ezekiel


Freedom is not achieved by turning our backs upon the heritage of the land, nor is it won by force of arms. The restricting vessels of a true tradition are the way to freedom, but only if they are correctly understood and utilized. If this operation is successful, the restricting power itself is not only transcend, but transformed.

–The UnderWorld Initiation

Re-reading the underworld initiation. Just finished the hidden adept which was a fun book. Debating whether to read some Gersholm Sholem, Ibn Arabi and/or fiction about cats…..

The liberation mentioned above is a spiritual union if all opposites and transcended. The UnderWorld tradition is a universal one found world wide. The Orphic mysteries, sleeping beauty, the Cult of Venus and the Goddess in her tomb. Transformation within the very depths of the earth, within and without…

As we know in Hermeticism, “As above so below” The macro and microcosm. Transformation in the depths of the earth then is seen on a stellar, solar, lunar scale.. within this lunar scale is ourselves.  Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum lapidem. Visit the interior of the Earth through purification you will find the hidden stone.

I realised, it is this aspect that I must initially explore in the home I live in. Misplaced from England and New york city, now in this spiritually, botanically unfamiliar land. To truly work here, I must work here. Therefore I must pass through the inverted tree, downwards into wonderland… to the realms below.

They summoned Eurydice and gave her to him, but upon one condition: that he would not look back at her as she followed him, until they had reached the upper world. So the two passed through the great doors of Hades to the path which would take them out of the darkness, climbing up and up. He knew that she must be just behind him, but he longed unutterably to give one glance to make sure. But now they were almost there, the blackness was turning gray; now he had stepped out joyfully into the daylight. Then he turned to her. It was too soon; she was still in the cavern. He saw her in the dim light, and he held out his arms to clasp her; but on the instant she was gone. She had slipped back into the darkness. All he heard was one faint word, “Farewell.”
 

I must embrace the Rose, meet the natives of the land….

 

From this it is plain that the Earth is like the bass above which the rest of the harmony of the universe progresses. If it were removed, the other voices would remain in an unpleasant and imperfect harmony of many dissonances. Believing sufficient to have been said on the universal symphony of the planets, we will now turn to the particulars of their symphony.

Athanasius Kircher

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Soaring upwards
Can be like reaching down

Pushing forward

Can be like pushing back

Going right

Can be like Going left

Within is within

All things begin

And end at the cross roads

–GraalBaum 2013

 

 

This world-mountain was Nizir to the Chaldeans, Olympus to the Greeks, Hara Berezaiti to the Persians of the Avesta, the later Alborz and Elburz; a transfer, as says Mme. Ragozin, of ‘mythical heavenly geography to the earth.’ This mountain—the solar hill of the Egyptians—we shall again refer to in the next two or three chapters. At its apex springs, the heaven tree on which the solar bird is perched. From its roots spring the waters of life—the celestial sea, which, rushing adown the firmament, supplies the ocean which circumscribes the earth or falls directly in rain. At their fountain these springs are guarded by a goddess. In Egypt Nut, the goddess of the oversea, leans from the branches of the heavenly persea and pours forth the celestial water. In the Vedas, Yama, lord of the waters, sits in the highest heaven in the midst of the heavenly ocean under the tree of life, which drops the nectar Soma, and here, on the ‘navel of the waters,’ matter first took form. In the Norse, the central tree Yggdrasil has at its roots the spring of knowledge guarded by the Norns, the northern Fates; two swans the parents of all those of earth, float there. In Chaldea the mighty tree of Eridu, centre of the world, springs by the waters. The Avesta gives a very complete picture—Iran is at the centre of the seven countries of the world; it was the first created, and so beautiful, that were it not that God has implanted in all men a love for their own land, all nations would crowd into this the loveliest land. To the east somewhere, but still at the centre of the world, rises the ‘Lofty Mountain,’ from which all the mountains of the earth have grown, ‘High Haraiti;’ at its

summit is the gathering place of waters, out of which spring the two trees, the heavenly Haoma (Soma), and another tree which bears all the seeds that germinate on earth. This heavenly mountain is called ‘Navel of Waters,’ for the fountain of all waters springs there, guarded by a majestic and beneficent goddess. In Buddhist accounts, the waters issue in four streams like the

Eden from this reservoir, and flow to the cardinal points, each making one complete circuit in its descent. In the Persian Bundahish there are two of these heavenly rivers flowing east and west. To the Hindus the Ganges is such a heavenly stream. ‘The stream of heaven was called by the Greeks Achelous.’ The Nile in Egypt, the Hoang-Ho in China, and the Jordan to the Jews, seem to have been celestial rivers. This mountain of heaven is often figured in Christian art with the four rivers issuing from under the Throne of God.

