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The “Jesus of History” vs the “Jesus of Faith” part 3:3 – The Book of Enoch

Enoch was a name given to an ancient Jewish text that was written, according to religious historian Michael Baigent, by several authors. It stands as a testament to prior mystical traditions influencing Judaism, although many Jewish rabbis would not accept it. Early Christians in Ethiopia, on the other hand, accepted it as part of the Old Testament, especially the parts that tell of the coming of Jesus and a reference to it in the New Testament in a Letter of Jude (14). Ultimately, the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325 sidelined the Book of Enoch and it was eventually banned by late-fourth and early-fifth-century theologians such as Jerome and Augustine.

According to Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament, Enoch was the seventh generation of Adam and Eve and the father of Methuselah, who lived 969 years and was the grandfather of Noah. In those days it was common to live several hundred years. Enoch didn’t hang around quit as long. As the story goes, “And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” (Genesis 5:23-24). The story of Enoch, of course, is a travelogue of his visit to heaven–which greatly influenced the writers of the New Testament and contributed to much of the dogma of Christianity and especially Catholicism.

Michael Baigent gives a brief summary of Enoch’s visit to heaven in his book The Jesus Papers–Exposing the Greatest Cover-Up in History:

[The Book of Enoch] uses many of the motifs that are now familiar to us: Enoch has a visionary dream (13:8); he asks for an explanation of the Tree of Life (25:1-3); he mentions three eastern portals through which stars pass on the eastern horizon (36:3), in accordance with the Babylonian and Assyrian astrolabes, which date from around 1100 B.C.; and he also speaks of the actions of men as being weighed in the balance, like the Egyptian concept of afterlife judgment (41:1).

We are once again on familiar ground: we have esoteric matters taught to a seeker by means of dream visions of the Far-World—and in a Jewish context. As we have seen, these dream visions occur as part of an initiation, and the dreamer goes to a quiet, dark place, such as a cave or a temple crypt, and uses the techniques he or she has been taught to enter the stillness from which the Far-World is accessible. So we would expect, somewhere in the Book of Enoch, to find a reference to the experiential, the initiatory. We are not disappointed. (underscores mine)

“And it came to pass,” the text explains,”‘that my spirit was translated and it ascended into the heavens: and I saw the holy sons of God” (Enoch 71: 1). This report has all the appearance of being an account of something that truly occurred to the writer—a mystical experience that could be induced by someone seeking initiation into the esoteric tradition of Judaism.

Enoch was taken up “from amongst those who dwell on the earth … he was raised aloft on the chariots of the spirit” (Enoch 70:2).  This image seems to be a Judaic equivalent of the Egyptian winged Ba. But there is no doubt that this event concerned an initiation, since the text explains what happened to Enoch after he had been raised to heaven but before his spirit became transfigured:

“And the angel Michael seized me by my right hand, and lifted me up and led me forth into all the secrets, and he showed me all the secrets of righteousness. And he showed me all the secrets of the ends of the heaven.” (Enoch 71:3 – 4)

The anonymous ancient writer continues, describing what then occurred: “And I fell on my face,” he recounts, “and my whole body became relaxed, and my spirit was transfigured” (71:11).

This is precisely the type of experience that we would expect to find among the Therapeutae, for example. And crucially, just in case we have failed to spot it, the text makes a point of explaining that this ascent into the heavens occurred while Enoch was still living – as the text puts it, “during his lifetime.” This is virtually identical to the explanation in the Egyptian Pyramid Texts that the king has “not departed dead” but has “departed alive.” It is hard not to see the two statements as describing an essentially similar experience, an experience deriving from an initiation into the mysteries of the Far-World.

These visionary texts cannot be any other than records of initiations—records gathered together under the name of Enoch in much the same way as in Egypt those attributed to Hermes Trismegistus were collected together in the Books of Hermes.

