This is such a timely, clear and simple message. Enjoy!
This is such a timely, clear and simple message. Enjoy!
“Jesus said: ‘The seeker should not stop until he finds. When he does find, he will be disturbed. After having been disturbed, he will be astonished. Then he will reign over everything.’ (The Gospel of Thomas)
The Gospel of Thomas, a product of Egyptian Christianity, was one of the collections of codices found at Nag Hammadi in 1945, now popularly called the “Gnostic Gospels.” Gnostic Christianity was considered heretical since the second century. Thomas, however, was not a Gnostic. Harvard Professor Helmut Koester, along with many other scholars, feel strongly that this gospel should be included in the canon of the new Testament. It isn’t for one reason only: it exposes the deception of Christianity which bought into the Egyptian tradition that heaven–the “Far-World”–was a place to visit while we live and eventually go to when you die. Thomas proclaims in his Gospel the revolutionary teaching of Jesus that “The kingdom of heaven is within you and outside of you.” In other words, it is not somewhere up there but right here on earth, and one does not need the Church with its creeds and dogmas to get there.
In his provocative book The Jesus Papers–Exposing the Greatest Cover-Up in History, Michael Baigent presents the Gospel of Thomas as the contrast to Zealot Christianity that it is.
. . . it is clear that its information comes from a hidden tradition that was passed only to a special few; as its opening sentence states, “These are the secret sayings which the living Jesus spoke and which Didymus Judas Thomas wrote down. . . . It gives fresh information about the “kingdom”–or “the Kingdom of the Father.” Jesus’ disciples ask “When will the new world come?” Jesus replies “What you look forward to has already come, but you do not recognize it. . . . The Kingdom of the Father is spread out upon the earth and men do not see it.”
In the Gospel of Mary of Magdala, another text found at Nag Hammadi, Jesus is recorded to have issued “a warning against looking for physical evidence of the kingdom of heaven. . . . The translator, Professor Karen King of the Harvard University Divinity School, has used a nonstandard expression to replace ‘Son of Man’–she uses ‘child of humanity,’ which is probably a better phrase, avoiding, as it does, the sectarian and dogmatic baggage; for similar reasons she replaces ‘kingdom’ with ‘Realm’ . . . . ‘Be on your guard,’ says Jesus, ‘so that no one deceives you by saying “Look over here!” or “Look over there!” For the child of true Humanity exists within you. Follow it! Those who search for it will find it. Go then, preach the good news about the Realm.'”
Mary Magdalene was not liked by the apostle Peter simply because she was a woman and “unworthy of the life,” as he said of her to the other disciples, some of whom were irritated by her closeness to Jesus, who favored her over the other disciples, kissing her often on the lips. Peter is recorded by Mary Magdalene as saying “Sister, we know that the Savior loved you more than all the other women. Tell us the words of the Savior that you remember, the things which you know that we don’t because we haven’t heard them.” As it turns out, Mary Magdalene had received secrete teachings from Jesus. She replies to Peter “I will teach you about what is hidden from you.” This irritated several of the disciples who began to doubt that Jesus ever said secrete words to her and not to them, that he even spoke to a woman in private without them knowing. “Are we to turn around and listen to her? Did he choose her over us?” Peter demands to know.
The disciple Levi defends Mary: “Assuredly the Savior’s knowledge of her is completely reliable. That is why he loved her more than us.” Baigent goes on to conclude that Jesus “taught secrete doctrines that concerned the passing over to the kingdom of heaven–a metaphor, as I have noted, for the concept described by the ancient Egyptians as the Far-World, or by the Greeks variously as the land of the Blessed or the Netherworld. All depict the divine world. The disciple of Jesus who understood his teaching the best was Mary Magdalene….”
It was Mary Magdalene who anointed Jesus with precious oils days before his royal entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. She alone knew the significance of this ritual anointing, an important aspect of which is that it be performed “by someone who understands what is being done, and by one who can participate in recognizing the messiah–for the anointment is just the final act of a longer process, the details of which have not been recorded in the Gospels.” Baigent concludes this chapter with these words of appraisal of the Catholic Church:
No wonder the power brokers of Rome wanted to exclude knowledge of this sacred path as well as knowledge of these additional gospels. Unfortunately–for them–they could do nothing about the Gospels that later became the New Testament except to control the interpretation of them–to control the “spin.” The conceit, of course, is that some theologians with attitude presume to understand hundreds, perhaps a thousand or two years later, what the writers meant better than they did themselves. Why ever have we believed this for so long?
Although there were always scholars and commentators who saw through the spin, it is only in recent times that the manipulation and error have come so much to the fore in public. But so far, particularly in the ornate halls of the Vatican, nothing has changed. Power prefers spin to truth.
Andrew Harvey, series editor of Steven Davies’ 2002 release, The Gospel of Thomas – Annotated & Explained, writes eloquently and passionately about this Gospel. He describes the character of Jesus and his revolutionary vision for the world with such authenticity that one might think he knew Jesus personally. I will share much of his foreword in two posts simply because it articulates so well the “alternative” I promised to offer at the start of this series–as well as the primary purpose of Jesus’ mission and ministry. He speaks of a “kingdom-consciousness.”
The Gospel of Thomas is, I believe, the clearest guide we have to the vision of the world’s supreme mystical revolutionary, the teacher known as Jesus. To those who learn to unpack its sometimes cryptic sayings, the Gospel of Thomas offers a naked and dazzlingly subversive representation of Jesus’ defining and most radical discovery: that the living Kingdom of God burns in us and surrounds us in the glory at all moments, and the vast and passionate love-consciousness–what you might call “Kingdom-consciousness” –can help birth it into reality. This discovery is the spiritual equivalent of Albert Einstein’s and J. Robert Oppenheimer’s uncovering of the potential of nuclear fission; it makes available to all humanity a wholly new level of sacred power. By fusing together a vision of God’s divine world with a knowledge of how this divine world could emerge into and transfigure the human one, the Gospel of Thomas makes clear that Jesus discovered the alchemical secret of transformation that could have permanently altered world history, had it been implemented with the passion and on the scale that Jesus knew was possible. Its betrayal by the churches erected in Jesus’ name has been an unmitigated disaster, one major reason for our contemporary catastrophe.
