The Essenes and the Dead Sea Scrolls
The Essenes and the Dead
What does the
discovery of these scrolls reveal about first century Judaism and the roots of Christianity?
L. Michael White:
of Classics and Director of the Religious Studies Program University of Texas at Austin
IN THE ANCIENT WORLD
As you leave Jerusalem and go to the south and to the east, toward the Dead Sea, the terrain changes rapidly and starkly.
You move off gradually from [the] ... rolling hillside, through the ravines, and it becomes stark and desolate. It's dry.
It's arid. It's rocky, and it's rough. And all of a sudden, within a span of only about thirteen miles, the entire terrain
drops out in front of you as you go from roughly 3400 feet above sea level at Jerusalem, to nearly 1400 feet below sea level
at the surface of the Dead Sea. It is in that rugged cliff face, on the banks of the Dead Sea, in this arid, desolate climate,
that the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered at the site known as Khirbet Qumran. The Scrolls were discovered, according to the
story that, now, many people know, of a shepherd boy wandering along with his flocks and, as boys tend to do, throwing rocks
in a cave. So the story goes that he heard a crack in one, went in to investigate and found a ceramic pot with what appeared
to be pages inside. Those were then taken out and eventually found their way onto the market, and were only later rediscovered
and deciphered as the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Subsequent to that first discovery, eleven different caves have been found at Qumran. And new discoveries are expected even
now. Among the caves were found, then, thousand of fragments of manuscripts and quite a number of whole, or mostly complete,
manuscripts in scrolls stored in these jars. Among the cache of scrolls that we now call the Dead Sea Scrolls, are three distinct
types of material. First, we have a collection of copies of the actual books of the Hebrew Scriptures. These people were copyists. They were preserving the texts of the Bible itself. Secondly, there were commentaries on these
biblical texts. But these commentaries also show their own interpretation of what would happen. This is where we begin to
get some of the insights into the way the Essenes at Qumran believed, because of the way they interpret the prophecies of
Isaiah, or the prophesies of Habakkuk as well as the way they read the Torah, itself. So among the scrolls, then, we have
a complete set of almost all the biblical books, and commentaries on many of them. "The Isaiah Scroll" is one of the most
famous of the biblical manuscripts. And the commentaries on Isaiah is also very important for our understanding of Jewish
interpretation of Scripture in this period.
The third major type of material found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, though, in some ways is the most interesting insight into
the life of the community that lived there, because this material includes their own sectarian writings, that is, their rules
of life ... their prayer book. Included then, is the book of the rule of the community or sometimes called "The Manual of Discipline", which talks about how one goes about getting into the community. The rules for someone who wants to be pure and a part
of the elect community. We also have something called "The War Scroll" and the War Scroll seems to be their own battle plan for the war that will occur at the end of the present evil age.
And so this is something that really is real in their mind ... that this coming end of the age will be a cataclysmic event
in their view. Also was found something called "The Copper Scroll". Quite literally, with the letters incised, in Hebrew,
into soft, burnished copper. And the contents of the Copper Scroll are still a source of great interest among many people,
because people think it may be a treasure map of their own holdings.
were the Essenes?
The Dead Sea Scrolls are usually thought to have been produced by a group known as the Essenes.
And the Essenes are a group that literally abandoned Jerusalem, it seems, in protest... against the way the Temple was being
run. So here's a group that went out in the desert to prepare the way of the Lord, following the commands, as they saw it,
of the prophet Isaiah. And they go to the desert to get away from what they see to be the worldliness of Jerusalem and the
worldliness of the Temple. Now the Essenes aren't a new group in Jesus' day. They too, had been around for a hundred years
at that point in time. But it would appear that the reign of Herod, and probably even more so, the reign of his sons and the
Roman Procurators, probably stimulated a new phase of life of the Essene community, rising as a growing protest against Roman
rule and worldliness.
You said they were preparing the way
for the Lord. What exactly were the Essenes preparing for in their mind?
The Essenes are what we might
best call an apocalyptic sect of Judaism. An apocalyptic sect is one that thinks of itself as, first of all, the true form
of their religion. In fact, that's part of their terminology. Again, using the prophet Isaiah, they think of themselves as
the righteous remnant ... the chosen ones ... the elect. But they're also standing over against the mainstream ... most of
Jewish life, and especially everything going on at Jerusalem. So they're sectarian. They're separatists. They're people who
The basis for that understanding is their reading of Scripture. They interpret Scripture, especially
the prophets, Isaiah, the Torah itself, to suggest that the course of Judaism is going through a profound change. "Far too
many people are becoming worldly," they would have said. The end, as they understood it, of the present evil age is moving
upon them inexorably. And they want to be on the right side when it comes. In their understanding, there will come a day when
the Lord revisits the Earth with power. And in the process establishes a new kingdom for Judaism. It will be like the kingdom
of David and Solomon. A return to the golden age mentality. And this is part of that apocalyptic mind set.
Dead Sea Scrolls show us a lot about the beliefs of the Essenes. Now, we typically think of this language of the coming kingdom
as reflecting a belief in the end of the world ... as somehow coming upon them or us soon. But in fact, that's not exactly
what they thought. They use language like "the end" or "the last things" or "the last days", but what they mean is the present
evil age is coming to an end. Now this "end time" language is what we typically call "the eschaton" or "eschatology" ... thinking
about the end. But in Jewish eschatology of this period, what they usually seem to be talking about is an end of a present
evil age and a coming new glorious age ... a new kingdom.
Essenes had an apocalyptic point of view, and they believed in a new kingdom of some kind coming; would this necessarily bring
a new Messiah with it?
The idea that the coming kingdom is always to be accompanied by a Messianic figure is
not entirely accurate for Judaism in this period. We hear of some groups, for example, who expect the coming change, but never
mention a Messiah, or a Messianic figure at all, either as a deliverer figure, or as some sort of heavenly agent. So some
forms of Judaism in this period don't ever talk about a Messiah. At Qumran, on the other hand, among the Dead Sea Scrolls,
we hear not of just one Messiah, but at least two Messiahs. Some of their writings talk about a Messiah of David that is a
kind of kingly figure who will come to lead the war. But there's also a Messiah of Aaron, a priestly figure, who will come
to restore the Temple at Jerusalem to its proper purity and worship of God. In addition to these two major Messianic figures,
we also hear of a prophet figure.
And in terms of the quest for
the historical Jesus, what does the story of the Essenes tell us? What light does it cast on his life and times?
discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and our growing knowledge of the Essene community that produced them, gives us one of the
most important pieces of evidence for the diversity of Jewish life and thought in the time of Jesus. Now, it has sometimes
been suggested that Jesus, himself, or maybe even John the Baptist, were members of this group. And that can't be proven at all. But what the Essenes and the Qumran scrolls do show us is the
kind of challenges that could be brought against some of the traditional lines of Jewish thought, and even the operation of
the Temple itself. So if one of our perspectives is that there is this growing tension in Jerusalem, the Essenes are probably
the best example of how radical that questioning of Temple life might become.
Shaye I.D. Cohen:
Ungerleider Professor of Judaic Studies and Professor of Religious Studies Brown University
Who were the Essenes?
A good example of a group which separated itself from
society at large and defined itself against the Temple in Jerusalem are the Essenes, or perhaps you might say, the people
of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Dead Sea community, whom most scholars regard as Essenes. Here is a group of people who left
Jerusalem, went to live in the wilderness, to live by themselves, totally isolated from other Jews, from the rest of the community,
and as their Scrolls reveal, saw themselves as the new sacred community, waiting for the time, when ... they imagine that
the Temple would be reconstituted and reconstructed and rebuilt.... and a new and better priestly group would take over the
Temple in Jerusalem. And, in the meantime, while the wicked priests are still off in Jerusalem, following the wrong calendar,
following the wrong purity rules and officiating improperly before the Lord, in the meantime, pure purity and true holiness
resided only among themselves, in their own community, off near the Dead Sea.... The community itself was a surrogate temple....
manuscripts that we call the Dead Sea Scrolls are a wide variety of texts. Some of these texts are hardly sectarian texts.
These are texts that all Jews would have had, all Jews would have read. For example, the largest single category of Dead Sea
text or Qumran Scrolls are text you and I call Biblical. No one is going to say the Book of Genesis was a Qumran document
because fragments of the Book of Genesis were found in the Qumran scrolls.... We have to realize then that the Qumran scrolls
contain a wide variety of text and we are not always able to distinguish clearly those texts which they simply read from those
texts, which they actually wrote.
was their expectation of what would happen?
The Qumran Scrolls reveal a variety of scenarios for the end of
days. The most conspicuous one or the best known one perhaps, is the scroll called the War of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness. Where the Sons of Light, of course, is short-[hand]... for themselves. The group itself clearly consists of the Sons
of Light... the Sons of Darkness are everybody else, apparently - Jews, gentiles, priests, plain people, all alike, lumped
together, under the category of the Sons of Darkness, and at some point there will be a major battle, a cataclysmic struggle,
not just between people, not just between the bad guys and the good guys, as we would say in America, but also between cosmic
forces, the cosmic forces of evil and the cosmic forces of good. And, in this gigantic struggle, the angels will fight along
side the Sons of Light, against the Sons of Darkness and the forces of evil. And, needless to say, this will end with a victory
for the Sons of Light.... What will happen after the victory, the Scroll does not clearly spell out as carefully as or clearly
as we might have liked. Other scrolls have different scenarios or different pictures, which downplay or minimize this battle
aspect and play up instead other aspects.
What does the book or scroll of Community Rules tell us about the way that people of this
community actually lived their lives?
The Manual of Disciplineis a text that envisions a community living in almost total isolation, a community that is self-contained, that is governed
very strictly by a Board of Governors, or a series of overlapping authorities, governing community in which everybody owes
obedience to their superiors. There's an oath of entry; it is a very much monastic community, for want of the better word,
a community with little or no private property. That point is debated in the text but it seems at least that you surrendered
if not all, then at least some of your property to the kind of community pot; in turn, then, the community would look out
for you and look after you. So, it is very much a community where the individual has somehow been merged into a communal group....
Like a monastic community, there is no private property and, most striking of all, there are no women, and as a result, there
are few children. It is a group almost exclusively consisting of adult males, who are to spend their life following the rules
of the group and acting out the theological principles and beliefs of the group....
[What is the significance of the Qumran
Even before the Qumran Scrolls were discovered, we knew that Judaism in the time of Jesus was
a very diverse phenomena. After all, the Jewish historian Josephus gives us the names of Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes. We know from the New Testament
of a group called Herodians - what they are exactly, we don't know, but there they are. Rabbinic texts add the names of yet
other groups and then once the war comes around, in the year 66, we have the names of a whole slew of other groups.... Plus,
we have a very wide ranging rich literature from this period which is impossible to imagine all coming from a single source,
or all coming from a single school or a single class. The result was, even before the Qumran Scrolls were discovered, we knew
or sensed that Judaism in the 1st century of our era was a very rich and varied phenomena. What the Qumran Scrolls do is to
demonstrate clearly and unambiguously the truth of that which we always somehow felt or intuited....
Qumran Scrolls show us the existence of a sect, a group that has separated itself from society at large, a group that defines
itself against the Temple, the single central institution of Judaism..., and sees itself as the repository of everything that
is sacred and true and sees all other Jews out there, including the priests, as wrong at best and at worst, irredeemably wicked.
That is something which we had never previously seen....
The Qumran Scrolls also reveal a whole range of new
books which we previously had not known, or had known about only in fragments or only in quotations, or perhaps in corrupted
versions. We now have the original text. We have now a rich library of text showing that diversity was even greater than we
had ever imagined and the range of possibilities for 1st century Judaism was far bigger than any of us had ever suspected.
about the Dead Sea Scrolls: an excerpt from Hershel Shanks' forthcoming book The Mystery and Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls; translations of the Community Rule and the War Scroll, with commentary by Michael Wise; and Scrolls from the Dead Sea, an on-line exibit of the scrolls from the Library of Congress.
Introduction to the Ancient Essenes
Introduction to the Ancient Essenes
Origin and History of the Ancient Essenes
will consider the opinions of various scholars -- both ancient and modern -- on Essene origins. Most important, we will consider
the opinion of the Essenes themselves in regard to their origin. We will begin with two ancient scholars, both of whom were
contemporaries of the first century Essenes: Josephus Flavius and Philo of Alexandria. Josephus, born at Jerusalem in 37 A.D.,
was the greatest historian of the Jews in that period. Philo was the greatest Jewish philosopher of that period. Both men
had personal knowledge of the ancient Essenes; thus, what they tell us has a high degree of credibility. In regard to the
origin of the Essenes, neither Josephus nor Philo can give a specific date, but both make clear that the Essenian roots are
incredibly ancient. Josephus declares that the Essenes have existed "from
time immemorial" and "countless generations". Philo
agrees, calling the Essenes "the most ancient of all the initiates" with
a "teaching perpetuated through an immense space of ages".
Josephus and Philo -- as well as several other ancient writers including Pliny the Elder -- are in consensus on two points
in regard to the origin of the Essenes:
- Their origin is lost in pre-history with certain ancient legends linking them with Enoch;
- There was a major remanifestation
of the Essenes by Moses at Mount Sinai.
Let us first consider the original founding of the Essenes by Enoch,
then the later remanifestation by Moses. Enoch lived many centuries before Moses. In the fifth chapter of the Book of Genesis
(the first book of the bible), Enoch is described as "the seventh from Adam" -- which means he was born seven generations
after Adam. Since seven, in Essene numerology, is the number of perfection, it is no mere coincidence that Enoch represents
the seventh generation of humanity: he represents perfected humanity. He lived on earth 365 years (the number of days in the
solar year) and was so in harmony with the laws of God that he was taken from Earth to an Angelic realm without having to die first! There,
Enoch was given the angelic name "Metatron", and given the duty of guiding other human beings into their angelic destiny.