Sir John Maundeville gives an account of the earthly Paradise quite perfect in its detailed scheme. It is the highest place on earth, nearly reaching to the circle of the moon (as in Dante), and the flood did not reach it. ‘And in the highest place, exactly in the middle, is a well that casts out the four streams’—Ganges, Nile, Tigris, and Euphrates. ‘And men there beyond say that all the sweet waters of the world above and beneath take their beginning from the well of Paradise, and out of that well all water come and go.

 

http://www.sacred-texts.com/earth/amm/amm07.htm

 

http://chasinghermes.com/2009/04/24/08-axis-mundi.aspx

 

It is precisely the challenge involved

in using inadequate words

that drives the mind

beyond all words…

At the borders of speech

we open ourselves

to the positive value of silence….

Literary reading,

through its complexity, its music,

its suggestiveness, points to a fuller realm of being.

–Edward k Kaplan (citing Abraham Joshua Heschel)

What is Gnosticism? Transcendence a

Gnostic Perspective

 

 

“I gained nothing at all from supreme enlightenment

It is for that very reason it is called supreme enlightenment”

 

–The Buddha

 

Once again, exploring what I consider to be a “universal” aspect of Gnosticism. The following is my opinion and my opinion alone. I am not an expert and please do not think I am.

 

As we begin our spiritual life we often describe it, or find it is a journey. When we participate in a journey we “walk” upon a path. Hence one reason why various spiritual practices are called paths. Sufism, Wicca, Zen, Hinduism, Gnosticism…these are paths.

 

Religion is a club hence the beatings
Spirituality is a journey hence the path

–Sister Artemis

When beginning our journey we find that we are reaching new things. Indeed many “paths” (for example of paths: Zen, Hinduism, Wicca, Islam etc.) When we first begin experiencing heightened awareness or new forms of consciousness we gain certain perspectives. Often these new events are seen as something new. I communicated with a host of Angels, I was in the presence of an inner master, I have moved out of my body and astrally projected etc.

 

To many this IS transcendence. To a Gnostic however there is more. Let us examine the classic Thomas 22 logion:

 

Jesus saw infants being suckled.
He said to his disciples,
“These infants being suckled

are like those who enter the kingdom.”
They said to him,

“Shall we then, as children, enter the kingdom?”
Jesus said to them,
“When you make the two one,

and when you make the inside like the outside
and the outside like the inside,

and the above like the below, and when you

make the male and the female one and the same,

so that the male not be male

nor the female female;

and when you fashion eyes in the place of an eye,
and a hand in place of a hand,

and a foot in place of a foot,

and a likeness in place of a likeness;

then will you enter the kingdom.”

 

Jesus saw some infants being suckled by their mother. We are hit initially with the image of childhood. Perhaps this signifies being in a childlike state, being fed by Sophia herself. For we are told it is these that will enter heaven. Jesus goes on to tell us further instructions for entering heaven. We are told we must make the above like the below, the left like the right, the male like the female etc. What does this mean? Well quite obviously it is a combination of opposites. We see this restated of course quite clearly in Philip:

 

“Light and Darkness, life and death, right and left, are brothers of one another. They are inseparable. Because of this neither are the good good, nor evil evil, nor is life life, nor death death. For this reason each one will dissolve into its earliest origin. But those who are exalted above the world are indissoluble, eternal.”

 

Again we see the dichotomy of opposites and how they are false. Life and death, right and left. Good is not Good and evil is not evil. Mary tells us:

“Peter said to him, Since you have explained everything to us, tell us this also: What is the sin of the world?

26) The Savior said There is no sin, but it is you who make sin when you do the things that are like the nature of adultery, which is called sin.

27) That is why the Good came into your midst, to the essence of every nature in order to restore it to its root.

28) Then He continued and said, That is why you become sick and die, for you are deprived of the one who can heal you.”

 

There is no SIN but it is you who MAKE sin. Of course this does not mean we should stick pencils in our nose and proclaim we are the queen of Sweden, as we have discernment. But what Yeshu is telling us in Mary, Philip and Thomas is that opposites and sin only exist if we allow them to. To gain Gnosis, to enter heaven we must transcend. We must leave our mundain conciousness and move elsewhere. To see in a new way. This is transcendence.

 

“When my Beloved appears,With what eye do I see Him?

With His eye, not with mine,

For none sees Him except Himself.”