I don’t agree with the author’s conclusion that Enoch’s visit to heaven was an “initiation into the mysteries of the Far-World.” We’re talking about several thousands of years before the Egyptian Mystery Schools even existed. I rather attribute Enoch’s visit to the realms of light to the fact that heaven was still accessible by virtue of the yet uncluttered veil between heaven and earth in human consciousness and to certain vibrational factors that were still in place at the time that made visits Home possible. It rather seems more likely that this ancient story played an inspirational and intriguing role in the Egyptian’s efforts to visit the Far-World themselves, just as Enoch reportedly had done. Again, looking back to ancient times and events and attempting to understand and interpret them using a much evolved (or devolved) state of consciousness and set of values, is presumptuous at best and misdirecting at worst.

Given the visionary nature of this text, it is, at first sight, curious to discover that seven pieces of the Book of Enoch form part of the Dead Sea Scrolls. All were found in 1952 in the Qumran cave in the marl cliff face near the ruins of the community, now called Cave 4. So, on the face of it, it seems as though the Zealot group that produced the Dead Sea Scrolls and was so important a part of Jesus’s political milieu and the messianic Jewish group that gave rise to Christianity were both well aware of the Book of Enoch. But an analysis of it reveals an interesting fact.

The Book of Enoch, as we have said, is a compilation of texts from different authors. In fact, scholars have separated the text into five sections, each distinctive and different from the others. The section that contains the report of the mystical ascent and transfiguration is the second section, which is also known as “the Parables.” This mystical, initiatory section is completely absent from the texts found at Qumran.

The Dead Sea Scroll texts contain fragments, written in Aramaic, from sections one, four, and five only of the Book of Enoch. Not only is the mystical section missing, but so too is the following section on astronomical and calendar matters — in particular, the section providing the basis of the solar calendar, which, we will remember, was evidently used in the Jewish Temple of Onias in the Egyptian delta.

We can see here the same clash of traditions that we find expressed in the story of Jesus when he rejects the Zealot position on the payment of taxes to the emperor. Jesus took a mystical approach; the Zealots took a worldly approach. The Zealot Book of Enoch clearly rejects this mystical approach. This stands in further evidence that — as we have said before — Jesus could not have learned his skills among the Zealots of Galilee.

Mystical texts like the Book of Enoch, texts that would have been very dear to the Therapeutae, would also have been very dear to those who taught Jesus. With the Book of Enoch, we finally have a text that appears to issue directly from the Jewish milieu within which Jesus was nurtured and from a group concerned with initiation into secret teachings, with an ascent to heaven, and with an experience of the Divine Light. Of this there can be no doubt, for according to the Book of Enoch (96:3), “A bright light shall enlighten you.”

All of this, of course, is supposition and speculation on the part of Michael Baigent, admittedly so.  Joseph B. Lumpkin, author of The Books of Enoch published in 2009, shares some interesting insight into this ancient story and the book itself:

Of all the books quoted, paraphrased, or referred to in the Bible, the Book of Enoch has influenced the writers of the Bible as few others have. Even more extensively than in the Old Testament, the writers of the New Testament were frequently influenced by other writings, including the Book of Enoch. However, things are never easy when such a span of time is involved. Over the elapsed two-thousand years, three major works attributed to Enoch have been discovered. . . .

. . . However, recent discoveries of copies of the book among the Dead Sea Scrolls found at Qumran prove the book was in existence long before the time of Jesus Christ. These scrolls force a closer look and reconsideration. It becomes obvious that the New Testament did not influence the Book of Enoch; on the contrary, the Book of Enoch influenced the New Testament. The date of the original writing upon which the second century B.C. Qumran copies were based is shrouded in obscurity. Likewise lost are the sources of the oral traditions that came to be the Book of Enoch.

It has been largely the opinion of historians that the book does not really contain the authentic words of the ancient Enoch, since he would have lived several thousand years earlier than the first known appearance of the book attributed to him. However, the first century Christians accepted the Book of Enoch as inspired, if not authentic. They relied on it to understand the origin and purpose of many things, from angels to wind, sun, and stars. In fact, many of the key concepts used by Jesus Christ himself seem directly connected to terms and ideas in the Book of Enoch.