Unlike the Buddha, or Krishna, or any of the Eastern sages whose wisdom of transcendent knowledge left fundamentally intact the status quo of a world often characterized as illusory, the Jesus we see in the Gospel of Thomas saw and knew this world as the constant epiphany of the divine Kingdom and knew too that a wholly new world could be created by divine beings, once they had seen this and allowed themselves to be transformed and empowered as he was, by divine wisdom, ecstasy, and energy. What Jesus woke up to and proceeded to enact with the fiercest and most gloriously imaginable intensity was this new life of “Kingdom-consciousness,” not as a savior and not as a guru claiming unique status and truth–the Gospel of Thomas makes this very clear–but as a sign of what is possible for all human beings who dare to awaken to the potential splendor of their inner truth and the responsibilities for total transformation of the world that it then inspires within them.
Jesus’ full revolutionary vision in all its outrageousness, grandeur, and radical passion is to be discovered in a close reading of the Gospel of Thomas. The greatest of the sayings are like the equations of physicists Werner Heisenberg or Niels Bohr–complex but intensely lucid expositions in mystical and yogic terms of the laws and potential of a new reality, an endlessly dynamic and fecund reality created by our illusory perceptions and their sterile hunger for separation, division, and stasis.
What I have discovered on my own journey into the increasingly challenging understanding of “Kingdom-consciousness” is that as I continue to uncover and develop in my own depths the “fire” that Jesus speaks of in the Gospel of Thomas, reading the sayings by the brilliant light of this “fire” becomes even more astonishing. The sayings expand in radiance, significance, and reach as I expand my own awareness of divinity and of the powers available to all those who dare to risk transformation.
What I want to offer here is a linked reading of seven of the sayings that have most inspired me. Through this linked reading, I hope to open up to seekers everywhere the full glory, as far as I understand it now, of what Jesus is trying to communicate through the Gospel of Thomas, not just to Christians but to the whole of humanity. Let us begin with saying 2:
“Jesus said: The seeker should not stop until he finds. When he does find, he will be disturbed. After having been disturbed, he will be astonished. Then he will reign over everything.”
This saying suggests that the Jesus who is speaking in the Gospel of Thomas is not presenting himself as a Messiah with a unique realization and a unique status of mediator. This Jesus–for me, the authentic Jesus–is like the Buddha, a human being who was awakened to the full glory of his inner divinity and so knows the secret of every human being and hungers to reveal it to change the world. The life to which this Jesus is inviting everyone is not one of endless seeking, but one of finding–finding the truth and power of human divinity by risking everything to uncover them.
From his own harrowing experience, Jesus knows that finding cannot be without suffering; to find out the truth and power of your inner divinity is to be “disturbed”: disturbed by the gap between your human shadow and its dark games, the abyss of light within; disturbed by the price that any authentic transformation cannot help but demand; disturbed by the grandeur you are beginning to glimpse of your real royal nature with all its burden of responsibility and solitude. Jesus knows too, however, that if you risk this disturbance and surrender to the unfolding of your divine nature, extraordinary visions will be awoken in you–visions that will astound you and drag you into what the Sufi mystics call the “kingdom of bewilderment” that “placeless place” where everything you have imagined to be true about yourself or about humanity is rubbed by the splendor of what you discover. And from this increasingly astonishing self-discovery, tremendous powers to influence and transform reality will be born in you. Just as unprecedented energy is unleashed by the splitting of an atom, so through the “splitting” of human identity to reveal the divine identity within it, a huge new transforming power is born, a ruling power, the power that great saints and sages have displayed through gifts of healing, miracles, and undaunted stamina of sacred passion and sacrifice. The seeker that becomes a finder and ruler makes a leap in evolutionary development from human being, unconscious of the Divine hidden within him or her, to an empowered divine human being, capable in and under the Divine of flooding reality with the glory of the Kingdom. To reveal this secret, live it out, and release it in all its radical power, to make “finders” and rulers of us all, is why the Jesus of the Gospel of Thomas lived and preached and died.
I will share more of Andrew Harvey’s foreword in my next post. We are headed toward Holy Week and the Easter Season in the Christian world during which I will bring this series to its climatic conclusion with a provocative scenario of the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus, a drama that forms the very foundation of the Christian Faith. Until then,
Be love. Be loved.
I invite you to visit my HealthLight Newsletter blog at LiftingTones.com.
“Jars of spring water are not enough anymore. Take us down to the river.”—Rumi
Christianity, as it was conceived and brought forth as a religion–initially by the Jewish Zealots at the time of Jesus and three decades later by Constantine and the Council of Nicaea–interrupted a cycle of restoration that Jesus initiated with his life of unconditional love and compassion. In that sense, it was and is a failure. The kingdom of heaven remains only a belief, a concept in human consciousness, a place to go to after we die, but nevertheless a largely unrevealed reality behind the manifest world of human existence. I say “largely” because the Natural World continues to manifest the glorious revelation of the kingdom of heaven on Earth, especially in the spring. In a word, what we long for and seek is to go beyond belief and into a personal experience of God. This the Christian religion has failed to deliver. We’ve had to find it on our own by way of various transformational spiritual paths.
It also interrupted a much larger cycle of spiritual evolution that began with Abraham, the great patriarch of Judaism, and the children of Abraham, the nation of Israel. It ended with the collapse of Egypt as the world center of religion, mysticism and esoteric knowledge.
Actually, the cycle initiated with Abraham ended with the fall of King Solomon’s reign and empire. He had gathered and united many empires under one by taking their princesses and queens as wives, of which he simply had more than he could placate and still maintain stewardship of the cycle he was bringing to a potentially victorious climax and completion. His was a classic example, yet again, of the Man being distracted by the Woman to the abandonment of his purpose in the divine scheme of restoration, a repetition of the same pattern of failure enacted by the parents of the human race in the Garden of Eden–a pattern that continues to be enacted between the men and women to this day. But not all was lost.
I ended the last post on a transitional note marking the end of the Egyptian era and the beginning of the Christian era. In this post, I will take a look at this transitional period and see how something great and significant did come out of Egypt besides Jesus, the Messiah. I will continue sharing religious historian Michael Baigent’s thought-provoking perspectives from his extensively researched book The Jesus Papers—Exposing the Greatest Cover-Up in History.