–Ibn Arabi

 

The trap that most fall into at this stage is thinking something is new. From a Gnostic perspective, escape or leaving the illusion or incorrect reality of opposites and sin (the realm of the demi urge and the archons)is seen as literal escape. A classic example found in many paths is climbing up a mountain. Our “journey” is seen as walking up a mountain and when we have reached the summit we will be in a different place.

”There was a big pond, and in it there were three fishes. The fist fish was One-Thought, the second fish was Hundred-Thoughts, and the third fish was Thousand-Thoughts. At some time a fisherman came and cast his net. He caught those two fishes of many thoughts; but he did not catch the fish One-Thought.”

–Manichaean Parable (Turtan fragment M127)

Mani tells us here that only the fish with One thought was saved. The fishes with many thoughts were not saved. Similarly we are told in the Seven Sermons to the dead that everything is the Pleroma. Everything IS the Pleroma… EVERYTHINGS IS THE PLEROMA….

So by climbing the mountain we are not reaching the top, we are reaching the bottom. Wherever we go, there we are. So from a Gnostic perspective, we are already IN heaven. We are ALREADY God….we are already the way (Tao)…

“There is no path that leads to Zen.

How can you follow a path to where you are right now?”

–Robert Allen

There is no path to Gnosis, to knowing. As you already KNOW. Philip tells us to know something we must BECOME it. We already ARE “it”, we but simply have to learn this.

Thus to truly transcend

We must not transcend.

To be we must not be

To see we must be blind

To speak we must be silent

This “aspect” of Gnosticism is of course found in a great many other “paths” (as I have hinted). Thus we should not pretend that Gnosticism or whatever our path is the “only way”, as this is just plain silly.

 

“The essence of divinity is found in every single thing – nothing but it exists. Since it causes every thing to be, no thing can live by anything else. It enlivens them, its existence exists in each existent.

Do not attribute duality to God. Let God be solely God. If you suppose that Ain Sof emanates until a certain point, and that from that point on is outside of it, you have dualized. God forbid! Do not say, ‘This is a stone and not God.’ God forbid! Rather, all existence is God, and the stone is a thing pervaded by divinity.”

– Moses Cordovero (Shiur Komah)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Master saw a disciple who was very zealous in meditation. The Master said: “Virtuous one, what is your aim in practicing Zazen (meditation)?”

The disciple said: “My aim is to become a Buddha.”

 

Then the Master picked up a tile and began to polish it on a stone in front of the hermitage.

 

The disciple said: “What is the Master doing?”

The Master said: “I am polishing this tile to make it a mirror.”

 

The disciple said: “How can you make a mirror by polishing a tile?”

The Master replied: “How can you make a Buddha by practic­ing Zazen

(27) Jesus said,

“If you do not fast from the world,

you will not find the Kingdom of God, and

if you do not keep the Sabbath for the whole week,

you will not see the Father.”

(Greek version)

 

(110) Jesus said,

Whoever finds the world and becomes rich,

let him renounce the world.”

 

(111) Jesus said, …

“Whoever finds himself is superior to the world.”

 

Mark 2:27

“The Sabbath was made for Man,

not man for the Sabbath”

(capitalization for emphasis, mine)

 

Matthew 5:17,18

Do not suppose that I have come

to abolish the law and the prophets;

I did not come to abolish, but complete.

Truly I tell you: so long as heaven and earth endure,

not a letter, not a dot, will disappear from the law

until all that must happen has happened.

 

In Gnostic thought, “the world” is to be considered inferior to both the realm of the soul and the realm of the Spirit. Although Thomas does not appear to be radically ascetic, the disciples are to be on their guard against becoming too deeply infatuated with material possessions.

 

The Sabbath is one day of physical rest per week,

but the Gnostic’s goal is to achieve a mental state

of repose “24 / 7”.  Although Matthew 5:17,18 is traditionally interpreted as referring to a future apocalyptic messiah, what if “so long as heaven and earth endure,” means as long as heaven and earth are separate, as long as they are two?  Once the two are made into One, “on earth as it is in heaven”, then you become free of the law!

 

The above summary of Thomas 27 states:

In Gnostic thought, “the world” is to be considered inferior to both the realm of the soul and the realm of the Spirit

As the text states Thomas is not overtly ascetic. Many “modern Gnostics” seem to be happy to take the idea of asceticism to heart.  They embrace the “world is a prison” idea too literally.

I think this is wrong.  I believe the key is to not value anything over anything.  The world to a Gnostic is false and illusion.  But it is still OF the father.  It is still sacred.  Yin and Yang, opposites must be embraced and unified and transcended.  Not one over the other. 