It is hard to avoid the evidence that Jesus not only studied the book, but also respected it highly enough to allude to its doctrine and content. Enoch is replete with mentions of the coming kingdom and other holy themes. It was not only Jesus who quoted phrases or ideas from Enoch, there are over one hundred comments in the New Testament which find precedence in the Book of Enoch.

Other evidence of the early Christians’ acceptance of the Book of Enoch was for many years buried under the King James Bible’s mistranslation of Luke 9:35, describing the transfiguration of Christ: “And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son. Hear him.'” Apparently the translator here wished to make this verse agree with a similar verse in Matthew and Mark. But Luke’s verse in the original Greek reads: “This is my Son, the Elect One (from the Greek ho eklelegmenos, lit., “the elect one”). Hear him.” The “Elect One” is a most significant term (found fourteen times) in the Book of Enoch. If the book was indeed known to the apostles of Christ, with its abundant descriptions of the Elect One who should “sit upon the throne of glory” and the Elect One who should “dwell in the midst of them;” then the great scriptural authenticity is justly accorded to the Book of Enoch when the “voice out of the cloud” tells the apostles, “This is my Son, the Elect One,”… the one promised in the Book of Enoch. . . .

. . . . The Books of Enoch, and especially 1 Enoch, seems to be a missing link between Jewish and Christian theology and is considered by many to be more Christian in its theology than Jewish. It was considered scripture by many early Christians. The literature of the church fathers is filled with references to this book. The early second century apocryphal book of the Epistle of Barnabus makes many references and quotes from the Book of Enoch. Second and third century church fathers like Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Origin and Clement of Alexandria all seemed to have accepted Enoch as authentic. Tertullian (160-230 A.D.) even called the Book of Enoch, “Holy Scripture”. The Ethiopian Coptic Church holds the Book of Enoch as part of its official spiritual canon. It was widely known and read the first three centuries after Christ. This and many other books became discredited after the Council of Laodicea. And being under ban of the authorities, it gradually disappeared from circulation.

In 1773, rumors of a surviving copy of the book drew Scottish explorer James Bruce to distant Ethiopia. He found the Book of Enoch had been preserved by the Ethiopian church, which put it right alongside the other books of the Bible.

What emphasizes itself to me in all of this is the longing in the human heart to return Home to an Edenic heaven we somehow lost sight and experience of, and the human mind’s futile endeavors to devise ways of exploring higher levels of consciousness, as exemplified, for example, in the mind-altering drug culture. We rather believe that heaven is “up there” somewhere in the heavens, whereas Jesus clearly stated that the kingdom of heaven is within us and all around us–and that will be the topic of my next post in this series. Until then,

Be love. Be loved.

Antony

I invite you to read my HealthLight Newsletter online at LiftingTones.com.

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The Body Electric, part 5: — Of Angels and Archangels

Tony Pics for SA BookHuman consciousness is slow to change. Habits of expression persist, even among those who know the truth, myself included. Just as an example, when speaking of death it is common parlance to say “When I die . . . .”  Interestingly, I just typed in a small “i” by error. Or was it a Freudian slip?  

There are two selves, a lower self and a higher Self. The lower self is mortal. The higher Self is immortal. The lower self “i” will die.  The higher Self “I” cannot die.  The lower self is our human nature and identity. The higher Self our Divine nature and identity — the angel incarnate. The first is a substitute. The second is the genuine article, the authentic Self.

Now, most are aware of this dual nature of our identity. Some have actually gone through the process of assuming identity with the Higher Self.  For them, there is no death. Except out of consideration for limited human understanding, they would never say, for instance, “When I die.” Nor would they speak of their mortality. This bring me to the topic of this blog post: “Of Angles and Archangels.”

When the genuine appears, the substitute passes away. 