The Egyptian priests sought to preserve their secrets by learning the Greek language in which they wrote an entire collection of wisdom texts that circulated under the name Hermes, but for which they drew their essentials from Egyptian tradition. This collection of literature was attributed to the ancient Egyptian god Thoth, aka “Hermes Trismegistus” in the late classical world. Baigent raps up this chapter with this insightful overview of the Hermetic roots of Western civilization and of the pagan roots of Christianity:
Above all, and of most relevance to our investigation, the Hermetic concept of man is “as a cosmic rather than a terrestrial being.'” The Greek gold plate (see the previous post) put it well: “My race is of Heaven [alone].”
A particular value of this Hermetic literature is that, despite its late production, it comes from the very source of the mysteries of the ancients and so can be used as a lens through which to view the earlier texts, allowing us to gain a deeper understanding of their true concerns.” Significantly, at the very heart of the Hermetic texts is the concept of mystical initiation: “Then he [Poimandres] sent me forth, empowered and instructed on the nature of the universe and on the supreme vision.”
It is still more curious that the production of these books of Hermes began about the time of Jesus and paralleled the rise of Christianity. At the end of the second century A.D., Clement, the Christian bishop of Alexandria, referred to them as “containing the whole philosophy of the Egyptians.” The pagan philosopher Iamblichus, writing a little later, was also aware of their importance: “Our ancestors dedicated the inventions of their wisdom to this deity, inscribing all their own writings with the name of Hermes.'”
This collection of texts . . . has had an enormous and incalculable effect upon the Western mind. It is fair to say that the Western world would not have developed as it did without them. Science itself might never have evolved without the impetus given by men and women enamored of these works. For they were rediscovered in the Renaissance and translated by Marsilio Ficino about 1463 at the behest of the wealthy Florentine banker Cosimo de Medici.
(For a review of the Hermetic Principles that have come down us—such as the principle of cause and effect—and the most often quoted: “As above so below; as below so above”—visit this website: http://thirdmonk.net/knowledge/seven-great-hermetic-principles-teachings-thoth.html#)
We all want to return Home—some of us, myself included, would like to be able to do so now while we breathe the air of this world. Our prodigal sojourn on Earth has left us hungering and thirsting for Home—for eternal life. And we will go Home, even if we have to die to get there. This belief that one has to die in order to go to heaven is central to Christian doctrine. The only trouble is Heaven is not “there.” It is here, waiting to be revealed where we are, here on planet Earth—where we’ve rather made a hell of a mess. For this reason alone, going Home has been an escape, or at least a reprieve, from our miserable plight.
Herein lies part of the deception hidden within the “Greatest Cover-Up in History” Michael Baigent has boldly brought to the fore for our critical examination and honest review. The truth has been adulterated with fabricated lies and what has been handed down as “truth” has been horded and sold to the faithful by a false priesthood. Baigent speaks to this here:
No one individual, no culture, no civilization, has a monopoly on truth. For this reason, we should not make the mistake of thinking that the techniques of entering the Far-World were known only to the Egyptians or the Greeks. The gates to the Far-World have always been open to those whose world-weary longing draws them across the divide.
And there were few more world-weary than those who came to be baptized in the River Jordan by John the Baptist, a unique event that even Catholic editors of the Jerusalem bible consider to be an initiation. Was this perhaps the true meaning of John’s statement, “The kingdom of heaven is close at hand?” (Matthew 3:2)
This doorway to heaven has been sought after throughout the history of mankind. Bagent cites the story of Jacob’s ladder in the Old Testament as an example. If you recall the story, Jacob had a dream of a great ladder connecting heaven and earth with angels ascending and descending on it. Upon awakening from his dream, he realizes that he is in a sacred place and, externalizing his dream, he exclaims: “This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” He then proceeded to build an altar with stone and he called the place “Bethel” which means “the house of God.” (Genesis 28: 10-19) What he didn’t realize was that the ladder and “gate of heaven” were not out there but within himself, as was the dream.
Now, the context of this story as Baigent tells it has to do with “sacred sites.” There are places on the surface of the Earth that are known even today as being “sacred” by reason of their vibrational frequency and their historical significance to ancient civilizations, such as Stone Hinge and Easter Island, to name just two of many such places on Earth where the veil between heaven and earth seems to be very thin. Jacob may have well been in one such high place. This veil, of course, is within the individuals who make pilgrimages to these sacred sites. The energy of such places is such that it impacts the individuals’ electromagnetic biosphere raising their vibratory frequency to a height where they experience an intensification of energy. The “house of God” is none other than the body temple itself. I know this is true from personal experience in such a sacred place where the energetic field was rare and uplifting. For me, it was a direct experience of God—of my own divine Self.
In this sense, Baigent is astute in saying “there are places where the Far-World and the terrestrial world are linked—places that serve as the perfect conduit between the two worlds.”
I resonate with his interpretation of Jacob’s dream:
More significantly, Jacob’s “dream” is better understood as a vision, and one that teaches us a number of important things. Perhaps the most crucial lesion lies in the report of angels “ascending and descending.” This is clearly a symbolic demonstration that the link between heaven and earth is dynamic, that the divine qualities are constantly flowing to and fro (underscore mine). This expresses the idea we have already seen in Egypt that the Far-World and the terrestrial world are intimately—and dynamically—interlinked. This is proof, should we need it, that Jacob’s vision emerged from a living tradition of which this Old Testament report is just a fragment, a glimpse of the lush landscape of the promised land.
Throughout the Old Testament, Baigent suggests, the link between the two worlds is portrayed as being broken, making the passage to and fro difficult if not impossible.
“. . . angelic beings with flaming swords block the entrance to the Garden of Eden; Jacob is not encouraged to climb the ladder to heaven. Religious administrators had apparently taken over the tradition and restricted its message about the pathway to the Far-World—much as Vatican strongmen did later with regard to the teachings of Jesus.
More accurately, the angels with flaming swords, according to the story, only blocked access to the Tree of Life. We must remember that this is a metaphorical story told and written down by Moses. We have no written record of what actually happened. The point the author is making, I believe, is that the way to the kingdom of heaven has been obstructed and access barred to the uninitiated.
There’s an event in the Gospel of Matthew (23:13) where Jesus rebukes the false priesthood of the Temple: “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.”
But how did they “shut up the kingdom of heaven?” And what was their understanding of the nature of the kingdom of heaven? Was it the Far-World of Egyptian/Judaic mysticism? And what “kingdom of heaven” was Jesus referring to?