 

“In the beginning, Ein Sof emanated ten sefirot , which are of its essence, united with it. It and they are entirely one. There is no change or division in the emanator that would justify saying it is divided into parts in these various sefirot. Division and change do not apply to it, only to the external sefirah.

To help you conceive this, imagine water flowing through vessels of different colours: white, red, green and so forth. As the water spreads through those vessels, it appears to change into the colours of the vessels, although the water is devoid of all colour. The change in colour does not affect the water itself, just our perception of the water. So it is with the sefirot. They are vessels, known, for example, as Chesed, Gevurah and Tiferet, each coloured according to its function, white, red, and green, respectively, while the light of the emanator – their essence – is in the water, having no colour at all. This essence does not change; it only appears to change as it flows through the vessels.

Better yet, imagine a ray of sunlight shining through a stained-glass window of ten different colours. The sunlight possesses no colour at all but appears to change hue as it passes through the different colours of glass. Coloured light radiates through the window. The light has no essentially changed, though so it seems to the viewer. Just so with the sefirot.”

– Moses Cordovero (Pardes Rimmonim [Garden of Pomegranates])

 

 

It is a basic truth, that there is no beginning or end.

In Gnosticism we find this in the Oroborous symbol. The snake eating its own tail. Often this is seen as the end being eaten by the beginning (mouth and tail)…but if we dive deeper into an inner insight we could argue that it explores the idea of transcendence. That there is no end OR beginning, far more than the end is in the beginning.

In kabbalah we can see that the first emanation is closer to the last than it is to the second. The end is in the beginning, the end IS the beginning…thus there is no end or beginning.

One could argue that a hidden 11th emanation or 12th is the entire tree itself, in one big “sphere”…. a sphere has no end or beginning…

The passage states the nature does not change only our perception of it. Thus a simple example would be states of matter. H2O is H2O, whether it is ice, steam or water….the substance is still H2O. As regards the divine, thus it does not change, our perception of the divine changes…or our perception of “AIN” changes

Thus to tie this in with the nullification of ourselves we see that we are really the divine, the water in the example, we are that water. We conceive of ourselves as being red, green, blue or purple etc. However really we are water….

“It and they are entirely one.”

 

We find this idea of not valuing one over the other echoed in the Isa Upanishad:

He who knows both knowledge and ignorance together, crosses death through ignorance and attains immortality through knowledge.

–Isa Upanishad

 

This union of duality can be seen:

Yin is yang, yang is yin

Jesus said to them, “When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter [the kingdom].” (Gospel of Thomas)

Light and Darkness, life and death, right and left, are brothers of one another. They are inseparable. Because of this neither are the good good, nor evil evil, nor is life life, nor death death. For this reason each one will dissolve into its earliest origin. But those who are exalted above the world are indissoluble, eternal. (Gospel of Philip)

He who knows that both the unmanifested prakriti and the manifested Hiranyagarbha should be worshipped together, overcomes death by the worship of Hiranyagarbha and obtains immortality through devotion to prakriti. (Isa Upanishad)

What does this mean?

Spirit is form, form is spirit. Yet when spirit becomes form and form becomes spirit neither exists. All will dissolve into their origin that which is beyond spirit or form, beyond up and down, beyond male and female, beyond good and evil.

What does this mean? To Gnostics (some anyway lol) it means ascending the 7 heavens of the archons. To reach the 8th noble heaven….the realm of our heavenly parents, our origins.

22) The Savior said, All nature, all formations, all creatures exist
in and with one another, and they will be resolved again into their
own roots.
(Gospel of Mary)

So it is not spirit, it is not form…..

Penis + vagina =child…. Child = penis + vagina, both and yet neither. Transcendence….

 In the world but not of it.

This to me is Gnosticism, which is why form is as important as spirit. BOTH are required, but neither should be valued over the other.

 

You are Aphrodite and Adonis as soft flesh endlessly dances on flesh
among the brilliant flowers of Mount Olympus.
You are the roll and roll of the universe
in the never ending movement of creation.
You are mastodons in rut,
but you are also a point of light beyond
manifestation.
That point explodes into a million fragments
like fireworks in cosmic eternity.
The two of you are one
but even the one melts into nothingness.
Finally, beyond thought, concept or even feeling at all
is the indescribable ecstasy
as your personality dies.
There is only god-consciousness in all directions and in all time
which is out of time forever.

 

“They do not eat meat either, on the grounds that the divine substance has fled from the dead or slain bodies, and what little remains there is of such quality and quantity that it does not merit being purified in the stomachs of the elect. They do not even eat eggs, claiming that they too die when they are broken, and it is not fitting to feed on any dead bodies…Moreover, they do not use milk for food…”Augustine, De Haer 46:103-113, Faustum 16

I think the key to anything is BALANCE

Too much of one thing is always bad. Extremism in any form is bad.

