them.

“Few realize the extent to which the ancient secret schools influenced contemporary intellects and, through those minds, posterity.” ~Manly P. Hall

MysterySchoolsEgyptMost people today do not realize how much of a debt we owe to the ancient mystery schools. Even if you consider their religious teachings pagan, and therefore worthless, they contributed far more than just religious and spiritual philosophies. Many sciences and arts owe much to these schools. It was through members of these schools that many things including farming techniques, food preparation, carpentry, architecture, mathematics, etc. It was most likely communities of such people as the Essenes who first domesticated animals and taught how to shear sheep, llama, alpacas, etc. for making clothing rather than killing the animals and using the hides. It was such groups as the Pythagorians and the Academy of Plato that developed the skill of debate as a tool of learning (although in modern politics it seems to be used more as a tool for concealing). In short, much of what changed us from primitive hunter-gatherers into reasonably civilized communities happened as a result of these schools and communities. Continue reading “Our Debt to Ancient Mystery Schools”

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