His main work on Earth was the founding of the Essene Church. The Essene Church is considered (by the Essenes) to be a doorway
into the angelic realm, as many of the Dead Sea Scrolls make abundantly clear (see The Dead Sea Scriptures, translated by
Theodore Gaster, for numerous references to the Essene belief that their order served as a doorway into the angelic realm).
While much of the Enochian legend cited above is found only in Essene Kaballah texts, it stems directly from the Bible: Genesis
chapter five verse twenty-four: "Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him."
The fact that Enoch was
considered the "founder" or "initiator" of the Essenes can even be seen in his name; the word "Enoch" means in Hebrew: "founder",
"initiator", "centralizer". A modern scholar, Edmond Bordeaux Szekely, in his excellent book From Enoch to the Dead Sea Scrolls,
|"The origin of the [Essene]
brotherhood is said to be unknown.... Some believe it comes from Enoch, and claim him to be their founder."|
After the original founding of the Essenes
by Enoch, many centuries passed in which the Essenes existed as a Mystery School, out of the eyes of the public. Finally,
it was time for a major remanifestation of the Essenes, for their numbers had dwindled to the point of near extinction. Moses
was the man chosen by God to guide the remanifestation of the Essenes. Both the ancient scholar Philo, and a modern scholar,
Rabbi Harvey Falk (in hisAnother Look at the Jewishness of Jesus), informs us that Moses trained thousands of disciples as Essenes.
The Essenes themselves describe that event in one of their most important texts: The Essene Book of Moses. In that text,
God, at Mount Sinai, gave Moses the Essene Communions on a stone tablet. It was hoped that all the Jewish people would follow
the way of life described on that tablet. But when Moses descended Mount Sinai and met with the people, it was clear that
the majority were not ready to follow the esoteric Essene teachings engraved on that tablet. Heavy of heart, Moses again climbed
Mount Sinai and asked God for an exoteric, easier set of teachings for the masses who were not ready to receive the esoteric
Essene teachings. ("esoteric" means "inner circle"; "exoteric" means "outer circle".) God responded by giving the famous Ten
Commandments on a second stone tablet; those commandments would be for the masses. Moses was to keep the esoteric Essene Communions
for "the Children of Light," for only they could understand them. We read:
|"And the Lord called unto Moses out of the mountain, saying, 'Come unto me, for I would
give thee the Law for thy people, which shall be a covenant for the Children of Light'.... And God spake all these words,
saying, 'I am the Law, thy God, which hath brought thee out from the depths of the bondage of darkness.... I am the invisible
law, without beginning and without end.... If thou forsake me, thou shalt be visited by disasters for generation upon generation.
If thou keepest my commandments, thou shalt enter the Infinite Garden where stands the Tree of Life in the midst of the Eternal
At that point,
God then gave Moses the Essene Communions on the first tablet. Besides the Communions, that tablet included a synopsis of
the main Essene teachings, including vegetarianism: "Thou shalt not take the life of any living thing." Our text then continues:
|"And the people knew not what became
of Moses, and they gathered themselves... and made a molten calf. And they worshipped unto the idol, and offered to it burnt
offerings. And they ate and drank and danced before the golden calf... and they abandoned themselves to corruption and evil
before the Lord."|
reference above to "burnt offerings" is a reference to "animal sacrifice". When Moses returned he found the people offering
bloody animal sacrifices to their golden idol. Although he knew that these people had not "the ears to hear" the esoteric
Essene tablet, -- they were given the exoteric Ten Commandments instead -- Moses preserved the Essene teachings for the Children
of Light (the Essenes became known as the "Children of Light"); we read:
|"And Moses hid the invisible Law within his breast, and kept it for a sign for the Children
was at this time, according to both the ancient scholar Philo and the modern scholar Falk, that Moses trained 2,000 of the
spiritual "elect" -- those Jews who had remained vegetarian and refused to participate in animal sacrifice and idol worship
-- to be Essenes. AND FROM THIS TIME ON THE ESSENES EXISTED AS
AN ESOTERIC MINORITY SECT. (Note: When modern scholars assert that the Essenes of Qumran were founded about 200 years
before the time of Jesus, they are correct in regard to that one Essene group at Qumran; but the overall Essene movement is
far more ancient.)
Although the Essenes began as an esoteric minority sect within Judaism, they went on to become
the very first "Christians," called "Essene-Nazarenes" or "Ebionites". That happened as follows. Several hundred years before
the birth of Jesus, the head priest of the Essenes, known as the "Teacher of Righteousness", had a vision: An Angel told him
that a great Avatar, the Mashiakh (Christ Messiah), would come to Earth through the Essenes. But for this to occur, according
to the Angel, the Essenes must follow certain disciplines in order to create a physical body capable of withstanding the powerful
vibrations of the Christ Spirit, as well as a group energy powerful enough to open an "energy vortex" or "doorway" into this
space-time dimension through which the Christ would enter. The prescribed disciplines were called the "Essene Halakoth". The
group energy for the creation of an "energy vortex" was generated by forming Essene communal villages dedicated to practicing
the "Halakoth" in a group context. In the Winter issue of "The Essene Path", Rev. Michael Robinson provided related information:
|"Essene prophets who were attuned to
the will of the Almighty, by virtue of their Holy meditations and their lifestyle of Righteousness, prepared for generations
for the arrival of the Messiah of Peace. Genealogies were consulted and candidates were chosen and raised to a holy life.
Pure diet, free of the taint of death and blood, as well as training in the Essene mysteries, brought forth children of a
Holy nature, from which new candidates were chosen."|
the book, Edgar
Cayce's Story of Jesus, edited by Jeffrey Furst, we read:
|"... the Essenes... dedicated their lives, their minds, their bodies to a purpose, to a
seeking for that which had been to them a promise of old.... Hence, there was the continued preparation and dedication of
those who might be the channels through which this chosen vessel might enter -- through choice -- into this material realm.
Thus in Carmel -- where there were the chief priests and leaders of this faith -- there were the maidens chosen who were dedicated
to this purpose.... Among them was Mary, the beloved, the chosen one."|
|"The Essenes were dedicated
to their purpose and made holy Mount Carmel their headquarters. This was the original place where the school of prophets was
established during Elijah's time....|
"Here, the Essenes prepared themselves
for several generations to open as it were a door into this realm for the Messiah.... And he became known as Jesus the Nazarene,
for he was of the Essenian sect of Nazarenes in the region of Carmel."
regard to the above references to the Essene headquarters at Mount Carmel and Jesus being affiliated with the Essenian sect
of Nazarenes in the region of Carmel, there is much supporting evidence. Indeed, it is quite clear that the headquarters of
the entire Essene movement was Mount Carmel in Northern Israel, not Qumran in Southern Israel, and that Jesus was primarily
associated with Carmel. Equally clear is the fact that the Northern Essenes in the region of Mount Carmel were called "Nazarenes".
The fact that nearly every major event associated with the life of Jesus occurred in Northern Israel, is strong evidence that
Jesus lived most of his life in Northern Israel. Only four events of Jesus' life occurred in Southern Israel (his birth in
Bethlehem; his visit to the temple when he was 12; his baptism by John; and his final journey to Jerusalem) and each of those
events is clearly described as occurring after making a long journey from his home in Northern Israel. Mount Carmel, the Essene-Nazarene
headquarters, was in Northern Israel; Qumran, the Essene Monastery where John the Baptist lived (and where the Dead Sea Scrolls
were discovered), was in Southern Israel. THERE IS SOLID CONSENSUS
AMONGST SCHOLARS THAT JOHN THE BAPTIST WAS FROM QUMRAN: the location on the Jordan river where tradition tells us
John performed his baptisms is exactly where the Jordan river connects with the Dead Sea near Qumran, and everything we know
about John matches up perfectly with what is known about the Qumran Essenes. When Jesus came to be baptized by his cousin
John, The New Testament and other manuscripts tell us that John did not recognize Jesus; obviously, if Jesus and John lived
together at Qumran, they would have recognized each other. This is strong evidence that Jesus was a Northern Essene associated
with Mount Carmel, not a Southern Essene from Qumran. In Mystic Christianity, by Yogi Ramacharaka, we read:
|"Jesus came unannounced to, and unrecognized by John....
Although the two were cousins, they had not met since childhood, and John did not at first recognize Jesus. The traditions
of the Mystic Orders further state that Jesus then gave to John the various signs of the Mystery Schools to which they both
belonged, working from the common signs up until Jesus passed on to degrees to which John had not attained, although he was
an eminent high-degree Essene. Whereupon John saw that the man before him was no common applicant for Baptism, but was, instead,
a highest-degree Mystic Adept, his superior in rank and unfoldment." |
the New Testament does not include all of the esoteric information above, it does declare that John -- the Qumran Baptist
-- DID NOT RECOGNIZE HIS COUSIN JESUS.
fact that Jesus was not from Qumran DOES NOT MEAN HE WAS NOT
AN ESSENE. Often, when orthodox Christian scholars are attempting to prove that Jesus was not an Essene, they point out
certain differences between the teachings of Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls. (They often point out that Jesus' doctrine is
less strict in some matters than the 'Community Rule' of the Qumran Dead Sea Scrolls; by doing so, they think they are proving
that Jesus was not an Essene.) But they are missing the point: QUMRAN
WAS ONLY ONE OF MANY DIVERSE ESSENE COMMUNITIES. Whereas Qumran was a strict monastic commune for celibate men, some
other Essene communities -- such as Mount Carmel and the related Nazarene stronghold of Nazareth -- were for entire families
and naturally had more relaxed rules. The teachings of Jesus were more a product of the Northern Essene environment of Mount
Carmel than Qumran. I quote from Peter Lemesurier's The Armageddon Script:
|"Admittedly, Jesus was often considerably more forthcoming (less secretive) than the typical
Qumran Essene, but then it should be remembered that he was not a Qumran Essene. Not only was he a 'Carmelite' or 'Nazarene',
a product of the Essene movement's necessarily 'ecumenical' headquarters-group, but he was the intended messianic Priest-King,
the ultimate 'Interpreter of the Law'.... As such, his rank was superior by far to the rest of the Essene leadership, even
to the original Teacher of Righteousness. Consequently, he was free to interpret the Law and the Prophets in his own way and
to whom he pleased, as the spirit guided him."|
Thus, the differences between
the teachings of Jesus and the Qumran Essenes are due to:
- Jesus was raised at the more ecumenical, family-oriented Essene community
at Mount Carmel; and,
- The Dead Sea Scrolls, wonderful as they are, were written by Essenes who were prayerfully preparing for the coming
of the Universal Messiah, the Prince of Peace. Obviously, once the Messiah of the Universe came to earth, the words that came
out of his mouth were far transcendant of even the best of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
When the holy family
returned from Egypt after Herod's death, we are told they settled in Nazareth. Nazareth is very near Mount Carmel, the headquarters
of the entire Essene movement. However, in those days, there was no town called "Nazareth"; rather, it was simply a cooperative
village of Essene "Nazarenes". We read in The Armageddon Script:
|"... historical evidence that it (Nazareth) existed at the time is entirely lacking. The
tradition almost certainly goes back to the fact that the family were members of the Nazarene sect of the Essenes. This group
seems to have become the dominant one on Carmel, to the point where the word 'Nazarene' came to be applied to the Northern
Essenes in general. It is possible, of course, that the Essenes had a camp in the vicinity of the modern Nazareth."|
the term "Jesus of Nazareth" was originally "Jesus the Nazarene", and a "Nazarene" is a "Northern Essene" associated with
Mount Carmel. Which is why in the New Testament Book of Acts, the early Christians' are referred to as "the sect of the Nazarenes."
accepted Jesus as the Messiah they had been waiting for, the Essene-Nazarenes became the first Christians. These first followers
of Jesus were still called "Essene Nazarenes" or simply "Nazarenes". They were not called "Christians" (which means "Messianists"
or "followers of the Messiah") until many years later.
We have now concluded our overview of ancient Essene
origins and history. As promised in the introductory paragraph, we will next consider Essene cosmology and theology. Since
the Essene cosmology and theology reached its pinnacle in the teachings of Jesus -- he being the Messiah they had prepared
for -- our focus will be the Essene cosmology and theology articulated by Jesus.Essene Cosmology and Theology
Does the reader -- YOU -- understand the meaning of the terms "cosmology" and
"theology"? The terms are interrelated but have different meanings. COSMOLOGY is
the study dealing with the origin and structure of the universe. THEOLOGY is
the study of religious beliefs. Thus we will first consider Essene cosmology; for, the theology of any religious group is
an outgrowth of their cosmology.
In a future issue of "Essene Path", an entire article will be devoted to the topic of
Essene cosmology. But in the article at hand -- a general overview of many topics -- we can only touch on several main aspects
of Essene cosmology. We have defined cosmology as "the study of the origin and structure of the universe." According to Essene
Kaballah mysticism, the universe originates with God. God creates the universe in a series of four emanations, each of which
becomes a particular realm:
- `ATSILUTH: The first emanation from God creates a realm called "`Atsiluth". This is the realm
of the Divine Archetypes. It is a spiritual realm, not a physical realm. These archetypal representations are the perfect
ideals or models for all things created in the physical world. The Divine Archetypes for humankind are the masculine ADAM KADMON with his feminine counterpart SHEKHINAH. (Jesus is considered to be a messianic incarnation of Adam Kadmon; thus
he is called "the first child of God". And since only the realm of Divine Archetypes was created directly by God -- all further
steps of creation being accomplished by Adam Kadmon and Shekinah united as "THE WORD" -- Jesus, as Adam Kadmon, is also called "the ONLY BEGOTTEN son of God". Jesus himself
stressed that we are all children of God, but only Adam Kadmon and Shekhinah -- by virtue of being Divine Archetypes -- were DIRECTLY BEGOTTEN by God.)