This concept of the intimate relationship between heaven and earth along with the crossing over to the Far-World was huge in Egyptian tradition, which left its mystical mark on Judaism. A second influence came from Babylon during the Babylonian exile, when King of Babylon, Nebchadnezzar, “seized and captured Jerusalem in 587 B.C. and deported the Jewish king, along with thousands of people. Many others fled into exile in Egypt.”
We can see, for example, the Babylonian rite of baptism as the origin of the Jewish practice of purification before rituals, the aim being to separate the person from the terrestrial world while at the same time establishing a pure relationship with the divine world.
This pagan rite is enacted in the Christian culture as a sacrament, only for a different and fabricated purpose: to wash away the stigma of “original sin,” a sin that was allegedly committed by Adam and Eve, both of whom are fictitious characters created by the author of the Book of Genesis to represent our first parents. This is all part of the hidden agenda Baigent is seeking to expose. There was no actual “original sin” committed by Adam and Eve. It was a story, an allegory, brought forward by Christianity as a means of bringing the faithful into submission to the Church’s rules and requirements for admission to the kingdom of heaven after they die. The reality is we are born into this world not with original sin on our souls but, to borrow a phrase from Catholic prelate and author Matthew Fox, with “original innocence.”
The Jewish calendar also derives from a system used by the later Babylonians. Even the traditional incantation bowls used by Jewish rabbis were of Babylonian origin. The Babylonian Talmud too has medical information from earlier Babylonian lore, and Babylonian astrological texts have been found to have been used by Jewish groups as well. Even the belief in one god, which carried over into Christianity and Islam, has been seen by some scholars as deriving from ancient Mesopotamia: the name of the god of the Assyrians, Ashur (Assur), means the “One,” the “Only,” the “Universal God.”
It appears, then, that Islam and Christianity worship the same One God.
Mesopotamian influence can also be detected in the origin of the Tree of Life, now the backbone of the mystical Jewish practice known as the Kabbalah. The notorious “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil” in the Book of Genesis of the Old Testament also has its roots in the very early oral mythological teachings of humans well before the invention of writing. The story of Ezekiel also comes out of Babylon and suggests that Ezekiel may have been involved with the esoteric mysteries of Egypt as an initiate himself. So, much of our Judeo-Christian heritage comes from pagan religions.
I will leave it there for now. In my next post I will give in depth consideration of the Book of Enoch. Until then,
Be love. Be loved
I invite you to read my Health Light Newsletter online at LiftingTones.com.
The veil is thinning. The veil of which I speak is the cloud in the human heart and the fixed structures in human consciousness that have obscured our vision of the oneness of heaven and earth and our oneness with one another. I see evidence of this thinning among the gays and lesbians of the LGBT community who recently won their Supreme Court case for marriage equality in the state of California and in all 50 states. I was moved by the television show “When We Rise” watching these men and women embrace one another in a powerful display of unconditional love. The light of their unfettered joy in victory lit up the veil of judgment in my own heart as I felt the repulsion homosexuality triggers inside of me seeing men kissing men on the lips, while at the same time feeling a compelling spirit of joyful celebration in my confused emotional realm. Scars from thwarted encounters with homosexuality during my youthful years in Catholic seminar tearing loose from the fabric of my heart. The veil is definitely thinning. Healing is underway. The truth of human relations is being revealed. We are rising in love with one another.
With some there is no veil at all. Heaven is “so close as not even to be near,” as one poet put it – and we can enter in while we yet live. This is what the Egyptians were into with their mysticism. What science fiction writer H.G. Wells proclaimed in 1895 in his story “The Door in the Wall” the Egyptians had discovered a way to go through that portal and enter what they called the “Far-World.” They had a secret ritual into which one could be initiated and guided through that would open a door into that world and allow one to visit for a while and then return. This ritual was called the “incubation.” More about that later in my next post.
This was a message that the Master Jesus brought: “The kingdom of heaven is at hand and all around.” He was even more specific than that: “The kingdom of heaven is within you.” We were instructed to “repent” – literally turn around – see it on every hand and enter in. Then he apparently went through that door himself and returned to say “Follow me.” I don’t think he was messing with us. I believe he meant exactly what he said. I know he did.
I have a friend who had a near death experience (NDE). His impression was that the veil is very thin and heaven is indeed right at hand. His experience was so exquisite that he was terribly saddened upon being resuscitated and brought back to life on this plane.
Here’s another interesting NDE story: “Dead for 48 minutes, Catholic Priest claims God is female” .
In his extensively researched book The Jesus Papers, religious historian Michael Baigent shares his exploration into the mysticism of Egypt in his chapter “The Mysteries of Egypt.” I read and re-read this chapter with a deep curiosity and desire to know what might have really transpired during those eighteen years of Jesus’ young adulthood that are peculiarly missing from the Four Gospels. Baigent places Jesus in Egypt, brought there by his parents, where he may well have received an education in Jewish mysticism, which was an adaption of Egyptian mysticism whose sole purpose was to potentiate and facilitate ecstatic union with God by way of a process called “incubation.” Michael Baigent describes this cultish practice in haunting detail.
THE MYSTERIES OF EGYPT
The Egyptians saw themselves as keepers of the balance and harmony of our universe. I find this most fascinating and pertinent to our times of global climate crises.
In the beginning, according to the ancient Egyptians, everything was perfect. Any fall from this state of eternal harmony, called Ma’at, was due to mankind’s imperfections, and the greatest of these human imperfections were those caused by greed.
Greed is a human “imperfection” that continues to create an imbalance in our world to this day. We haven’t yet emerged out of those dark ages in our governance, which is based on greed for power and control. It’s all coming to a head, like a pimple on our collective forehead, with the 1% of our population that embody the focus of the spirit of greed, which the majority of the remaining 99% embody as well. The pimple is bursting, however, ejecting the pus of corruption out of the body of mankind; and what a stink that is making. Baigent continues:
It was the task of everyone, the great as well as the humble, to work toward maintaining this perfection and restoring any imbalance in it. But the ultimate responsibility lay with the pharaoh, aided by a network of temples that covered all of Egypt.
Every morning saw the same ritual of awakening the gods in the temples at the moment of sunrise, when the doors of the Inner Sanctum would be opened. The director of the Petrie Museum in London, Dr. Stephen Quirke, has likened the Egyptian temple, only half in jest, to “a machine for the preservation of the universe, a technical operation that requires technical staff or knowledge … in order to ensure that the crucial task of survival is never impaired.”