My spiritual mentor spoke those words some thirty years ago. He was referring to the human ego and human nature as a substitute for divine identity and divine nature. A cycle has been on the move since the Fall when Man left the presence of the Creator in his consciousness. The Creator didn’t go anywhere.  It was Man who left the presence of the LORD God Creator and has since been looking for re-connection and reunion.

Since what is called “the Fall,” Man has been in the presence of the Creator only not conscious of the Creator’s presence, nor of his inseparable oneness with the Creator. Man is the Creator of his world. Man is an inseparable part of the Creator. We are co-creators with God. No, not the human ego but the angel incarnate. The human ego has no existence of its own. It depends entirely on the presence of the angel for its substance and existence.  The human ego arises out of flesh. The angel arises through flesh as spirit. As Human Beings we experience the union of flesh with spirit. This is so on the individual and collective levels.

Actually, there is only the Collective.  Individual humans do not exist on their own as islands in the sun. No man is an island, someone once said. Man is a collective entity, a physical Temple of the Living God.  “The Tabernacle of God is with men” says the Holy Scriptures. There is the Body of Mankind on Earth, and we each are cells in that Body.

This implies the presence of another collective, one of incarnate angels. Just as no man is an island, no angel is an isolated entity.  Each angel is a differentiated aspect of a collective body of angels. That collective Body of angels may be called an Archangel.  This Archangel’s body is the Body of Humanity, comprised of billions of cells, each cell inhabited by an angel. Each angel is a re-focalization of the One Spirit of the Archangel. 

Archangels are embodied by cosmic entities. In astronomy these entities are called “solar systems.” Our solar system is the Body of the Archangel responsible for this tiny corner of the Milky Way Galaxy. The Milky Way Galaxy with all of its millions of solar entities is the manifest Body of the Creator in this corner of the Cosmos. 

Coming back to our solar entity, let us consider what has happened and what is in the process of happening now. What has happened in the past is that the Body of Humanity, this collective Man comprised of male and female cells, lost its awareness of its purpose as the incarnating Body of the Archangel.  In a simple word, the Archangel lost control of his body, the body through which dominion over and governance of the solar entity and all its planets, including this Earth upon which we carry on our human activities we call “life,” was exercised and extended. Thus the chaos and disunity we’ve been experiencing for millennia on this planet.  

What is happening now is the resurrection and ascension of the Archangel’s Body from death orientation to orientation in eternal life.  In a word, the Archangel is taking back His Body that has been stolen and usurped by the the human ego.

Collective entities, like individual human beings, have a focus of Identity and have been given names. The Archangel’s focus and Identity is the Lord of Love who took on individual human form at various intervals in human history, the most recent incarnation being in the body of the Lord Jesus two-thousand years ago.  It is believed by some that he also incarnated as Lord Buddha and Lord Krishna. The collective human ego that has usurped human consciousness and the Body of Humanity, has been called by various names, from the “Devil” to “Lucifer” and “Satan.”   We’re talking about spiritual energy here and its distribution through patterns of focalization.  The word “Satan” describes a focalization of spiritual energy. It has sundry origins and usages. Here are some very interesting definitions I found on the internet: 

– Lucifer: Is not the Devil´s real name. It is the old term for the Morning Star (´Hillel` in Hebrew) which was used as a symbol for pride in a satyrical poem about the king of Babylon. The poem was interpreted by some Christians as referring to the Devil. 

– Beelzebub: Is not the Devil´s real name. It was originally “Baal-Zebul`, `Lord of the manor´, a deity worshipped by the people of Ekron. The jews turned him into a demon, and called him “Baal-zebub” which means `Lord of the flies´. In Hebrew theology, he is apparently the king of demons, but not identified with Satan, the accusing angel. 

– Satan: Is not the Devil´s real name, but a title. It means “Slanderer” or “Accuser” and refers to the angel who accuses mankind in the court of God, kind of like a heavenly D.A.   (Leonard)

That fairly accurately describes human ego activity of accusing and blaming . For more information–and a good laugh–go to https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090709023051AACf62E .