- BERI'AH. Whereas `Atsiluth, the first realm,
(described above) is a direct emanation from EN SOPH (the
unmanifest God), the second realm, BERI'AH, is a direct emanation
from `Atsiluth. Beri'ah is the realm of the HIGHEST RANKING ANGELS
OF THE UNIVERSE. This realm contains no ordinary physical matter, only PURE SPIRITUAL ENERGY. Another term for this realm is "THE
The third realm, Yetsirah, is an angelic realm, but not as high as the above described Beri'ah. The angelic beings of light
in this realm are higher in spiritual development than human beings, but lower than those of the Beri'ah Higher Heavens. Within
the realm of Yetsirah are seven sub-realms called "The Seven Heavens". Only when a being has progressed through these seven
heavens of Yetsirah -- via spiritual evolution over long duration -- is that being able to ascend to the archangelic realm
of the Beri'ah Higher Heavens. Yetsirah is not as physical as our realm, nor as subtle as Beri'ah. The lower regions of Yetsirah
are more physical than the higher regions of that realm.
- ASIYAH. The fourth realm, Asiyah, is the physical universe that we currently live in. Within Asiyah
are countless sub-realms, some extremely dark and dense, some relatively light and subtle. Through our thoughts, words and
deeds, we rise to the higher regions of Asiyah, or fall to the hell-pits of Asiyah.
The above cosmology can
best be described as a sort of "COSMIC SCHOOL SYSTEM". The
origin of thisUNIVERSAL SCHOOL SYSTEM FOR THE TRAINING OF SOULS is
God. The ultimate GRADUATION DEGREE IS CONSCIOUS UNION WITH GOD.
Having "graduated" -- attained the highest heaven -- a being does "graduate studies": goes on missions to the lower realms
to perform works of love and mercy. These "graduate students" work under the guidance of TEACHERS and MASTER TEACHERS.
The ultimate Master Teacher -- the "Chancellor" of the Cosmic School System -- is THE CHRIST, the Adam Kadmon, known on earth as Jesus the Christ (Yahshua ha Mashiakh).
leaving the topic of Essene cosmology, a bit more needs to be said about HEAVEN
AND HELL. According to Essene cosmology, both Heaven and Hell are VERY
REAL. However, our understanding of the nature of heaven and hell is quite different than the orthodox Christian doctrine
you are probably familiar with. In our ancient Essene holy scriptures, Jesus teaches the following main points in regard to
Heaven and Hell:
- There is not only one Heaven and one Hell; rather, there are countless Heavenly realms
realms. Jesus said, "In God's house are many mansions" and "various realms". He describes"higher heavens" and "lower heavens";
he also describes "higher hells" and "lower hells". According to Jesus, the universe is a vast cosmic school system for
the training and evolution of souls. There are various levels of the cosmic school system and each level consists of many
planets, spheres and realms inhabited by sentient beings. SOME
OF THOSE REALMS ARE SO VIOLENT, HATEFUL, DARK AND MISERABLE, THEY CERTAINLY DESERVE THE TERM "HELLISH". SOME REALMS ARE SO
PEACEFUL, JOYFUL, LIGHT AND LOVE-FILLED, THEY CERTAINLY DESERVE THE TERM "HEAVENLY."
- According to Jesus, each being lives in
the realm of the universe they deserve to (including the planet they live on) -- according to the universal law of karmic justice (CAUSE and EFFECT). Jesus said, "And as they have sown in one life, so shall they reap in another." Beings who
live in harmony with universal law -- the laws of God -- will progressively ascend to ever-higher, more-heavenly abodes of
light and love. Beings who do not live in harmony with the laws of the universe will progressively fall into ever-lower, more
hellish realms of darkness and pain.
- Jesus teaches that Heaven and Hell are experienced first inwardly -- as inner states of being -- and then become manifest in our outer circumstances as well. Jesus
said, "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you." But he
also said, "What is on the inside will become manifest on the
outside." In other words, if you create a heavenly consciousness via harmony with universal law -- heaven within -- you will later experience a more heavenly outer-realm
-- including the planet you live on -- as well. Again, Jesus said: "And
as they have sown in one life so shall they reap in another." (It should be noted that some angelic beings who are
entitled -- according to karmic law -- to live in more heavenly realms, CHOOSE to
take incarnation in a more hell-like realm in order to perform loving service for the benefit of other beings.)
orthodox Christian teaching is that, based solely on this one brief incarnation, you will either go to "Heaven" forever or
will BURN IN HELL FOR ETERNITY. They teach that the vast
majority of humans will BURN IN HELL. We reject that false
teaching, as did Jesus himself. The notion that a SUPREME BEING would
send the majority of human beings to BURN IN TORTUROUS AGONY
FOR ETERNITY based solely on their status in this one brief incarnation is ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS! Such a "God" would actually be a "Devil"!
Speaking of the
"Devil", I should inform you in regard to our beliefs about "Satan". Jesus, in our ancient Essene manuscripts, does not teach
the existence of ONE EVIL COUNTERPART TO GOD; however, he
does teach the existence of various demonic beings including
a particular "fallen angel" called "Satan". So, there certainly
is a"dark brotherhood"; there are demons and archdemons of various
ranks and potencies; BUT NONE OF THESE DEMONS -- INCLUDING THE
GRAND DRAGON SATAN -- are powerful enough to be considered a dualistic counterpart to God. They are simply lost souls
in need of heavy-duty repentance.
Having concluded our overview of Essene cosmology, we will now examine several main
aspects of Essene theology: REINCARNATION, VEGETARIANISM, and
In the ancient Essene New Testament, Jesus teaches the following five main points in
- Jesus teaches that souls reincarnate
in order to gain experience in their quest for perfection. We read in The Gospel of the Holy Twelve:
|"The soul is purified
through many births and experiences."|
In another passage of the same manuscript, Jesus states:
|"So through many births will ye be made perfect."|
- Jesus teaches that
all creatures -- not only humans -- must continue to reincarnate until sufficiently purified. Jesus said:
|"As all creatures come
from the unseen into this world, so they return to the unseen, and so will they come again till they be purified."|
- A third
point made by Jesus on reincarnation is that there is a time of rest and reflection between lives:
|"... and to them will
be given space to consider, and amend their lives...."|
- Jesus taught that what
we do in one life will follow us into our next life:
|"The body that ye lay in the grave, or that is consumed by fire, is not the body that shall
be, but they who come again shall receive other bodies, and as
they have sown in one life, so shall they reap in another."|
- According to Jesus,
once we are sufficiently perfected we need not reincarnate anymore:
|"Blessed are they who suffer many experiences, for they
shall be made perfect through suffering: they shall be as the angels of God in heaven and die no more, neither shall they
be born anymore, for death and birth have no more dominion over them."|
Once we reach a certain level of spiritual evolution we will have angelic
bodies that never die. At that point, we will have no need to reincarnate anymore. That does not mean we will be
done learning and growing -- the universe is infinite and we will always have new lessons to learn. But, at that point, we
will have graduated from the level of the cosmic school system in which birth and death have dominion over us: WE WILL HAVE TRANSCENDED THE WHEEL OF REQUIRED DEATH AND REBIRTH. However, in
order to be seen, touched, and considered "real" by physically incarnated beings of a lower evolutionary level whom we wish
to help, we may sometimes CHOOSE to incarnate physically,
even after we have transcended the need to reincarnate. Such aCHOSEN incarnation
motivated by divine compassion rather than bondage to flesh is the act of an "AVATAR". This explains why Jesus, the SUPREME
AVATAR, takes physical incarnation even though not bound to the wheel of birth and death: DIVINE COMPASSION!
We will now consider another aspect of Essene theology: VEGETARIANISM. The ancient Essene New Testament makes clear that JESUS WAS A VEGETARIAN, and that vegetarianism was a central aspect
of his doctrine, an ABSOLUTE REQUIREMENT OF DISCIPLESHIP.
Vegetarianism was REQUIRED by Jesus of any person who
wanted to become his disciple. In "Holy Twelve" we read:
|"Verily I say unto you,
they who partake of benefits which are gotten by wronging one of God's creatures, cannot be righteous; nor can they understand
holy things, or teach the mysteries of the kingdom, whose hands are stained with blood, or whose mouths are defiled with flesh.|
"God giveth the grains and the fruits of the earth for food;
and for righteous man truly there is no other lawful sustenance for the body....
"Wherefore I say unto all who desire to be my disciples,
keep your hands from bloodshed and let no flesh meat enter your mouths; for God is just and bountiful, who ordaineth that
man shall live by the fruits and seeds of the earth alone."
In another verse
of the same manuscript, Jesus declares:
am come to end the sacrifices and feasts of blood, and if ye cease not offering and eating of flesh and blood, the wrath of
God shall not cease from you, even as it came to your fathers in the wilderness, who lusted for flesh, and they ate to their
content, and were filled with rottenness, and the plague consumed them.|
"And I say unto you, though ye be gathered together in my bosom,
if ye keep not my commandments I will cast you forth; for, if ye keep not the lesser mysteries, who shall give you the greater?
"He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much:
and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much."
to Jesus, vegetarianism is one of the "lesser mysteries" of the spiritual life, an ABSOLUTE REQUIREMENT for becoming a disciple of Jesus, and a prerequisite to being trusted with
the "greater mysteries" of the universe.
In another verse from "Holy Twelve", Jesus makes clear that flesh-eathers are to be welcomed into our "outer-circle" church
activities, but cannot participate in "inner-circle" activities until they become vegetarian:
|"A disciple of Jesus asked him a question, saying 'Master,
if there come to us any that eat flesh ... shall we receive them?'|
"And Jesus said unto him, 'Let such abide in the outer court till they
cleanse themselves from these grosser evils; for till they perceive, and repent of these, they are not fit to receive the
Of course, Jesus practiced what he preached: he was
himself a vegetarian:
of the fruits of the trees and the seeds of the herbs alone do I partake, and these are changed by the Spirit into my flesh
and my blood. Of these alone and their like shall ye eat who believe in me, and are my disciples, for of these in the Spirit,
come life and health and healing unto man."|
Those readers familiar with
the New Testament story in which Jesus miraculously fed 5,000 persons with but a little bread and a few fish, might ask: "Didn't
Jesus eat fish?" The answer is: NOT IN THE ORIGINAL, AUTHENTIC
NEW TESTAMENT! In the original, unadulterated version of the New Testament (The Gospel of the Holy Twelve), Jesus fed those
5000 persons with but a little BREAD AND GRAPES! The
vegetarian teachings of Jesus were removed by merchants of death -- persons who earned money from the flesh of animals --
after they forcibly took over the early Essene-Christian church and established a State-run religion.
next aspect of Essene theology we will consider is GOD AS BOTH
FATHER AND MOTHER. In the Essene manuscripts used by our church, Jesus teaches that God is both Father and Mother, and
that all of nature is created in the divine image and likeness of Father-Mother God. In The Gospel of the Holy Twelve, Jesus states:
|"God is the Two in One. He is She and
She is He.... Therefore shall the name of the Father and the Mother be equally hallowed, for they are the great aspects of
God, and the one is not without the other, in the One God."|
In other words,
God is a perfect balance of the masculine (Father) and
feminine (Mother) aspects. But do not get the wrong idea: When Jesus speaks of the masculine and feminine aspects of God,
he is NOT speaking about physical sexual gender: he is not describing God as having both a penis and vagina! Rather, Jesus
teaches that the masculine and feminine aspects of God are SPIRITUAL
ATTRIBUTES such as the masculineASSERTIVENESS and
its feminine counterpart RECEPTIVITY, or the masculine JUSTICE and the feminineMERCY. Jesus is describing COMPLEMENTARY
ASPECTS of God which are in such perfect balance they
form a ONENESS. In "Holy Twelve", Jesus makes that point
|"God is both male and
female, not divided, but the Two in One.... In God the masculine is not without the feminine, nor is the feminine without
the masculine: Love is not without knowledge, Justice is not without Mercy, the Head is not without the Heart. In God, the
masculine powers and feminine powers are perfectly united as ONE."|
key thing to remember is that the masculine and feminine aspects of God form a ONENESS, aHARMONIOUS WHOLE.
To illustrate that idea, think of a tree. The branches are an aspect of the tree. The roots are another aspect of the tree.
So is the trunk an aspect. But the tree itself is a ONENESS made
up of many complementary aspects.
Now let us look at how this teaching relates to each of us. In other words,
according to Jesus, what is our own relationship to God? Jesus said:
|"Verily, God created mankind in the Divine image male and female, and all nature is in
the Image of God.... In the beginning, God willed and there came forth the First Beloved Son and the First Beloved Daughter,
united as Love and Wisdom, created in the Image and Likeness of the Father-Mother, and of these proceed all the generations
of the Spirits of God, the Sons and Daughters of the eternal.... From the will of God comes forth the Divine Sons and Daughters
of God, and within each Son is the Daughter and within each Daughter is the Son."|
the above excerpt we learn several important things about our relationship to God. First and foremost is the fact that we
are each a Divine Child of God, created in the EMBRYONIC image
and likeness of the eternal Father-Mother. I emphasize the word "embryonic" to
bring home the point that though we are created in the image and likeness of God, we are neither quantitatively nor qualitatively
the equal of
God. An acorn is created in the embryonic image and likeness of Father-Mother Oak Tree; but the acorn is not yet quantitatively
or qualitatively the equal of Father-Mother Oak Tree. Likewise, a drop of ocean water consists of the same elements as does
the ocean itself. But while the ocean can truly claim to contain every drop of ocean water, the individual drop of ocean water
cannot truly claim to contain the entire ocean. Such is our relationship
to God: we are One with God; we are created in the image and likeness of God; YET GOD IS SENIOR TO US BOTH IN TERMS OF QUANTITY
The essential nature of
God is a Oneness. And that Oneness has a name: "I AM". The One God chooses to manifest both a masculine and feminine aspect for the
purpose of creation. That which is created is a spark of the Creator: You are THAT.