I am reminded of a passage from the 38th chapter of the Book of Job, a powerfully haunting passage: “Canst thou bind the sweet influences of the Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? Or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons. Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? Canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?”
We are supposed to know these things – and we once did. There was a Science of Mazzaroth at one time in our ancient past, a remnant of which lingers on today in what we know as astrology. It is the reality behind the Zodiac. The seasons of Mazzaroth still govern the cycles of creation in our Solar Entity, only without our conscious participation. We do continue to influence these cycles through our self-destructive behavior and are impacted by them. In our ignorance, we’re getting clobbered by their unalterable activity.
I believe what Michael Baigent has shed light on in this book in the last attempt of ancient civilizations to restore man’s engagement with the Science of Mazzaroth. Only the Egyptians couldn’t pull it off as mere humans living on the physical plane. Greed for power and control spoiled the process of restoration of the governance of the ordinances of heaven upon the Earth through human beings.
Further, I believe Jesus was aware of their foolishness and failure – a failure that actually dated back to King Solomon and the failure of the “chosen people” of Israel to allow that restoration to occur on the physical plane by way of the cycle initiated by Abraham in that pivotal moment when he reportedly ended human sacrifice by not sacrificing his son – and Jesus set about to initiate a second opportunity for the cycle of restoration of human consciousness to its rightful place of dominion in heaven – a dominion founded in love rather than greed. The Egyptians were at least aware that they needed to rise to a higher mental plane in their earnest endeavors to travel to the Far-World to gain knowledge from their gods that would help them maintain a balance between the two worlds they knew at that time. But that opportunity was no longer available. Surely Jesus was well aware of their endeavors – and was not without compassion for their state of blindness.
Baigent goes on to elaborate on their cosmology and culture:
At the same time the temple was a gateway to the Beyond: it was the place where the earth and the sky joined as they seem to do on the horizon, and for this reason many texts refer to the temple as a celestial horizon. The ancient word for “horizon,” akhet, had a number of significant meanings: it referred not only to the joining of the sky and the earth but also to a specific part of the horizon where the sun god rose from the Far-World, the Duat, every morning and returned to it every evening.” Clearly, for the Egyptians, the horizon marked a portal into the Far-World.
Pyramids too were imbued with this quality: the Great Pyramid of the pharaoh Khufu at Giza was termed the “akhet of Khufu.” Furthermore, the root of the word akhet means “to blaze, to be radiant.” On one level this term referred to the blaze of light at sunset or sunrise, but it also had a much more secret meaning, which we will discover.
The primary role of the pharaoh was to serve as the guarantor of Ma’at. The only – and greatest – thing asked of human beings was to live in Ma’at, bringing the cosmos and the physical world into harmony This perfectly balanced state was personified by the goddess Ma’at, who was depicted with an ostrich feather in her hair. She brought truth and justice, the fruits of harmony, into the world.
Coexisting within this universal perfection were two worlds: the physical world, which we are born into and within which we live, and the other world to which we travel when we die, the Duat, or the FarWorld. The Far-World was not seen as separate, as some heaven or hell far away from or unconnected with mundane existence. Rather, the Far-World was ever-present. It was believed to exist simultaneously with the physical world, intertwining with it like the two snakes around the caduceus of Hermes. It was with us all the time even though we could not normally see it or travel to it until we died.
These two worlds occupied the same space, in some mysterious and unexplained manner, except that the physical world remained within time whereas the Far-World existed beyond time. Time began with creation, but the Far-World was seen as eternal, not in the sense of being an infinite stretch of time reaching forever into the future and stretching from a past forever distant, but rather eternal in that it was outside of time. The ruler of the Far-World was the god Osiris, and the guide for the dead was Thoth, who led them up to the kingdom of the gods.
A further aspect of the Far-World is that it was understood to be the eternal background to everything in the visible universe. It was considered the divine source of all things, the source of all power and all vitality Life itself was believed to come from the Far-World, which seeped into the physical world and revealed itself in all the forms we see about us.
For the ancient Egyptians, the world of the dead was always very close to the world of the living – there was an intimacy between the two. Paradoxically, the world of the dead was the source for the world of life. Indeed, the dead were believed to be the truly living ones.
A tomb inscription dating from the New Kingdom (around 1550-1070 B.C’) reminds us that “a trifle only of life is this world, [but] eternity is in the realm of the dead.” An earlier Middle Kingdom (around 2040 – 1650 B.C.) tomb of the priest Neferhotep in Thebes-now Luxor-contains several “Harper’s Songs,” the second of which ends:
“As for a lifetime done on earth, it is a moment of a dream. It is said: ‘Welcome, safe and sound’ to the one who reaches the West.”
The “West” for the Egyptians was the land of the dead. Tombs and pyramids were always built on the west bank of the Nile, where it was thought that the sun vanished at night into the Far-World.
To understand this, it is useful to look at the ancient Egyptian concept of time: they understood that two types of time were operating simultaneously. There was the kind of time they called neheh, the cyclical time involved in natural patterns – the seasons, the movement of the stars, and so forth. The other was known as djet, which was no time at all – a state of being outside of time entirely. Only in neheh did time move; djet represented time in suspension. While neheh might be infinite, only djet was eternal; one inscription reads:
“The things of djet-eternity do not die.”
This dual perspective is very different from our modern concept of time in which we are ever tumbling onwards into a future that we can only hope will be perfect – a hope that for many religions rests upon the fulfillment of a promise that a messiah will someday appear to win the final battle against the forces of evil and in so doing will usher in a perfect world. Our political philosophy too is very dependent upon linear time, on a trajectory stretching from the past into the future where, if we manage our legislation correctly, we will achieve satisfaction for all citizens, as if legislation is something that does more than plaster over cracks.
And yet, those of our culture who have stepped out of time – the mystics – report, like the ancient Egyptians, that the world of the dead is indeed a world of the living, that it is ever-present and very close. Making allowances for the great differences in culture and language, we can see this same sense of proximity to the divine world stressed in the reports of the great sixteenth-century mystic Saint Teresa of Avila, who often fell into a mystical “rapture” wherein she was utterly “dissolved” into the divine kingdom. Speaking of God she stressed:
“There was one thing that I was ignorant of at the beginning. I did not really know that God is present in all things; and when He seemed to me so near, I thought that it was impossible.”