The Hebrews used a symbol called the “Sefirot” or the “Tree of Life” in their teachings. Here’s an excerpt from my book Sacred Anatomy that describes how it was used: (click on the picture to enlarge it for better viewing.)

sacraments_sefirot_chakrasIn the Judaic healing tradition the sacred energy system in the human anatomy is designated as the Sefiroth, or Tree of Life.  In her book and tapes,  “Anatomy of the Spirit” and “Energy Anatomy” respectively, medical intuitive Caroline Myss presents this system of distribution of spiritual energy as a parallel  to the Christian “Seven Sacraments” and the Vedic Seven Chakras:

“Just as Christianity offers us a symbolic map of human energy anatomy in the form of the sacraments, so Judaism has the Tree of Life as a representation of this same system.  The Tree of Life is a symbolic diagram, which has been used by Kabbalists (Judaism’s most ancient mystical sect) for several thousand years.  It explains how energy flows down from God into the world.  This diagram shows ten sefiroth (“numbers”), each representing a different stage or quality of this descent. For example, it begins with keter (“crown”) and ends with shekinah (“creation”).  The ten sefiroth are arranged in a way that divides them into seven levels.  Each of these levels corresponds perfectly with those of the Chakra and seven sacrament systems, and represents a quality of power that is essential for us to develop in order to maintain a healthy body—both physically and spiritually.”

One can see a close similarity between these three sacred energy generating and distribution systems in the human anatomy.   They are representing one thing:  the spiritual body of subtle energies clothing the One who stands in the midst of the seven levels of being, filling them with the substance of pneumaplasm for the transmission of divine creative power, design and governance from the invisible planes of Creator into the visible planes of creation.  We play a co-creative role in this process that clothes invisible spirit with form.

I have also seen the ten sefiroth described as a series of transformers, each level stepping down the Creator’s power so that it can be known and experienced in practical ways in the lower levels of creation.  In this sense they serve a parallel function with the seven endocrine centers of energy transformation and distribution in the body temple.  Spiritual growth toward enlightenment is a matter of leaving behind the tenth level of “Satan” (pronounced in Hebrew as sa-tan, with the accent on the last syllable ) where dark and destructive forces work to nullify the emergence of the Creator’s spirit in the physical and material planes of being.  To enter the “miracle zone” of the Light in the higher sefiroth , one needs to give up one’s “comfort zone” in the materialistic plane of darkness.

On the other end of this spectrum of spiritual energy is the light and creative forces of the Archangel differentiated by at least seven-billion angels now incarnate on Earth for this grand finale called the Restoration. We are each one a member in the Archangel’s Body, having each a unique and significant role to play in this awesome outworking.

Perhaps that is enough for this post. All this to say, we are living in exciting times, historical and Biblical days of fulfillment of Divine and Cosmic creative and re-creative end-cycles that span space and time from the Beginning in Genesis to the present day of restoration. We are here to restore Paradise to its rightful, God-given place here on our beloved planet Earth. But first we must let the Archangel have his Body back in one piece. For that to happen, the purification of the Body of Mankind that has been underway for some time now and coming to a climactic finale in our day must complete itself. So, don’t take anything you are experiencing personally. It’s the Archangel’s full incarnation that is orchestrating this purification process, bringing much violence and destruction to bear in human affairs. It is also bringing much renewal of spirit and awakening in human beings the world over. No matter your unique role or place in the Body, identify with the Archangel, the genuine Self while handling the human body you have inhabited, along with its human ego, ultimately helping it pass away to release you back to God. With the coming of the genuine, authentic Self, the substitute self is transformed and transmuted into pure angelic light. What cannot be transmuted is simply returned to dust. 

“. . . and the former things are passed away.” (Rev. 21:4).  

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Until next we meet, 

Be love. Be loved. 

Anthony

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