Masculine, causative energy, must be balanced by feminine, receptive energy, if harmony
is to be experienced. If you are out of balance in EITHER direction, you will experience PAIN. You must find that place of balance at the very core -- CENTER -- of your being. That center is where you will find your true Self.... It is where you
will find God.... It is where you will find Peace and Joy. It is where "I
It is home.How the Ancient Essenes Lived
Having established what the ancient Essenes believed about life, we will now consider how they actually lived.
While some Essenes lived in private homes in towns and cities, most of them lived in communal villages. There were many Essene
communal villages in Israel, and several in Egypt. As described previously, Jesus was primarily associated with the Essene
Nazarene communal village near Mount Carmel. Many pie-in-the-sky utopian communities have been very short-lived due to their
failure to adequately address such basic human needs as food, employment and health care; but the ancient Essenes created
communal villages that thrived for centuries. Although they were advanced mystics with profound cosmological and theological beliefs,
they obviously must have mastered the practical aspects of daily life, as well as the philosophic. We now ask four very practical
questions: How did they organize themselves? How did they feed themselves? How were their members employed? What type of health
care did they practice and provide for their members?
DID THEY ORGANIZE AND GOVERN THEMSELVES? We will first examine the Essene community at Qumran. After doing so, we
will consider some other ancient Essene models of communal living.
While other Essene communities were for entire families,
Qumran was an all male monastic community. The community at Qumran regarded itself as a church and was organized along the
lines of an esoteric "Mystery School", with various levels of initiation. Their word for 'church' was the same used by the
first Christians: 'edah. And their organizational structure was identical to that used by Jesus and the first Christians.
Theodore Gaster, in his The Dead Sea Scriptures, writes:
|"Because the Brotherhood at Qumran regarded itself as the true Congregation of Israel... it organized
itself into what may fairly be described as a 'church'. Such an organization requires a formal set of principles and a constitution....
No less interesting, and perhaps more exciting... are the many parallels with the organization of the primitive Christian
Church. The community calls itself by the same name ('edah) as was used by the early Christians of Palestine to denote the
Church.... There are twelve 'men of holiness' who act as general guides of the community -- a remarkable correspondence with
the Twelve Apostles. These men have three superiors, answering to the designation of John, Peter and James.... There is a
regular system of mebaqqerim or 'overseers' -- an exact equivalent of the Greek episkopoi, or 'bishops'."|
regard to Gaster's mention of the twelve 'men of holiness' and their three superiors, he is referring to the following. Qumran
was governed by a system called "One, Three, Twelve and The Many" (patterned on certain principles of Sacred Geometry and
Kaballah). The "One" was the chief priest or "Teacher of Righteousness" (in Hebrew: Moreh Zadik). The "Three" were, after
the Teacher of Righteousness, the highest-ranking priests of the community. Together, the "One" and the "Three" made up what
today would be called "The Board of Directors", with the "One" obviously being the Chairman of the board. There was also a
Council of Twelve Overseers; as Gaster pointed out, the Hebrew word for "overseer" is "mebaqqerim" which is the exact equivalent
of "Bishop". The Council of Twelve Bishops were advisory to the four person (the "three" and the "one") "Board of Directors".
Gaster pointed out the remarkable correspondence between the above Qumran model and that of Jesus' immediate circle: Jesus
corresponds to the "One" or "Teacher of Righteousness". James, John and Peter to the "Three High Priests", (In the New Testament,
Jesus often takes only James, Peter and John with him for important "inner circle" events; after his crucifixion those three
are referred to as "the three pillars of the church.") and "The Twelve Apostles" to the "Council of Twelve". But very important
also is the Qumran term "The Many"; for, the One, Three and Twelve permitted "The Many" -- ALL MEMBERS IN GOOD STANDING -- to vote on any issue that was not considered the domain
of the "Mystery School". In other words, the basic daily affairs of the community were decided not by the spiritual hierarchy BUT BY THE COUNCIL OF THE MANY. In this way, Qumran was governed
by a unique blend of spiritual hierarchy and direct democracy. The spiritual hierarchy protected the esoteric teachings from
being watered down by novices and made sure that the overall purpose, plan and constitution were followed. But the daily affairs
of ordinary life were decided according to direct democracy via "The Council of the Many." In the words of Theodore Heline, "Theirs was a
democratic society functioning under highly disciplined hierarchical order."
If the term "spiritual
hierarchy" seems negative to your modern sensitivities, consider the following. The Essenes believed that their Mystery School
was a doorway into the ranks of angelic beings. They believed that the angelic realms were divided into ranks or hierarchies
of angels: lower angelic beings on up to archangels. And so they patterned their Mystery School on the angelic pattern of
ranks and hierarchies. They also made sure that promotion through the ranks was completely fair in that it was based on the
progress made by the student within the context of the curriculum of the Mystery School.
Before leaving the topic
of organizational structure at Qumran, let us look at how one became a part of the Qumran community, how one joined the organization.
his excellent book titled, The Dead Sea Scrolls: The Essenian Forerunners of Christ, Theodore Heline writes:
|"From the recovered portions of the Manual of Discipline
we learn that an applicant for membership was placed on a one year's probation. If his conduct proved worthy, two more years
of study and testing followed. Then if favorably passed upon by the priest and the majority of the members he was admitted
to full membership.... On attaining full membership, but not until then, individuals surrendered without reservation all personal
possessions to the common store."|
Like Qumran, most of the other Essene communal villages
practiced a 100% communal economy; that practice was continued by Jesus and the first Christian-Essenes. We read in the New
Testament "Book of Acts":
|"And all that believed were together, and had all things
in common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all, as any had need."|
few verses later we read:
the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that any of the things which
he possessed was his own; for they had all things in common."|
Likewise, we read
Essene Humane Gospel Of Jesus:
they who believed gave up their wealth and possessions and did sell all things and gave the proceeds to the communes, for
they held all things in common and abode together in one place, even as Christ had commanded them. For by doing so, they fulfilled
the law of love, showing all kindness and goodness of God unto their brothers and sisters and all the creatures born of nature....|
"And many were
the Essene communes of the followers of the holy way, wherein all lived according to Kingdom Order and in Love. For among
the communes, it was just as Jesus had spoken... for there existed no hunger or thirst for spiritual or physical food, and
the aged man and the widow were not cast out, and the orphan and the inflicted were welcome.... And the holy ones of God did
go forth as healers among mankind, teaching the cures of nature unto the people. And unto the nations they were known by the
name of 'Essenes' which, when translated, means 'healers and saviors of the people'; for they healed every physical and spiritual
ill of any who wanted to become followers of the Essene way of Life."
regard to the organizational and governmental structure of other Essene communities, we have new information on the Mount
Carmel Community in Northern Israel and the Lake Mareotis Community in Egypt. In a manuscript soon to be published by Essene
Church of Christ, we learn that the Carmel and Mareotis Essenes followed the same "One, Three, Twelve and The Many" format
as Qumran, BUT WITH A FASCINATING TWIST: they patterned
it on the Essene Tree of Life! If the reader is familiar with the drawing of the Essene Tree of Life on page 50 of Edmond
Szekely's book From
Enoch to the Dead Sea Scrolls, you will recall that there are seven branches and seven roots. The center branch represents
God, the center root "Mother Nature". The other six branches represent various spiritual forces, the other six roots various
natural forces. And at the very center of the Tree of Life is a human being seated in a meditation posture.
Carmel and Mareotis Essenes use of the "One, Three, Twelve" was linked to the Tree of Life as follows: the "One" (the "Teacher
of Righteousness" or, in Hebrew, "Moreh Zadik") was linked to the human being in the center of the Tree; the "Council of Twelve"
were linked to the six branches and six roots (minus the center branch and center root); the "Three Highest-Ranking Priests"
were linked to the three branches of the upper left portion of the Tree: Love, Wisdom, and Power. Each New Year, the Teacher
of Righteousness announced the names of those Essenes who would serve as "The Council of the Tree of Life". When the Teacher
of Righteousness and Council of Twelve held meetings, a specific person represented each of the six branches and six roots;
for instance, James may have represented the branch of Wisdom, John the branch of Love, Peter the branch of Power (Power is
"manifestation"). Meetings began with beautiful songs, chants and recitations based on the Tree of Life Communions. One such
song seems to have been the basis for the Gnostic "Hymn of Jesus": the twelve move in a circle around the Teacher of Righteousness,
who is seated in the meditation posture at the center (just like the Tree of Life drawing). We also find a reference to this
Gospel of the Holy Twelve, in regard to the 'Last Supper':
|"And at evening the Master cometh into the house, and there are gathered with him the Twelve....And
they were all clad in garments of white linen....|
"And when they had sung a hymn, Jesus stood up in the midst of his apostles, and going
round him who was their Center, as in a solemn dance, they rejoiced...."
the Tree of Life songs and rituals, the "business meeting" was held. In prayer, the group asked that the Center Branch --
God -- and the Center Root -- Mother Nature -- be with them and guide all of their decisions at the meeting. In this way,
all fourteen of the branches and roots were represented at the meetings: twelve by human beings, two -- God and Mother Nature
-- by their own spiritual presence. The Moreh Zadik ("Teacher of Righteousness" or "Chief Priest") represented the human being
at the center of the Tree. The Moreh Zadik was a lifelong position; the others served one year terms but could be reinstated
at the New Year Naming Ceremony for another year term. Often, they served many years, sometimes until death, as there was
no limit to the number of consecutive one year terms they could serve. We are told that the Moreh Zadik would isolate himself
for several days at the end of each year and do a fast. He would then invoke the presence of the Center Branch -- God -- and
the Center Root -- Mother Nature -- and ask their guidance in the selection of the persons for the Council of Twelve for the
upcoming year. Then, using advanced yogic techniques, he went into a deep Communion with God and Mother Nature which culminated
in the writing down of twelve names. (Until publication, we are not permitted to give direct quotations from the Alexandria/Carmel
manuscript, but one thing is very clear: the manuscripts translated by Edmond Szekely which he supposed were from Qumran were
actually from Carmel and Mareotis: not a single mention of the Tree of Life Communions or Sevenfold Peace are found in the
Qumran Scrolls BUT THE CARMEL/ALEXANDRIA MANUSCRIPT --
which also describes Mareotis -- IS FULL OF REFERENCES TO THE
TREE OF LIFE AND SEVENFOLD PEACE.)
Like the Qumran group, the term "The Many" was also very important at Carmel
and Mareotis. Like at Qumran, the spiritual hierarchy at Carmel and Mareotis handled the church matters, BUT PERMITTED "THE MANY" -- all members of the community in good standing -- TO MAKE ALL THE DECISIONS IN REGARD TO DAILY LIFE AT AT THE COMMUNITY.
HOW DID THE ANCIENT ESSENE COMMUNAL VILLAGES FEED THEMSELVES? First,
we must remind ourselves that the ancient Essenes were STRICT
VEGETARIANS. Many of them ate only raw fruits, vegetables, and sprouted grains, along with raw dairy products, never eating
cooked food. Although raw foods were recommended, the only requirement was NO MEAT. But our question now is not WHAT they
ate but HOW they got it. It's one thing to invite a
thousand people to come live together on your land; it's quite another thing to feed all of them! A study of the various source
materials provides us with the answer: THE ESSENES WERE MASTER
FARMERS AND ARBORICULTURISTS (an "arboriculturist" is one who "grows trees"; in the case of the Essenes, nut and
fruit tree orchards). Edmond Szekely, in From Enoch to the Dead Sea Scrolls, writes:
|"The Essenes lived on the shores of lakes and rivers,
away from cities and towns, and practiced a communal way of life, sharing equally in everything. They were mainly agriculturists
and arboriculturists, having a vast knowledge of crops, soil and climatic conditions which enabled them to grow a great variety
of fruits and vegetables in comparatively desert areas and with a minimum of labor."|
regard to the reference above to "a minimum of labor", excavation of the ruins of the Essene community at Qumran has revealed
that the Essenes made use of sophisticated drip irrigation systems to water their gardens and orchards. During the short rainy
season they channeled the rain water that poured down the surrounding cliffs into huge cisterns to save for watering their
gardens the rest of the year. They were masters of mulching and composting, the greatest organic gardeners to ever grace the
earth. In another section of the same book, Szekely makes clear that they not only were able to feed all their own members,
but often had enough surplus food to feed the poor of neighboring cities:
|"They had great agricultural proficiency... producing a large variety of fruits and vegetables
of the highest quality and in such abundance they periodically had a surplus to distribute to the needy."|
many of the members of the Essene communal villages worked in the gardens, not all of them did.