From what Baigent presents here, perhaps one can readily see how the roots of Christianity grew out of the soil of Egyptian and Jewish mysticism. Jesus’ attempt to initiate a new cycle of restoration with his disciples failed to interrupt the status quo. Christianity became simply a new name and practice of Egyptian and Jewish mysticism, with all of its mysteries, beliefs and cultish practices. A third and new cycle was destined to be initiated at a yet higher spiritual level of consciousness and is already underway. But that’s getting ahead of our current exploration.
I will leave it there for now. There’s a lot here to ponder. I would love to share your thoughts on what I’ve presented here. For one thing, I would like to know if what I am bringing forward for consideration is of any value to my readers – and I note that there are many visitors to this blog after each new post. So, do drop me a line or two. Until my next few posts – which will come closer together as we approach the Easter Season,
Be love. Be loved
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In looking for what book to read next, Walter Russell’s MESSAGE OF THE DIVINE ILIAD came to mind. I had read it some time ago and remembered the profound impact it had on me. Looking at the front cover again, however, it was the subtitle that caught my attention: “THE DAWN OF A NEW DAY IN HUMAN RELATIONS.”
This theme also runs through Lao Russell’s book GOD WILL WORK WITH YOU BUT NOT FOR YOU, which my wife has been reading recently – which is likely why I was drawn to Walter’s book. What stands out to both of us reading these books is this matter of love, oneness and human relations. So, I would like to spend a few blog posts considering some of the wisdom that has come through these two authors . . . and perhaps add a little bit of my own.
As the “Golden Race” who are here to usher in a “Golden Age,” it behooves us to understand what love is. What does it mean to love God with all and our neighbor as our self? Let’s explore.
Of course this caption is redundant, for God is Love. When we feel love in our hearts, it is God we are feeling and experiencing. Love is God within us. When we love doing something, for example, we are experiencing the power of God working in and through us.
Here are some words of wisdom from Walter Russell:
A lady wrote me once that she hated making the beds and washing the dishes. I said: “Whenever you find that you do not like what you are doing, just remember that God centers you, and whatever you are doing you are doing it with Him and with His help. You cannot move your little finger otherwise. When you make your bed, just say, ‘Come, God, make this bed with me.’”
Later she wrote: “That made me love to make beds and do things I did not like to do. Knowing that God was helping me took away that feeling of loneliness and drudgery.”
Take joy in doing things; find happiness in doing everything the best way you can. If you have to do it, you must do it, so you might just as well love doing it. If you really love your work, you will not tire. Conversely, if you hate your work, you will poison yourself by that hatred and the poison must be removed by an understanding of the universal law of balance. Any other form of relief which does not remove the cause can only be temporary.
The way this truth is phrased quickened a fresh perspective in me: “…just remember that God centers you.” As I extend this truth outward to include everyone and every living thing around me, my worldview suddenly takes on a renewed quality of compassion. God centers all living creatures, including those who do “evil” deeds – terrorists, murderers, bank robbers and rapists. God centers them, too, although their actions do not seem to arise from that center but out of their conflicted hearts and misguided minds. Still, God centers us all, goes where we go, does with us what we do. That’s a provocative thought . . . and, at the same time, empowering. God does not pick up and leave us when we fail to act out of the Love that centers us. God powers our every action. We simply provide direction. Nor does God abandon those who do harm to others and enact horrific crimes against humanity — our enemies. “Love your enemies,” the Teacher instructed, “Do good to those that hate you.” In other words, love God in your neighbor as your Self. Or, simply, love God.
Lao Russell has written some wonderfully inspiring words in her book as well. In Chapter XVI, entitled “Love Ye One Another,” she speaks passionately and longingly about the family of Man as One Body of siblings who share One Father and One Mother.
“Man does not yet know how to live with other men. He has not yet found that every other man on earth is part of his very body, his very self, not merely his brother. . . . Three thousand miles away means nothing. What happens three thousand miles away happens in our own homes. People who are hurt three thousand miles away are being hurt in our own homes, for what happens anywhere happens everywhere.”
Then she waxes beautifully with deep passion as a mother who longs for the healing of her feuding family.
[The world] must see the good in man and not look upon him as sinful and evil. The world becomes what the world thinks. It thinks of man as sinful and evil and he has become what his own thoughts have made him. He has made a world of hate and fear, and where hate is love cannot also be.
There will come a time, however, when the whole human race will know itself as one family, with but the one FATHER-MOTHER of all. When that day comes every man will be the father and mother, or brother and sister, or son and daughter of every other man. As love comes into the world with spiritual unfolding, separateness and disunity go out of it. With love comes knowledge of the power of unity which makes the power of every man become the power of every other man. Separateness and selfishness breed each other. Separateness makes one man want for himself what every other man also wants for himself. Separateness takes. It never gives, and long ages of taking must pass before he learns that what he takes he never has, but what he gives he always has.
The long ages will pass, however, and every man will serve every other man whom he knows as his very Self. Blood relationship is mighty in its desire to serve sons and daughters, or brothers and sisters, and fathers and mothers in one separate family. No matter what wrong a son may do to the whole world, the love of parents is greater than the fault.
The happy, peaceful and progressive home is one where each member of the family thinks first of each other member, serves first each other before himself, and freely gives without motive of self–gain. In the ideal family everyone will not only serve each other to make him happy but will refrain from doing anything to make any member of it unhappy. That is the ideal. That is what every home needs to make complete happiness for every member of it.
The world is one family of one world–home. The ideal world is one in which every member of it serves each other lovingly to give him happiness, and refrains from doing anything which will take his happiness away from him. That is the ultimate goal. That is what mankind is striving for. That is what he has been striving for over the long aeons. For these long ages he has ever been searching for the road which will lead to that goal of romance and peace.
The road to peace is not war. War is the road to destruction and post-traumatic suffering for our sons and daughters who fight for . . . what? That’s a good question, a question that likely lies at the heart of every soldier who comes back home after killing other selves. I believe deep down inside every man and woman who goes to war to fight their country’s battles returns home with a profound awareness that there are no “others.” There are only other countries’ sons and daughters who are just like themselves. There is no “other.” There is only one Self. Russell says it well here and expands the thought to include place:
We think that thoughts, sounds, and other happenings of which we become cognizant take place in other objects and in other places outside ourselves. This objectivity of belief is not true to Nature. Everything which happens anywhere, happens everywhere.