And that brings
us to the next question: HOW DID THE ANCIENT ESSENE COMMUNAL
VILLAGES EMPLOY THEIR MEMBERS? In his excellent book The Mystical Christ, Manly Hall reports:
|"There was no idleness among the Essenes.... The group
was not... financed by the State; it was supported entirely by its own members, whose gain from lawful enterprise was kept
in the common purse. The term 'lawful enterprise' was interpreted as honest and honorable work. No activity was considered
superior to another. Each of those who came bestowed his talents and abilities, but practiced them only according to the convictions
of conscience. As many who sought refuge in the settlement had no inclination to continue their previous occupations, they
had no special skill suitable to their new way of living. These farmed the surrounding area and performed such labor as might
be required for the common good. Some apprenticed themselves to craftsmen and learned new trades."|
see above that a new member of an Essene community could keep his old job IF IT WAS IN HARMONY WITH THE ESSENE TEACHINGS. If the old job could not be kept for reasons of conscience,
the new member either worked on the communal farm, performed general labor for the community -- laundry, carpentry, kitchen
work etc. -- or learned a new trade. Hall goes on to inform us that some Essenes had been quite wealthy before joining the
|"It is a mistake to
assume that the Essenes were simply agriculturists and craftsmen. Some had been scholars or wealthy merchants or successful
tradesmen. Each in his own way had found it impossible to continue practices which offended his soul. He had, therefore, divided
his goods, bestowed his properties, terminated his worldly career, and returned to the natural faith of his fathers."|
of the Essenes worked as teachers. Hall writes:
|"That the intellectual level of the community was high can be gathered from the historical accounts of
the sect. Essenes were selected as teachers of the young and Roman officials residing in Palestine selected these mystics,
preferring them to scholars of other Jewish sects or tutors sent from Rome. Under the gentle guidance of these godly men,
children received not only learning, but also enlightenment."|
Some Essenes worked
as doctors. Hall reports:
of the Essenes practiced medicine and healed the sick.... They were especially mindful of the poor, who could not afford to
engage physicians. When the Essenian doctor attended a patient, he would not only prescribe a remedy, but would also clean
the house, do the mending and washing and any other task which sickness had interrupted. If some gift was forced upon him
by one of the grateful, it was placed in the general storehouse of the sect."|
author, Robert Chaney, agrees that many Essenes were healers. In his fascinating book, The Essenes and their Ancient Mysteries, he informs us that one Essene community was especially famous
for its skilled healers:
Therapeutae, consisted of those Essenes who engaged in the healing art. The word "Essenes" in the nearest Aramaic equivalent
means 'healers'.... One branch of the Essenes located near famed Lake Mareotis in Egypt, was known far and wide for its accomplishments
in the field of healing. The suggestion has been made that the young Jesus received his first instruction in the healing arts
from the residents of this Essene healing community."|
Having established that
the Essene communal villages had many skilled healers living amongst them, now is a perfect time to answer the question promised
earlier: WHAT TYPE OF HEALTH CARE WAS PROVIDED FOR THEIR MEMBERS? Hall
makes clear that the most important ingredients of the Essene "health-plan" for members were love and commitment:
|"Those who were sick or injured were
given constant and devoted care and protected from all want to the end of their lives."|
what form of healing was used? Amazingly, the ancient Essenes twenty centuries ago were practicing what we today consider
"new" and call "holistic medicine." Daniel Maziarz, in his outstanding book, The Angelic Way to Love, informs us:
|"Curiously enough, the health practices
of the ancient Essenes are making a huge comeback today under the names of holistic health, naturopathy, preventive medicine,
Ayurveda, and others.... Increasing numbers of people today are adopting the following natural means of empowering their health
that were also employed by the ancient Essenes:|
- nutrition, especially the powerful effect of specific natural foods to prevent and to heal
- breathing exercises
- physical culture of all forms
- watertherapy (hydrotherapy)
- the use of precious and semi-precious stones."
Chaney, in his aforementioned book, describes the Essene healing practices:
|"Three basic principles were followed by The Essenes in their healing... First, it was
believed that Divinity was expressed in the plant kingdom as an antidote for the illnesses of the human kingdom, that for
every illness there existed a palliative in a root, leaf or bark of a tree or plant. The Essenes therefore were herbalists
in the highest sense of the word.|
"A second method of healing was to make use of 'healing stones' -- bits of various kinds of
rock or hardened earth.... The power of such stones in influencing magnetic fields under the direction of one who is versed
in this type of therapy became common knowledge at a later period. The Essenes also created salves from natural sources. The
clay and spittle Jesus prescribed for the blind man may very well have originated from this source.
"The third method of healing in which the Essenes were extremely well versed drew upon
the healing powers of the invisible worlds around them. They acquired an unparalleled mastery in manipulating these healing
powers of the superior spheres...."
In an ancient Essene scripture published
by the Edenite Society, The Essene Humane Gospel of Jesus, we read:
|"And Jesus did heal every ailment and disease among the sick, even teaching the people the art of true
health reform according to the natural laws of nature. Yea, for he taught the people healing properties of plants, even every
herb and grass of the field, and the power hidden in stones, and the cleansing miracle of pure water. And many were amazed
and did believe and were healed."|
Two more questions must be asked in regard to Essene
communal villages. How did they treat children? How did they treat the elderly? The heart -- or lack thereof -- of any community
or nation is revealed in the way they treat their children and old folks.
HOW DID THE ESSENES TREAT CHILDREN? Hall writes:
|"The Essenes held children in special regard.... They trained these young people and were
attentive to natural abilities and inclinations. When these children reached maturity, they were in no way required to accept
the teachings of the sect or to become members. They might choose to do so or not, as they pleased."|
the celibate Essene community loved children and cared for orphans. Hall tells us: "The order adopted orphans and reared them with
HOW ABOUT THE ELDERLY? How
were members of the Essene communal villages treated when they were too old to work anymore? After all, there was no such
thing as Social Security checks back then! Hall reports:
|"The aged were held in the highest esteem, and it was remembered that they had worked faithfully and lovingly
as long as their strength had permitted. They were given... devoted care and protected from want to the end of their lives."|
Essene communal life was based on a set of rules of conduct, spiritual disciplines and lifestyle practices called the "ESSENE HALAKOTH". The Essene Halakoth was given by their line of
chief priests calledTEACHERS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS and reached
its zenith with the ULTIMATE MASTER TEACHER, YAHSHUA HA MASHIAKH (Jesus
the Christ). The Essene Halakoth was in fact a YOGA SYSTEM;
it united seven basic yoga systems in a grand synthesis. ESSENE
YOGA included: RAJA YOGA (silent meditation);HATHA YOGA (physical postures and breath work); BHAKTI YOGA (love and devotion to God); GNANA YOGA(spiritual study and discourse); LAYA
YOGA (the science of using the chakras to bring about higher states of spiritual realization); KARMA YOGA (creative work for the uplift of all); MANTRA YOGA (verbal prayer, singing and chanting). Central to Essene Yoga was a lifestyle
practice called THE SEVENFOLD PEACE which included a
meditation practice called COMMUNIONS WITH THE TREE OF LIFE.
(Specific details on how to perform the various aspects of Essene Yoga -- including the Sevenfold Peace and Communions --
are provided in books and videos available from our catalogue.)
It is of major importance to realize that the Essene
exodus from decadent, "worldly" cities to form Essene communal villages DID
NOT MEAN THAT THEY TURNED THEIR BACKS ON THE WORLD or abandoned the people left behind in cities. One of the main
purposes of leaving the worldly cities to form Essene communal villages was to become LIVING CELLS OF NONVIOLENT SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION, examples for the rest of the world. Also, part of
the Essene practice of "Tikkun Olam" ("to actively participate in the healing and transformation of the world") was to send
Essene teachers and healers into the cities. In his excellent book From Enoch to the Dead Sea Scrolls, Edmond Bordeaux Szekely writes:
|"The Essenes knew there was no escape
from this circle of oppression, hatreds and violence, wars and revolutions, except through changing the ignorance of the individuals
in the world....|
"The solution which the Essenes offered
for economic and social harmony can be applied in every age, the present as well as the past. It contained four factors:
- Separating from the chaotic
conditions of the mass of mankind which refuses to obey natural and cosmic law.
- Demonstrating a practical social system based on
natural and cosmic law.
- Communicating these ideas to the outside world through teaching, healing and helping others according to their
to their communities other individuals who are sufficiently evolved to be willing to cooperate with the law."
is truly said that you can judge a tree by the fruit it bears. Based on the reports of writers who were contemporary to the
Essenes, we must conclude that the Essene communal villages were very effective "Trees" for the production of beautiful, wonderful
human beings. Consider the praise of contemporaries such as Pliny, Josephus and Philo; these men actually knew the Essenes
and said of them:
|"... a race by themselves,
more remarkable than any other in all the world."|
|"... they show more love for each other than do others,
and live a more moral life. Rightly do they deserve to be called an example for the life of other people."|
|"They live each day in constant and
Manly Hall sums up the lifestyle of the ancient Essenes
in very moving terms:
Essenes resolved to live by the laws of God in a world of men.... By simply permitting consciousness to guide conscience,
and conscience to govern conduct, the Essenes unfolded the basic plan for human society. The more devoutly they practiced
these principles, the more obvious it became that the program was both possible and practical.... By loving their fellow men
and serving them, the Essenes discovered in their own hearts the God of love and service."|
The Mystic Order of Essenes
Probably no religion system ever produced such a group of saints so eager for purity and spiritual attainments
as the Essenes, forerunners of Christianity, who founded not only a new sect but almost a new religion. This indeed was a
fascinating, unique group of mystics, men and women whose chief purpose in life was to become temples of the Holy Spirit that
they might receive a special revelation, and thus be the means of bringing the promised Messiah into the world. History declares
that their desire was fulfilled, that Jesus, for whose coming they made very definite and painstaking preparation, was born in the fold of their organization,
that Mary and Joseph were Essene initiates, and that their son, with John the Baptist, his cousin, with many other
biblical characters were members of the Essene communities, both in Palestine, Greece, Egypt, and many other lands.
The Freemasons find pure Christianity in Essenism and consider the "Brethren of the White Clothing", or
Mystic Order of Essenes, to be the most important fraternity the world has ever seen. The women - the wives, mothers, daughters,
and other females of the Essene communities, were associate members. Those not caring to marry brought up orphan children
for organization. This group dates back to Moses and even to more ancient days, and was designated at various times and places
in history as Nazarites, School of the Prophets, Hasidees, Therapeutae ( healers) , Contemplative Ones, Nazarenes, Ministers
fo Peace, Friends, and the Pure and Silent Brethren.
The designation "Essene" was not popularly
known, with accounts for the omission of the word in many of the popular histories and writings of the time. The Essene attire
was so distinctive and unique that among the populace these mystics were known as "Brethren of the White Clothing" - each member after initiation
adopting a robe of white composed of one piece of material, such as the " seamless garment " worn by Christ Jesus,
and their salutation was, "Peace be unto you".
Besides preparing for the birth of
the Messiah, this group distinguished itself in many other ways, such as the proclaiming of the equality of all mankind and
the denouncing of slavery. They were the first socialists to organize a community high above the standards of their times.
They were the first collectivists to encourage the ownership of all things in common, as mentioned in the book of Acts in
our Bible, and were also the first mystic sect in all Jewish history.
Although historians differ in details,
they generally agree upon the major facts concerning the Essenes. For example they agree that this pioneer group of mystics
was of "dateless antiquity", as Pliny declares. The Talmud speaks of the brotherhood as the "Holy comunity in Jerusalem",
while Strabo mentions "the Essenes in Heliopolis with whom Plato and Eudoxus consulted". Josephus, a member of the organization
for a time, writes of Jesus as a member, and considers the Essenes to be the oldest of ascetics, tells us the resurrection
or continuity of life after so-called death, in communication with angels and declared that it was from Egypt that their doctrines
spread abroad. Philo calls the mystic group "Champions of Virtue", a people by themselves more remarkable than any other in
the wide world".
According to Josephus, every Jew had to belong either to the Pharisees, Sadducees,
or to the Essenes. Though speaking scathing words against the two former groups, Christ Jesus never uttered a word against
the latter group. Solinus affirms that " the Essenes who differ from all other peoples in their marvelous constitutions" (
being vegetarians and living many of them far beyond a hundred years of age ) " have according to my opinion been appointed
by divine Providence for this mode of life. They renounce money, connubial pleasures, yet are the richest of all men."
Among representative modern historians is Dean Prideaux , who declares in his book on the descendants
of the Essenes, The
Old and New Testaments Connected, that the Essenes absolutely antedate the Holy Scriptures and absolutely condemned
slavery which both Old and New Testaments allow, and that they anticipated the true spirit of Christianity and the philosophy
of the twentieth century .
Dr. Graetz in his book, The History of the Jews, says, " The Essenes
first proclaimed the kingdom of heaven", that John the Baptist lived the life of a Nazarite, belonged to the Essenes, and
took up his abode with other Essenes near the waters of the Jordan, awaiting penitents, who when baptized joined the Essenic
The historian Ginsburg in his book, The Essenes, Their History and Doctrine, says," The purpose of
Jesus, the Essene, was to effect a great moral revolution. From the age of twelve to thirty he was in the Essene colonies
and conceived the plan which he intended to carry out. There he was educated until he was sent out by his order to effect
a great moral revolution. It cannot be doubted that our Saviour Himself belonged to this holy brotherhood". A most painstaking
historical researsh , The Essenes by A. A. Schultz, compiled from the numerous records of the Literary and Philosophic
Society of Liverpool in 1896, finds the above statements confirmed in documents written in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic.
Of all the sects of ancient times, the Essenes were the most exclusive, coming out as they did, from among
those of dying civilization, that they might the more effectively build a new and better world for mankind. They usually located
their secret societies in small towns or on the border of the desert, away from the crowded hives of humanity with their barter,
Temple sacrifices, noise, and attention to things of the body. In these communities each family had its own house and garden.
A chamber in each house was devoted to prayer and meditation. These "silent ones", "seers", "healers", during the week lived
and worked apart, but on Saturday they prayed and worked in common. Their so-called feasts, where no flesh was used and only
cold water was served - particularly those held on the eve of Pentecost - were famous and formed a contrast to the ordinary
Greek and Hebrew revels. At such feasts the philosophical discourse was the chief feature. This was followed by hymns and
by antiphonal and joint singing, with choral dancing in imitation of Moses and Miriam at the Red Sea.
The Essenes did not repudiate marriage, but the couples had to be approved by high officials of the Essene
community. The most advanced of the groups refrained from marriage. "Some", as Jesus explained, " made themselves eunuchs
for the kingdom of heaven's sake".
The Essenes not only wore a common type of dress, but, also engaged
in common labor, united in common meals, deposited their earnings in a common treasury, and devoted themselves to works of
charity, for which each had the liberty to draw from the common funds, at his own discretion, except in the case of relatives.
The Essenes served their fellow man as minister, prophet, and physician. They interpreted dreams, exorcised
devils, and performed miracles, bringing peace to the soul, healing to hte body, and guidance through the predictions which
For example, history relates that an Essene, Menahem, once met Herod as a boy
going to school, and addressed him as "King of the Jews". Herod thought the man who did not know him jested, and told him
of his common origin with no chance of becoming king. But Menahem smiled at him, clapped him on the shoulder, saying, "Thou
wilt, nevertheless, be king and wilt begin thy reign happily, for God has found thee worthy of it. Remember the blows that
Menahem has given thee as a symbol of a change of thy fortune. For this assurance will be salutary for thee when thou wilt
love justice and piety toward God and equity toward thy citizens. However, I know thou wilt not be such a one, for I can preceive
it all. Thou wilt obtain an overlasting reputation, but thou wilt forget piety and justice. Thou wilt not be concealed from
God, for He will visit thee in His wrath for it, towards the end of thy life"
Judas, the Essene,
was another example. One day in the temple surrounded by his pupils whom he initiated into the apocalyptic art of foretelling
the future, he saw Antigonus pass. Judas then and there prophesied a sudden death for him at a definite hour on a certain
day, in a very special place - all of which came to pass as predicted. Likewise, Simon, the Essene, probably the one mentioned
in the second chapter of Luke's Gospel, was a very holy man whose prophesies also came true. There were many others. So devoted
to the laws of God and to holy living were these vegetarians of the Mystic Order, that they not only developed exactness in
prophecy, but also magnetic personalities, and had such wonderfully beautiful, radiant auras that on some occasions these
auras were perceived by the profane. No wonder their lives wereexemplified in the words of Christ Jesus when He said , "He
that loseth his life for My sake shall find it, but he that saveth his life shall lose it". In renouncing the temporal side,
they won the glory of that which is eternal.
Every adult member of the Brotherhood
was assigned at the time of his initiation a definite mission in life, and this mission had to be adhered to regardless of
all obstacles and temptations, even to the sacrifice of his own life. Some chose to be healers, physicians, farmers, teachers,
missionaries, carpenters, translators, scribes; others chose the feeding of flocks and rearing of bees, preparing of food,
making articles of dress, or weaving. Whatever the occupation, it had to be something constructive, not destructive. There
were never allowed in the organization any gunsmiths, slaughterers of cattle or sheep, or any practice or business that deliberately
destroyed the least of any living thing.
History emphasizes that no maker of arrows, darts,
spears, swords, helmets, breastplates or shields, no manufacturer of arms or engines of war, or any man whatever that made
things belonging to war, or even such things as might lead to wickedness in times of peace, could ever be found among the
Essenes, "Ministers of Peace", who realized with Christ Jesus that "he that taketh the sword shall perish by the sword". Again,
no trading was allowed or anything by which money was made, only barter. Pliny, among other historians, declares that the
Essenes would "not even dream of carrying on traffic, innkeeping, or navigation, for they repudiate every indulcement to covetousness
". But all peaceful, non-commercial occupations were in keeping with their purpose in life. Every member worked from sunrise
to sunset, and devoted the evening hours to the study of the mysteries of Nature and of revelation and the celestial Hierarchy.
Abundant time was possible, since each member took his share of the work in the department in which he excelled, and since
they toiled only for their necessities and not for laying up sums of money.
In each city there
were "Essene Gates" where the poor could receive food and necessities, also places called "Bethsaida" for the sick. We find
in this feature of their work the origin of the hospices and hospitals which became well known some centures later. A special
staff fo workers were connected with these places and were calle "hospitalers". The Essenes likewise had their rescue homes
in various communities, and places where strangers could not only be cared for physically, but could also be guided in their
Those Ministers of Peace elected their own president, judges, and officials,
and considered themselves free to act only in service to others. They believed in passive obedience to powers ordained of
God. Their essential beliefs and practices included a conviction that fate governs all things, an absolute confidence that
Jehovah's will must manifest in all that comes to pass, although free will was not denied; an unqualified belief in prophecy
and the ability to see coming events; a belief in pre-existence or reincarnation, survival, and communication.
They were outstanding in their uniformly holy and unselfish life; their abstinence from visiting the Temple
or taking part in bloody sacrifices; their unbounded love of virtue and their contempt for earthly fame, riches, pleasures;
their industry and temperance, the latter including a vegetarian diet and abstinece from intoxicants; their modesty and simplicity
of life; their contentment of mind and cheerfulness of temper; their love of order and truth and their abhorence of falsehood;
their benevolence and philanthropy ; their following peace with all men. Known to all was their hatred of slavey and war,
their aversion to oaths, wearing of wool, or using of oil, their tender regard for children and for the aged, their attendance
of the sick, and readiness to relieve the distressed, their investigation of plants and minerals for healing, and their miraculous
cures. Their beliefs and practices have no duplicate in the history of mankind. The Essene converts after the preaching of
Christ Jesus became the good Christians or good Jews who started on the long trail of gradual loss of identity into the harmonious
background of universal Christianity.
"Jesus was educated by the Essenes and reached a very high state of spiritual development
during the thirty years in which he used his body. It may here be said, parenthetically, that the Essenes were a thity sect
which existed in Palestine, besides the two mentioned in the New Testament - the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The Essenes
were an exceendingly devout order, widely different from the materialistic Sadducees and entirely opposite to hte hypocritical,
publicity seeking Pharisees. They shunned all mention of themselves and their methods of study and worship. To the latter
peculiarity is due the fact that almost nothing is known of them, and that they are not mentioned in the New Testament."
Cosmo-Conception by Max Heindel, 1908
Why did the Essenes practice Vegetarianism?
What is a vegetarian? Someone who eats no mammals, birds (chickens, turkeys, pheasant), or fishes.
A vegan in addition eats no dairy products or eggs. A fruitarian wishes not to kill plants and eats the fruits of plants,
trees, and vines. There are many reasons people make a gradual or immediate transition to meatlessness.
- Nonviolence, Reverence
- Spiritual or religious belief
- Environmental protection
- Energy conservation
- Provision of food for
- Human Rights
- Public Safety
- Fire Prevention
I. NONVIOLENCE OR REVERENCE FOR LIFE OR AHIMSA (Sanskrit for nonviolence)
desire not to cause suffering, not to be involved in slaughter of innocent creatures, is the cause of the meatlessness of
Buddha, of Hindus such as Mahatma Gandhi, of Susan B Anthony, Harriet Beecher Stowe, DaVinci, G B Shaw, and many others.
suffering has been documented in many books such as The Jungle by Upton Sinclair and Animal Liberation by Peter Singer. Mammals
do not happily give up their lives when forced. When one person decides to become vegetarian, he or she saves the lives of
thousands of fishes and chickens and many mammals.
Electric shocking rods are often used to goad unwilling animals
into slaughterhouse chutes. Conditions of death by thirst have been documented in hearings before Senator Lowell Weicker.
Dr. Michael Fox of the Humane Society of the United States has spoken of the 4D animals which arrive at the abbatoir. 4D means
dead, diseased, dying, debilitated. The average egg represents, says Art Margolis, 32 hours a chicken was confined to a cage
which is 3 ft. by l ft. Willie Nelson and Farm Aid have criticized new plans to make Ohio a factory farm state.
There are hundreds of millions who are vegetarian because
of religious belief.
HINDUS, BUDDHISTS AND JAINS
The Hindus, Buddhists and Jains of the East are known
to be flesh abstainers. The word Hindu is an over 20,000 year old Sanskrit word meaning away from violence. Buddha's prayer
was "May all that have life be delivered from suffering." The Jains desire to live without causing harm to any living creature.
The Sanskrit term phalahari means a fruitarian. It is considered that fruitarians cause the least suffering since they kill
fewer plants, whose consciousness has been documented by the laboratory research of Dr. Chandra Bose, Clive Baxter, Luther
Burbank and others. Dr. Bose invented a crescograph which studied plant feelings. For this research he was knighted by Queen
The Moslem Druses of Lebanon have long been vegetarian. Many Sufis are vegetarian. Sufism
is a mystical Moselm religion. (Casey Kasem, a Moslem Druse and therefore a vegetarian, has been a cosponsor of the Great
American Meatout which offers free information to anyone calling 1 800 MEATOUT). It is said that Mohammed once cut a portion
of his cloak away so that he would not disturb a cat sleeping on the remaining cloth. Moslems do not eat pork.
Jewish Vegetarian Society 855 Finchley Rd. London Nw11 England or Box 1463 Balt Md 21203 includes hundreds of thousands. Kosher
slaughter was originally intended to reduce suffering to the animal. Former Chief Rabbi of Ireland David Rosen, Dr. Alex Hershaft,
coordinator of the Vegetarian Information Service, Mark Braunstein, Piers Anthony, and Vic Sussman, and Raymond Avrutis are
Jewish vegetarian authors.
Yehudi Menuhin, CHAI (Committee Helping Animals In Israel) are actively promoting the
ancient Jewish love of animals and of the earth. Dr. Richard Schwartz and Louis Berman have written two of many books on Jewish
vegetarianism. Dr. Alex Hershaft, concentration camp survivor, has used German reparations money to advance a meatless world.
1:29, Behold I have given you herb yielding seed. To you it shall be for meat.
Ezekiel 3 and 4: My body has
never been defiled by animal flesh.
Isaiah 65: The wolf shall lie down with the lamb.. they shall not hurt
nor destroy in all my holy mountain for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord. (many other passages of Isaiah
speak of nonviolence to animals)
Proverbs: The wise man is concerned for his beast. Isaiah: He that slayeth an ox is
as he that slayeth a man. Daniel l: Daniel was put in prison by Nebuchadnezzar. He ate only pulses (beans) for 10 days while
others ate flesh. Nebuchadnezzar noticed that he fared better than the others.
Methusaleh: This longest lived
of Biblical heroes is said to have been a vegetarian. (Jeremiah: The Lord offends the mind to reveal the heart)
Biblical command "Thou Shalt Not KIll" which J J Price cites as a reason to change diet.. is not asterisked "to include humans
only". The wisdom of the Jewish dietary laws is upheld as shellfish cause hepatitis and food poisoning, the trichinella worm
remains in pork not totally cooked, and the mixing of dairy products with meat multiplies the chances of food poisoning.
Many Biblical scholars believe
that Jesus was a vegetarian and that the incident of his temple temper was created by the slaughter of animals there.
vegetarianism of Francis of Asissi, of St. Martin de Porres, of St. John Chrysostom is written of by biographers. Vegetarian
Catholic orders include the original Benedictines, Cistercians, Trappists, Franciscans whose founder believed that plants
too have feelings. The meatless Friday was the last vestige of early Christian vegetarianism. George Cornell, Associated Press
religion writer, wrote that pretzels were originally a symbol of arms folded in prayer.. and like Lenten lentils.. were meatless
alternatives. Fr. Ron Lengwin, a Catholic priest who has a talk show on KDKA, postulates that the apple Adam and Eve ate was
actually the 1st heart of a slaughtered animal in violation of Genesis 1:29. Fr. Ron Pickarsky, a vegetarian chef, works toward
institutional diet change.
Protestant vegetarian sect founders or promoters include
John Wesley, the first Methodist, Ellen White of the Seventh Day Adventists, General Bramwell Booth of the Salvation Army,
and Mary Baker Eddy of the Christian Scientists. John Wesley, considered the founder of modern Pentecostalism, wrote in v
6 of his collected writings about the advantages of the vegetarian diet he practiced. Ellen White, the prophet originator
of the Seventh Day Adventist movement, has created a church whose followers today are 15% to 50% vegetarian. General Bramwell
Booth published as head of the Salvation Army a pamphlet on 19 reasons to be vegetarian. This pamphlet is published by the
London Vegetarian Society. Mary Baker Eddy wrote "The Deity is not carnivorous".
MODERN CHRISTIAN GROUPS
- The Edenite Society
of Imlaystown NJ publishes a book entitled WAS THE MASTER A VEGETARIAN?
- The Trinity Broadcast Network has several Christian vegetarian
- The Dominican nuns at Crown Pt. in Akron have disseminated vegetarian information.
- Ken Hamm's ministry in
- Peter Marshall, the chaplain of the U.S. Senate, subject of A MAN CALLED PETER, was instrumental in swinging
a U.S. Senate vote on a key environmental protection issue, which he considered to be part of the Genesis ministry. Revelation
speaks of the 5th angel who protects all green living things. Romans: If meat offends your brother, do not eat it.
A. LIFE EXPECTANCY
Would you like
to add 7 years or longer to your life? A government study comparing the nondrinking nonsmoking Mormons to nondrinking nonsmoking
vegetarian Adventists was done over many years. The Adventists lived on the average 7 years longer. The National Geographic
reported that the 3 longest lived tribes in the world were centenarian vegetarians. They are the Hunzas of Tibet, the Azerbaijans
of the Caucusus and the Villcabamba of Ecuador.
What is the heart beat of a vegetarian?
An average 20 beats per minute less than that of a nonvegetarian. The vegetarian heart pumps the same amount of blood with
20,000 fewer beats per day. What is uric acid? It is the pre-urine present in the muscle cells of animals. It is the poison
which would have been excreted had the animal lived. Uric acid, like caffeine, is an oxypurin correlated to arthritic deposits,
to quickened heartbeat.
What is the relationship between immunity and diet?
Just as having more than one sex partner places additional stress on the immune system, in the same way one must adapt to
the immune system of each animal he or she eats. Leukemia is called leukosis if a chicken has it. Yet it is the same cancer.