There are not two points, two positions, or two objects in the entire universe. Therefore, whatever you think of as happening outside yourself is actually echoing within yourself.
There is no other place in the universe than that place which you universally occupy. Likewise, there is no knowledge or thought in the universe that is not omnipresent in the Light of you. The reflection of a light in the mirror is actually within the mirror. All Creation is a mirror which reflects itself within itself universally.
He then answers this profound question, which I will close with and let you ponder:
What is meant by being One with God?
The more you are aware that the Light of God centers you, the more you become aware that that Light is your very Self, and that your body is but an extension of your Self which you have created to manifest your Self. The more that awareness grows, the more you become the cosmic Being and the more you know.When you finally become fully aware of that Supreme Being as your very Self, you ARE that Supreme Being.
Human relations are healthy when based on love, which gives birth to oneness. We are each one centered by the same Light of Love. Therefore, we are already One at a core level, the level of our Being. At the Human level, we are different but not separate. Like the rainbow of many colors that are inseparable from the one white light they differentiate, as Human Beings we are diversified in our expression of the One Light of Love. Why, then, does it seem so hard for us as a Global Family–or even as couples and nuclear families–to find our oneness in Being? Perhaps it is because we are distracted by our Human differences. ‘Till my next post,
Be Love. Be loved.
Read my Health Light Newsletter at LiftingTones.com for informative and enlightening articles on health and related topics. My blogs have now been visited over 88,000 times in 123 countries worldwide.
The Teacher’s Message
If you can forgive completely, the past disappears for you. If you forgive completely, you don ‘t need to worry about the future either; you can function as fully aware beings, fully conscious beings, working and moving in the moment and focusing the energies of the Divine Presence. (Excerpted from The Essenes – Children of the Light.)
I have been writing about the Essenes and how they provided “The Teacher” with a core circle of trusted friends, as well as a vibrational hedge for his ministry. His twelve apostles and disciples were not all a part of that core. Only a few, such as his brother James, John the Beloved, his mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, and Joseph of Arimathea. Those who comprised his core and hedge lived in the Essene communities near the banks of the Dead Sea. Their purpose centered in living out of love, compassion and understanding. Their mission was about spreading The Teacher’s message of love among the people of the extended Jewish community. Few, however, had ears to hear and eyes to see.
On Time and Timelessness
(Click on the picture to enlarge)
In this book, pictured here, we are given a portrayal of the Master Jesus and the essence of his message through a man named Daniel who lived in the Qumran Community at the time of the Teacher’s ministry. During a past life regression interview with Daniel through Stuart conducted by Joanna, here is what Daniel had to say about the Teacher’s personal atmosphere. Joanna had asked him about grace.
Daniel: Grace is a gift of love and healing from the highest level. God going the extra mile to meet us upon the road of life. We considered that we were living in a time of Grace, and we felt that this Grace centered around Jesus. He was the bringer of our Grace because many cosmic energies focused around him, and made possible breakthroughs in consciousness, and a transformation in the lives of those who came into his presence.
Some ones, who had sight upon very high levels, told me that when they looked at Jesus they did not see only his aura, they saw this vast vortex of cosmic energy whirling around him. They said it was like the layers of an onion, an infinite number of transparent layers of energy moving out and out into the universe. So that he was the center of all things, the center not only of our drama but the whole drama of the planet. He was the center of all things, and forces were gathered around him that made many things possible. Others who were attuned to the higher reaches of the angelic realm said that around Jesus they sensed the presence of very high angels.
He was the bringer of Grace – who else could be a focus for all these energies? And because all these energies were focused together, we could move through our experience faster. It quickened everything. You could not be anywhere near him and not move more quickly along your path.
Joanna: Tell me more about this vortex of energy surrounding Jesus.
Daniel: We were aware that a whole vortex of cosmic energy revolved around Jesus and that anyone who encountered him stepped into that vortex. That was really the miracle for us. Not that he did this or that remarkable healing, but that his whole being was a focus of cosmic energy, and thus he could bring profound changes into the lives of all those he met who could accept these energies.
As his work flowered he became more a timeless being, talking about timeless things which would be relevant in any age. Time did not touch him, he escaped from time and that was part of his work and part of his gift. But we knew that in the end time might dilute and distort the message he came to bring. Once the Teacher is no longer physically present, the Teaching may become changed and weakened. What needs to go forward is the essential message that Jesus was trying to convey: unconditional love working through the heart, and the surrendering of the will to the Divine Presence within.
The more one surrenders one’s will to the Divine Presence, the more one merges with that Presence which is within every human being, the more the path opens and the way becomes clear and straight. Then one can go forward and rise in consciousness and ascend into new frequencies of being. All of this was what Jesus was trying to teach his disciples and the groups around him. He was trying to teach this but
many did not want to hear this message, and would much rather have rigid structures. The inner truth is of the Spirit and lives, and anything which is of the letter has its day, flowers and is gone.
Remember always that Jesus lived in a difficult and troubled time. Many people were frightened, and in their fear they clung to the comforting thought of a strong Father who would protect them. They preferred a strong external perception of Deity, a strong Father rather than the Divine Presence within. They saw the within as weak, and the external forces as strong and threatening. Jesus came to show them how strong the Divine Presence could be. How it could burn like a great Light within him and illumine the lives of all those around him, but many in their fear were not able to see this.
He was offering them a chance to step out of the child state and become fully adult in the spiritual sense, but this step was too much for them. They wished to be the powerless children of a loving Father for a little while longer. You know, he never blamed them for that. He used to say that we should have faith in the ability of every human being to awaken at exactly the right time, like a flower which opens in its due season. If we choose to awaken and become spiritually adult we can become creators with God, but many were not ready for that. They wished to slumber a little longer, to be the passive children of creation, walking hand in hand with the Father but unwilling to share in Divine knowledge and Divine power.
Joanna: And the vortex of energy around Jesus helped people to awaken at the right time?
Daniel: Yes. Because of all the vortex of power around Jesus he was able to pull people out of an obsession with the past and into the moment. When they were in his presence, the past disappeared. They realized that nothing was important but the moment, and that they were free to act within that moment.