The USDA allows cancers the size of grapefruits to be cut out of cows and allows the rest of the carcass to be passed.
What about food poisoning? 97% of all food poisoning fatalities, as reported in a Knight Ridder
wire story, were caused by animal products. Those who eat frozen meat are trusting to proper freezing at the slaughterhouse,
in transportation trucks, warehouses, grocery freezers, and at home. Thermophilic bacteria can survive temperatures of 300
degrees or more. Creiophilic bacteria can survive freezing temperatures in meat.
How many diseases can be transmitted
to humans from animals? As early as 1905 the USDA was saying that over 100 diseases could be contacted by humans eating the
flesh or products of animals. Now the number is in the thousands. Brucellosis, trichinosis, toxoplasmosis, ptomaine poisoning,
E coli bacteria are some of these. Histoplasmosis, present in bird waste, is a special health hazard near factory farms' water
Knock Knock Who's There? San and Ella. Sam and Ella who? Salmonella food poisoning. This St. Elsewhere
line refers to a bacteria which can be contacted in restaurants or kitchens in which animal products come into contact with
other food.. through human fingers, counter tops, etc. Ohio Wesleyan University has found heightened levels of salmonella
bacteria in Southern Ohio near massive factory farm operations. Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, MD found that within a few hours
of slaughter, the colon bacteria in a carcass have multiplied into the billions per oz. Newsweek Magazine reported that had
George Wallace not eaten a hamburger right before he was shot, the bullet would not have spread peritonitis throughout his
system. The second cause of hepatitis is the eating of shellfish which eat unprocessed human waste dumped into the Atlantic
by New York City, Baltimore, and other communities. Restaurants which throw out fruitarian coffee the afternoon it is made
will keep much longer the much mor e perishable meat. Is 'fresh shrimp' an oxymoron?
One case in point is
the Mad Cows' Disease created by the feeding of sheep brains to cows in Commonwealth countries. Sixty Minutes did a report
on the protein molecules of Mad Cows' Disease cows which are ending up in bone meal and animal feed. These proteins survive
even radiation treatment. J Ritchey has spoken of the E Coli bacteria's survival in wet dish rags for several weeks. E Coli
bacteria are picked up from counter tops on which animal products have been laid.
Cannibals who eat humans contract
a lethal disease known as Kuru. It seems that the more conscious the being, the greater the ill effect from consuming him
or her. Mammals are more harmful to eat than birds.. birds more than fishes etc.
E. WEIGHT LOSS
about weight? Dr. Hardinge conducted a Harvard University study and found that the average dairy vegetarian weighs 12 pounds
less than the average nonvegetarian. Vegans or nondairy vegetarians weighed an average 22 pounds less.
hormones, antibiotics What kills an insect can kill us. Since a thousand lb. cow has eaten an average 21,000 lbs of food before
slaughter, there is a 21 times higher incidence of insecticide in animal flesh than in fruit. Other harmful additives include
female hormones, given to animals so that they will gain water weight, which can cause gynecomastia (swelling of male breasts),
breast and prostate cancer etc. There is a large bibliography on the problems of antibiotic resistance in animals which is
passed onto their human consumers.
G. CANCER PREVENTION
The McGovern Committee, the American Heart
Association, The American Cancer Society, The National Cancer Inst. and others have done studies on the relationship of diet
to health. The countries with the most meat consumption have the highest rates of intestinal cancer. These are Australia,
Chile, Argentina, Canada, and the U.S. Countries with the highest dairy consumption have the most breast and prostate cancer.
These are the Scandinavian countries, Israel, and the U.S. Countries with the highest fish consumption have the highest rates
of stomach cancer. These are Korea, Japan, Norway, coastal countries. Life and Health Publishing of Maryland reported that
at least two carcinogens are created by the heating of animal flesh over 300 degrees. One is malanaldehyde and one methylcholanthrene.
In addition, Dr. Samuel Epstein, formerly of the Cleveland Clinic, reported before Congress on the carcinogenic properties
of benzopyrene, created by charcoal broiling steak.
Dr. William Harris, MD,
author of SCIENTIFIC BASIS FOR VEGETARIANISM, found a relationship between major money interests and nutritional teaching.
Nutrition departments in major universities receiving dairy industry funding are more likely to be silent about lactase intolerance
and the many other hazards of dairy consumption.
I. ENZYME PROTECTION
New research indicates that
one cause of cancer is enzyme exhaustion in the body. The cooking of fruits and vegetables destroys many enzymes. A tomato
has one enzyme when green, a second when redgreen, and a third when red. If a tomato, as Dr. Ann Wigmore has said, is cooked
and placed in a windowsill it will rot. If it is redgreen and uncooked it will ripen in the sun because of enzymes. The Wigmore
Foundation on Commonwealth Ave. in Boston has had as its clients a Prime Minister's wife, former Secy of the Interior Rogers
Morton, and many others, and has achieved great success in healing cancer and a host of other diseases through 100% raw or
uncooked vegetarian diet. The Hippocrates Health Inst. of W. Palm Beach Fla is another institute doing raw food therapy.
IV. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Because of deforestation to provide grazing
land, meat or the raising of cattle is the most destructive to the environment. Second would be dairy products, then vegetables.
The only food group which helps in reforestation of the planet is fruit. Every time you eat an apple or a walnut or an avocado,
you are voting for orchards. Slaughterhouses dump billions of gallons of raw sewage and urine into our waterways. The Sahara
was originally caused by the destruction of trees and their replacement with grazing animals.
OR ORCHARD FRUIT
- The sound of screams or silence with occasional birdchirps and beebuzzes
- The smell of blood, urine and
feces or fragrant peach and pear blossoms
- A food yield of 100 to l000 lbs per acre or a food yield of 400,000 lbs. per
acre not including trilevel agriculture which multiplies the yield
- 80 kilowatts of energy per production lb. l kilowatt of
energy per production lb.
- A final yield of bones a final yield of life containing seeds
- Desertification reforestation
of the world
- Sweat, blood and tears in production dropping a random seed.. watching nature do the work
- The most violent food
the only food which does not require killing or theft from animals or plants
- Wastefully packaged wrapped by Mother Nature in walnut
shells, banana peels, coconut husks
- Produces human disease produces human health
Fruit has polysaccharides,
disaccharides, and monosaccharides. Fruit has time released natural sugar molecules. Fructose bypasses the pancreas and so
can be used by diabetics (Marian Burros of the Wash Post and NY Times), whereas sugar in the United States is processed using
charcoal bones which cause cancer (Jay Dinshah American Vegan Society Box H Malaga NJ 08328).
1997 flooding in both Arkansas and Ohio is directly related to massive tree cutting both for the money the wood would bring
in and to clear land for intensive poultry and pig farming. Much of the hardwood forest of Arkansas was cleared and sold to
a multinational lumber corporation. Each tree which was killed would have provided a root system which could hold several
hundred pounds of flooding river water. Bayard Webster of the New York Times has reported that the average tree evaporates
40 gallons of moisture into the atmosphere daily.. moisture critical to the creation of rainclouds around the world. Trees
prevent both drought and flood. They are nature's air conditioners and weather stabilizers. While lumber companies claim they
are creating more forest land, the thousand and three thousand year old trees of the temperate rainforest and tropical rainforest
are irreplaceable. Honduras has trees whose trunk diameter covers an 11ft by 11 ft area. The U.S. Forest Service has mad e
the United States a land of skinny trees, as compared to the beautiful several hundred year old oak forests protected by the
V. ENERGY CONSERVATION
is the energy ratio of meat to fruit? Dr. Don Meyers found that l pound of meat takes 80 times the production energy of a
pound of fruit. Animals are fed, watered, given veterinary care, slaughtered, frozen in warehouses, on transportation trucks,
in freezers at grocery stores and in homes. Then animal flesh is cooked at high temperatures. Compare this to a pear from
a tree in your front yard which can grow from a casually tossed seed.
PROVISION OF FOOD FOR THE HUNGRY
The ethical command to feed the hungry given by Jesus, by Krishna,
by Buddha, by Mohammed, by Isaiah is not confined to any religious system. What is the food ratio of meat to fruit? According
to Dr. Faust, former chief of the Fruit Labs of the USDA, centenarian fruit trees have dropped two tons each of free food.
Fruit yields 250,000 to 400,000 lbs. of food per acre as compared to 100 to 1000 lbs. of meat. In between these two extremes
are the yields of dairy (10,000 lbs per acre) and vegetables (80,000 lbs per acre). Some international relief scholars feel
it is impossible to feed 5 to 6 billion people if many consume meat. It was reported to Dr. Kissinger recently that for China
to double its egg production would require the grain of 15 countries.
The butyric acid in animal fat has a distinctive odor which many find unpleasant. The smell
of cooking animal flesh in contrast to the fragrance of apple orchard blooms has made some 'esthetic vegetarians'.
VIII. HUMAN RIGHTS
Ohio Pirg, The Equal Justice Foundation of Toledo and
others are involved in a lawsuit against AgriGeneral of S. Ohio, whose owner Anton Pohlmann supplied l/4 of the German egg
market and who has been forbidden by the Lower Saxony courts to administer his operation. Workers are subjected to insecticides
of nicotine base which have nearly caused fatalities. Guatemalan, Mexican, and other migrant workers are exempted from 8 hour
shift protection. They must work long hours in what some claim is substandard housing.
The Ohio Farmers' Union,
Farm Aid (Willie Nelson's group) of Cambridge, Ma, and Consumer Action of Akron have all taken stands against factory form
operations' treatment of humans. The Food and Commmercial Workers' Union has picketed the Purdu treatment of workers. Slaughterhouse
operations have extremely high turnover labor rates because of
- possible injury from terrified animals
- injury from the knives
and electric shocking rods used on the animals
- the ear damage from animals' screams
- exposure to freezing temperatures
- a revulsion
to killing the animals
IX. PUBLIC SAFETY
has indicated a relationship between the adrenal poisons secreted by frightened, terrified animals during slaughter and aggressive
behavior. Adrenalin is a long protein chain enzyme, some of the links of which are destroyed by cooking. Enough remain intact
that humans who eat the animals' flesh are eating the biochemical equivalent of fright and anger. Restaurants which serve
a high percentage of meat meals are correlated to crime. Many communities have successfully fought to exclude fast food chains
from their communities.
X. FIRE PREVENTION
fat or grease fires are the major cause of restaurant conflagration and can be reduced by using olive and vegetable oils and
substituting nonanimal foods.
is a mysterious link between brain biochemistry and consciousness. Linus Pauling, the only man to win two Nobel Prizes (one
for biochemistry one for peace) established The Center For Orthomolecular Research and defined an orthomolecule as a fruitarian
or fruit=based molecule. His research on vitamin C established fruit as the best source of vitamin C. Fruitarians have the
highest proportion of vitamin C in their diet. Pauling found that fruitarian biochemicals are similar to the neuromolecules
in the brain and discovered that vitamin C speeds the flow of thought across the brain's electrical synapses. (It is also
the body's bouncer, escorting toxins and free radicals out of the body). Vegetarians report the senses are more acute when
there is less animal fat shrouding the nerves.
Lauric acid, an enzyme unique to raw coconut, is helpful in achieving
a meditative state, many Hindus believe.
ENTIRE CAN ENKINDLE OTHERS' FIRE WITHOUT DIMINISHING YOUR OWN
If you stood at Times Square and handed
out flyers for the rest of your life, perhaps you would not reach as many people as in spending one day calling national talk
shows. You can change the world from the privacy and freedom of your home.
Would you like to organize a vegetarian
potluck dinner weekly or monthly? Or write a letter to the editor, call a talk show, tell a grocery store manager items you
want him or her to carry, give a guest class at a school, tell your friends you are considering a vegetarian diet? Linden
Hill asked his teacher "How can I love God more?" and his teacher replied "Each Is All". Whatever you are doing to make this
world a better place, God bless you.
FROM OTHER PENS
Leonardo Da Vinci: One day the world will look upon the eating of
animals as it now looks upon the eating of humans.
Shakespeare in Twelfth Night: He is a heavy eater of beef. Methinks it doth harm to his wit.
Vincent Van Gogh in a letter to his brother Theodore wrote:
Since visiting the abbatoirs of S. France I have stopped eating meat.
Braunstein: When one eats cow's tongue, who is tasting whom?
Kelley: Pray, don't spray.
Syndee Brinkman: I went
snorkeling and noticed how gently the fish welcomed us into their world.. as compared to the violence with which we welcomed
them into ours. I became a vegetarian.
all that have life be delivered from suffering.
Gita: He is closest to God who harms no living creature.
He that slayeth an ox is as he that slayeth a man.
Archie.. do you want eggs for breakfast?
I'm not going to eat anything that was in a cow's mouth. Fix me eggs, Edith.
Winston Churchill: When I find a ladybug I ask the butler to take it outside instead of killing it.
Jesus and the Essenes
The Master Jesus was a very simple man who walked in the street in the
middle of the people, who spoke directly with them and who lived in the company of his few disciples. Of course, there was
a goodness, a purity, a royalty which emanated from him; but he was nothing like the "inaccessible high Master" which all
of the churches have completely fabricated.
The Master Jesus was completely accessible, simple, yet imposing, and that is what pleased the
crowd. When he was in town, people knew his habits and waited for him in the places where he often gave a teaching
through parables, stories and discussions with those who asked him questions or who tried to trip him up. Everybody could
come and participate in his talks, and anyone could speak. The Master gave a veiled teaching; he did not reveal all of his
thoughts. Those who were interested by this first approach could follow him and become one of his disciples. One could be
such a disciple without abandoning one's family or one's work.