This was one of the gifts Jesus brought for many ones, the ability to focus and act in the present in a way they had never experienced before he came. If you can forgive completely the past disappears for you. If you forgive completely you don ‘t need to worry about the future either, you can function as fully aware beings, fully conscious beings, working and moving in the moment and focusing the energies of the Divine Presence.
Nothing else is important; nothing else will exist for you. That is why Jesus excited so many people. They could feel themselves being pulled out of time and into timelessness, out of the past into the everlasting present which is the only place in which you have power. The past and the future, if you are entangled with guilt or with worries and anxieties, rob you of your power. Only the present gives you power, and forgiveness is the key to ensuring you stay within that focus, expanding your awareness and living fully within the moment. This is living as God intended. This is joy. This is freedom – and this is what Jesus taught. This is the most wonderful gift which he gave to us.
We feel that this section was one of Daniel’s greatest gifts, too. It made us see the work of Jesus in a totally new light, and we realized that it is as much needed today as when he taught this wisdom two thousand years ago. Somehow in these words of Daniel all the dead weight of centuries of dogma and doctrine fell away, and the message – and the gift – of Jesus shone through.
I know because I was there. With this post I conclude this series on The Essenes, Children of the Light. Until we meet here again in a month,
Be love. Be Loved.
Read my Health Light Newsletter online at LiftingTones.com. The current theme is the causes of depression.
Chris Foster recently posted on The Happy Seeker “Listening to our own calm steadfast spirit.”
Our Spring concert this year, “Spirits of Wisdom and Unity,” features FEEL THE SPIRIT — seven spirituals by John Rutter: Joshua fit the battle of Jerico, Steal away, I got a robe, Sometimes I feel like a motherless child, Ev’ry time I feel the spirit, Deep River, and When the saints go marching in — and Song of Wisdom From “Old Turtle,” music by Joseph M. Martin, based on the book “Old Turtle” by Douglas Wood. It’s a powerful story and musical arrangement.
The Masterworks Chorale of the Louisiana Choral Foundation will be in concert this coming Mother’s Day weekend: Friday May 9 at 7:30 pm. and Sunday May 11 at 3:00 pm. The venue is St. Luke Simpson United Methodist Church out on Country Club Road in Lake Charles. Come and enjoy some beautiful and deeply moving music.
Here’s the story of “Old Turtle”
Once, long long ago . . . yet somehow, not so very long . . . when all the animals and rocks and winds and waters and trees and birds and fish and all the beings of the world could speak . . . and understand one another . . . There began . . . an argument.
It began softly at first . . . Quiet as the first breeze that whispered, “He is a wind who is never still.” Quiet as the stone that answered, “He is a great rock that never moves.” Gentle as the mountain that rumbled, “God is a snowy peak, high above the clouds.”
And the fish in the ocean that answered, “God is a swimmer, in the dark blue depth of the sea.”
“No,” said the star, “God is a twinkling and a shining, far, far away.”
“No,” replied the ant, “God is a sound and a smell and a feeling, who is very, very close.”
“God,” said the antelope, “is a runner, swift and free, who loves to leap and race with the wind.”
“She is a great tree,” murmured the willow, “a part of the world, always growing and always giving.”
“You are wrong, ” argued the island, “God is separate and apart.”
“God is like a shining sun, far above all things,” said the blue sky.
“No, He is a river, who flows through the very heart of things,” thundered the waterfall.
“She is a hunter,” roared the lion.
“God is gentle,” chirped the robin.
“He is powerful,” growled the bear.
And the argument grew louder and LOUDER and LOUDER . . . until . . . STOP!
A new voice spoke. It rumbled loudly, like thunder. And it whispered softly, like butterfly sneezes. The voice seemed to come from . . . why it seemed to come from . . . Old Turtle!
Now, Old Turtle hardly ever said anything, and certainly never argued about things like God. But now Old Turtle began to speak.
“God is indeed deep,” she said to the fish in the sea; “and much higher than high,” she told the mountains. “He is swift and solid as a great rock,” she said to the breezes and stones. “She is the life of the world,” Turtle said to the willow. “Always close by, yet beyond the farthest twinkling light, ” she told the ant and the star.
“God is gentle and powerful. Above all things and within all things. God is all that we dream of, and all that we seek,” said Old Turtle, “all that we come from and all that we can find.
Old Turtle had never said so much before. All the beings of the world were surprised, and became very quiet. But Old Turtle had one more thing to say.
“There will soon be a new family of beings in the world,” she said, “and they will be strange and wonderful. They will be reminders of all that God is. They will come in many colors and shapes, with different faces and different ways of speaking. Their thoughts will soar to the stars, but their feet will walk the earth. They will possess many powers. They will be strong, yet tender, a message of love from God to the earth, and a prayer from the earth back to God.”
And the people came.
But the people forgot. They forgot that they were a message of love, and a prayer from the earth. And they began to argue . . . about who knew God, and who did not; and where God was, and was not; and whether God was, or was not.
And often the people misused their powers, and hurt one another. Or killed one another. And they hurt the earth. Until finally even the forests began to die . . .and the rivers and the oceans and the plants and the animals and the earth itself . . . Because the people could not remember who they were, or where God was.
Until one day there came a voice, like the growling of thunder; but as soft as butterfly sneezes,
The voice seemed to come from the mountain who rumbled, “Sometimes I see God swimming, in the dark blue depths of the sea.”
And from the ocean who sighed, “He is often among the snow-capped peaks, reflecting the sun.”
From the stone who said, “I sometimes feel her breath, as she blows by.”
And from the breeze who whispered, “I feel his still presence as I dance among the rocks.”
And the star said, “God is very close;” and the island said, “His love touches everything.”
And after a long, lonesome and scary time . . . the people listened, and began to hear . . .
And to see God in one another . . . and in the beauty of the earth.
And so did God.
I hope you enjoyed the story as much as I enjoy singing in this concert. Until next we meet,
Be love. Be loved.
Read my Health Light Newsletter blog at LiftingTones.com.
Picture credit: Watercolors in the book and copied here are by Cheng-Knee Chee
Someone in Mauritius just looked at my blog, bringing the number of countries visiting my blog to 117. Welcome visitor! I looked up your home Mauritius and see that it’s a beautiful island West of Madagascar with an “underwater waterfall.” Here’s a picture of the island.