Then the Master gave other teachings--deeper,
more practical, more direct. He explained the meaning of the parables.
of the higher steps for the circle of disciples was to repent and to receive John's baptism. It was the close disciples of
the Master, the 12 apostles, who were to baptize the students who were entering a deeper level on the path.
Once a candidate had received the baptism, he entered an inner circle of a more restricted and secret School. Inside this circle, the Master transmitted
a profound initiatic teaching, as well as certain precise methods. He said that he was working on the future of humanity
through the intermediary of his students who had been thus prepared. The students of this secret School included women as
well as men, although men were in the majority because of that time period. The discipline was strict, as in the Essene communities,
but the presence of the Master meant that joy, laughter, and love circulated abundantly from soul to soul. The students had
to do a lot of exercises, and work on themselves, on their own matter, according to the directives which were taught.
The Master said that, when a group of people gather together freely around a divine idea
and begin to work on themselves in the direction of this idea, then, if there are enough of them, they carry within themselves
all of humanity and they can make it evolve. From their work emanates a communal spiritual strength, which is like a sun in
the soul of the earth and of humanity. This sun, in turn, works throughout time to attract the divine idea and to bring it
to life within the reality of the earth.
The Master had given very precise directives for this work, and during some very beautiful communal ceremonies--notably
the washing of the feet--he had made it understood that each one of them was becoming one with him in the Christ, that each
one of them was becoming a part of the Christ on the earth, and that the final incarnation of the Christ inside all humans
depended on the work of each one of them.
He had also transmitted songs, sounds, words, dances and movements which had to be done in a
particular state of mind and with a great inner purity in order to produce certain effects within oneself and within
the soul of the earth.
He taught that, in this way, certain very pure
spiritual beings who live inside the soul of man and of the earth could be awakened, nourished, and strengthened in the will
of the Heavenly Father.
The students had also to take the Nazarite vow not to eat meat or drink fermented drinks
anymore. The Master said that, if a human being ate meat, he could not receive his word. This discipline was, at the same
time, for both the external side and the internal side of life. The Master taught that physical vegetarianism had to be coupled
with psychic vegetarianism, an attitude of inner life filled with a living morality, an active pacifism, a tenacious and serene
will, a clarity and openness of mind. Like the Essenes, the Master attached great importance to cleanliness and purity. The
purity which the Master taught was a lot less rigid than the one preached by the Essenes. It was alive, in movement, dynamic.
The Master Jesus was very tolerant and very open. These rules applied only in the inner circle of his School. His teaching
had several degrees, according to the state of consciousness and the level of evolution of the being who was in front of him.
The Master loved all beings and wanted each one to be able to receive and participate in God's word at his own level. For
some people, this word took on a tone of reprimand, of severity, even of condemnation. For others, one of consolation and
hope. And finally, for the prepared students, it opened up the doors to the sacred path of the initiation of the soul into
the eternal mysteries.
Jesus liked the atmosphere to be pure, and that is why, before he came, the students prepared and purified themselves in their
thoughts, feelings, and desires through rhythmical exercises, movements, and dances. They used certain kinds of human-shaped
waves which had the power to vivify, purify and improve the quality of the atmosphere of a place.
Master Jesus himself was always careful about the place in which he taught or practiced the works of his
Father-Mother with his disciples. Thus, when he was in Jerusalem, he went and taught the crowd in the square of the Gentiles
or in certain places in the streets of the city. People knew where they could find him. With his disciples, he liked to go
outside of the city. Thus, he often arranged to meet the members of the inner circle in the garden of the 12 palm trees, which was located close to Bethany. There was a spring there, and
the Master had explained at great length that this place was tied to the work which his faithful disciples would have to accomplish
in the world in the centuries to come. He had revealed to all of them the purpose of his mission, the future history of humanity,
the different incarnations of his disciples, and the role they would have to play in this history to serve Christ. Once again,
he had alluded to the mysterious role of the Apostle John, and he had placed him in parallel with John the Baptist, the prophet
Eli and the Essene Brotherhood-Sisterhood.
the time when the Master Jesus was present among his disciples, he had already named the Master St. John as the leader of and the person responsible for this inner and secret School. It
is the Master St. John who was put in charge of teaching in this School and of ensuring that the exercises were done correctly.
Thereafter, the Master St. John continued his task, even after Jesus'
departure. He remained faithful and opened inner Schools in most European countries. These Schools continued to exist in secret
and have propagated themselves right up to our own time, keeping Christ's teaching pure, exactly as the Essenes had kept pure
Moses' secret and authentic teaching. Today, parts of this Teaching and of its techniques are being extended to the outside
world because a new time of harvesting and sowing has arrived.
Essene Prayer Said by the Virgin Mary
Within the Most High, my soul blossoms,
for joy at the sight of the ascendant path.
What is on high came to meet what is below,
And the Most High has impregnated my soul through his radiant look.
Out of all the generations, mine is blissful,
For the Almighty did great things for me;
impregnated my soul.
is his name, through the centuries runs his blessing
For those who,
because of love, remain faithful to Him.
Sublime and untouched is the
Almighty is the power of his arm;
He scatters the proud, destroys those who only think of themselves,
Turns down the throne of those who only believe in their own power,
And lifts the humble, the simple, the pure and loving hearts up to his Kingdom.
He showers with his gifts those who remain silent before him.
The Most High never gives up his children
who serve him with wisdom and love. Amen. (Gospel according to St. Luke 1.46,55).
It’s an ancient word, a prayer said by the Virgin Mary. It was not only said by her, but also by all the women who were pregnant in the Essene
community.Actually, one must become aware that the Essene, Nazarene community gave a communal Teaching, a Teaching for
the entire humanity, and that the Virgin Mary was not regarded as a superior woman. She had important responsibilities, but
she was not regarded as a woman other than an other woman. All
the women who were expecting were respected and practiced the same Teachings than the Virgin Mary.
“Nazarene” means “consecrated
to God”, and also “the one who knows the hidden things”. This universal brotherhood, which is not characteristic
of the Jewish people, knew the secrets of the impregnation of the soul, and regarded the fact that a woman was pregnant as
something deeply mystical. They didn’t fix their attention on the fact a woman was expecting; for them, the woman represented
a much higher secret than the woman as human being. For them,
the woman represented the soul, the hidden soul, the pure soul, the virgin soul, and also the Earth—the Earth which
is like a soul, reflection of the universal soul, in which all the souls (for example, the souls of the flowers, of the trees,
of the animals, all the souls, even the souls of the angels) can appear as a unity of one same substance, which is the universal
soul. This substance is like impregnated by rays of the Very-High,
like rays of the sun. This soul was called “Ma” in the ancient mysteries, and gave the name “Maya”
-- that is, the great illusion; it gave also the name “Mary”: “Ry”, “Ra”, or “Re”
is the Ray of the universal Mother.
So, in this Essene brotherhood-sisterhood, the woman, and notably the pregnant woman, was regarded, not
only as a pregnant woman, but as the symbol, the writing, and the hieroglyph of the mysteries of the entire cosmos, and even
of the mysteries of Universe and evolution. All the secrets, the secrets of Isis and of the woman were contained in the pregnant
John, who was Lazarus the Essene, reveals these secrets in the Book of Revelation when a being comes and tells him: "I will show you the mysteries of the woman." Then he talks
about the great prostitute and about the spouse for the wedding of the lamb. The great prostitute is the soul that has given
birth to the personality, the ego, separated from the Very-High and doing as it pleases.
So you see, this was an entire universe, not only made of words, but much more of realities: one didn’t
need to talk about it, one just had to see a pregnant woman, and straightaway one had all these mysteries of the cosmos in
front of oneself. In the same way, one now just needs to see the letters of the alphabet to know the word; one doesn’t
need to talk about it, this is something which lives within the soul.
This Essene prayer is all the more important for our time since things
happen in the atmosphere of the Earth. And one should know them, as the saying says: “Forewarned is forearmed.”
Things happen, things that are in connection with this prayer, with the mysteries of the woman -- which concern men also of
“Within the Most-High, my soul blossoms, leaps for joy at the sight
of the ascendant path. What is on high came to meet what is below, and the Most-High has impregnated my soul by his look full
You see, this is so beautiful…
“Out of all the generations, mine is blissful, for the Almighty did great things for me; He impregnated
my soul by his ray.”
The question is: “Who can say
this at our time?”
Of course, a woman in order to become pregnant
is impregnated by a ray. But here, the prayer talks about the soul which is in the deepest; all things considered, about our
soul, which, turned toward the Most-High, leaps for joy and sees the ascendant path. This is not an illusion, the path of
awakening, ennoblement, and transformation is not an illusion. I see it or I don’t see it, but there is no illusion,
there is no belief; it is the experience of a soul that tells what it lives.
his name; throughout the centuries runs his blessing for those who, because of love, remain faithful to Him.”
Here, the Essene community says: “Throughout the centuries, we incessantly become
incarnate, not by a dead filiation, but because we are faithful to the Very-High and because we dedicate our lives to Him.
We dedicate our lives not in order to find something, but because we cannot do it in another way, because we see the reality:
the Very-High, Love, Wisdom, and Intelligence fill the cosmos. He is the Source of existence, I am within Him, by my life.
I am not the Master of my life, I am not the one who has created my life.”
Now I am going to deepen the meaning of this prayer,
beyond the mysteries of the soul I have talked a little...
The Essene Way of Life
The life of the Essenes was perfectly organized in a
hierarchy. There were those who lived in the villages surrounded by a low wall, completely cut-off from the cities, in the
middle of nature. Their life was simple, austere and pious,
lulled into a rhythm by the seasons, by the days of celebration, and by visitors. Others lived in the cities, in large buildings
which belonged to the Community and which served simultaneously as their home, as an inn and as a hospital.
Indeed, they devoted their time and their activity to healing the sick and to providing
hospitality to strangers passing through. There were others who traveled the roads, circulating news and information
around all of the centers spread out in every country.
This is how
the Master Jesus was able to go out into the world, benefiting from a minutely-detailed organization which operated to perfection.
There were also those who lived in the monastery-schools situated precisely
in certain places, in accordance with the knowledge of the land of light, and of the doors which exist between it and the
earth that we know. The Essenes who lived in these "temples" were almost always unmarried.
When an individual from outside of the order asked to be admitted--and after verification of certain aptitudes
for the inner life--the candidate had to practice a kind of meditation. In complete calm, he examined his past life clearly,
in order to arrive at an objective summary of it--with the successes, the failures, the motivations, the vibrations experienced,
and the wisdom acquired. He had to discern the impulses which he had received from "heaven" and from "his angel" during his
childhood and throughout his life, and look at how he had responded. Had he moved away from them, or had he remained faithful?
Through this analysis, a new bond with the higher world of the free spirit
could be forged; and the candidate was led to discover his own mistakes--the cause of all of his suffering. In this way, he
could bring about changes within himself, take control of his life, become responsible in the initiatic sense of the word,
and prepare himself effectively, and in full awareness, to enter the Community of Light.
He entered the sacred world on the royal path.
After his initiation, which made him a full-fledged Brother (or Sister) of the community,
the newcomer received, simultaneously with his white-linen robe, a mission to be accomplished during his life. This mission
had to be a goal, an orientation which must never leave him, and which was a way of uniting him with God and making him useful
to the earth and to humanity. He was never to stray from the conducting thread of this mission. This is what gave a positive
meaning to his passage on earth and made him a true human being. For the School, to be a man was to carry inside oneself a beautiful light--to be offered to the earth, to its inhabitants
and to oneself.
The white robe was a materialization of the power of his baptism and the purity of his
soul, which had to protect him from the many contradictions of the world.
staff, or cane, which he also received on this occasion symbolized his knowledge of the secret laws of life and his ability
to use them harmoniously for the successful accomplishment of his task.
was also required to take an oath to respect the earth as a living, sacred and intelligent being. In order to maintain contact
with it, to honor it and to participate in its healthy evolution, he had to be in contact with the ground through his feet--and,
sometimes, his whole body. This is why the Essenes were often barefoot.
One had to be at least 21 years old in order to receive this initiation.
The living knowledge of the laws of reincarnation (laws of evolution and mercy) and of
the laws of destiny (laws of cause and effect) allowed the hierophants to choose a mission which corresponded exactly to the
work which the soul had come to earth to accomplish.
In order to fulfill
this particular mission, the Brother (or Sister) often had to surpass himself, to question himself, and to obtain the assistance
of the Holy Spirit.
He was given techniques to help him; for example,
he had to examine himself and observe himself often. Periodically, he was to look back at himself--watching his life unfold
before him, image by image, like the pages of a book: "Was what
he saw inscribed in this book worthy to be included in the Great Book of Life?"
Every thought, every feeling, every action, and its motivations, had to be clearly outlined "in black and white".
Then, it had to be determined if the idea of the mission, the high ideal,
was the source. The Essene Masters knew from experience how quickly one can stray from the path of light and get lost, unable
to find the road again. The task of the neophyte was to simplify everything within himself, in order to become one with his
ideal. If this ideal shone only intermittently, as if to call him back to order, then that was not a good sign. A problem
was taking root inside of him. He had to immediately clarify his life, in order to keep alive and pure his bond with the Most-High,
with the sun of his soul. For him, this was the source of all healing, and of all authentic healing power.
necessity to purify oneself constantly--by washing one's feet, hands and body--was very important to the Brothers and Sisters.
They cleansed themselves physically and spiritually before entering someone's house, at the beginning and at the end of the
day, and before eating or praying. They also washed each other's feet, as a sign of friendship and to cultivate the idea that
they must take care of one another, as the Father of all took care of them. They also blessed one another by laying their
hands on the top of the head, in order to be always united with the light and to reinforce the love which flowed among them.
an advanced science of speech and were able to cure certain illnesses just by chanting sounds. From childhood, they learned
to speak in a soft voice and to control their words.