Asceticism has its place but once it has gained what it was meant to do, loss weight, cleanse the system, gain spiritual insight etc. It should be dropped. Total asceticism imo is largely insane.

Take a group who I won’t mention by name, they deny caffeine in their lives. Fine, a sensible option you’d think yes? Caffeine is bad, it raises the blood pressure, is highly addictive etc etc etc. So denying yourself caffeine is a sensible option, and thus is holy. But is it?


“I’m often asked, ‘well, as a vegan, what do you eat?’ which seems like such a strange question. What do non-vegans eat? Meat, cheese, milk, eggs? Vegans eat everything else. Indian food, Chinese food, Mexican food, Thai food, Japanese food, African food, and so on, and so on.
“Whether I’m having a pan bagnia sandwich (olive tapenade, roasted red peppers, basil and onions, on ciabatta bread) at Teany, my restaurant, or having marinated exotic mushrooms with mixed baby greens and an orange vinaigrette in Paris, or having fajitas in Los Angeles, or vegan Chinese food in lower Manhattan, or vegan Pad Thai in Melbourne, or etc etc – I’m always a very happy eater.
“Primarily I’m a vegan for ethical reasons, but if the truth be told it’s the culinary aspect of veganism that has sustained me for 16 years of animal-product free living.”
–Moby (muscician)

God is ALL, all that IS, WAS and WILL be…there is nothing that is not God. Does this mean then that if we are concentrating on caffeine and denying it we are concentrating upon the divine? Or are we focusing upon ourselves? Who should we be focusing on?

Asceticism is thus a useful tool, but like all tools once used should we not pick another? Just because eating soup with a spoon is better than a fork, should we use the same spoon to paint walls with? With the logic of extremism, yes, we should paint walls with a spoon.

Now bearing this in mind we must also consider that every one’s dietary needs are important and DIFFERENT. No two people have the exact same digestive system. Some people thrive on meat, others do not. Myself I eat meat three or four times a month. Coupled with how meat is produced along with the fact I have been surrounded by vegetarianism all my life, I cannot in all conscious promote the eating of meat. But no one can gain gnosis FOR another. Each must decide in their own hearts what is right for them.

Raw vegetables are great. I love raw carrots and tomatoes. Unfortunately I love potatoes. Eating raw potatoes make you sick. There is no two ways around that. So what are we faced with? BALANCE…. Let us not make it a crime to actually cook food. Cooking brings so much to our table. The interaction of preparation, herbs, spices, colors, smells and tastes. Food and cooking food are ever so holy things. Let us celebrate what the divine has given us, not become extremists. Of course this does not mean we should ingest poison deliberately; arguably mass produced meat is a poison. For some Alcohol and drugs is a poison. Each must decide for themselves unless we seek to paint walls with a spoon forever and ever.

“In their behavior toward creatures, all men are Nazis. Human beings see oppression vividly when they’re the victims. Otherwise they victimize blindly and without a thought.”
Isaac Bashevis Singer, author, Nobel 1978

Of course the cooking of food does have repercussions:

Johns Hopkins Hospital reports:

“The combination of heat, water and oxygen is disastrous to vitamins and minerals. Cook all foods at a very low temperature (below boiling) so as to retain the vitamins and minerals. Unless we eat food properly prepared, we suffer from inferior physical development, mental instability, low endurance and lack of resistance to infection”.

For more of the above and suggestions on cooking, vegan and vegetarian Gnosticism see:

http://essenes.net/vcook.html

http://essenes.net/index-isis.htm

http://essenes.net/subindex3.htm

The Buddha said:

“If a man can (control) his body and mind and thereby refrains from eating animal flesh and wearing animal products, I say he will really be liberated.”

 

 

 

Buddhist Wisdom/ The Middle path
Let me tell you about the middle path. Dressing in rough and dirty garments,
letting your hair grow matted, abstaining from eating any meat or fish, does not
cleanse the one who is deluded. Mortifying the flesh through excessive hardship
does not lead to a triumph over the senses. All self-inflicted suffering is
useless as long as the feeling of self is dominant.

You should lose your involvement with yourself and then eat and drink naturally,
according to the needs of your body. Attachment to your appetites–whether you
deprive or indulge them–can lead to slavery, but satisfying the needs of daily
life is not wrong. Indeed, to keep a body in good health is a duty, for
otherwise the mind will not stay strong and clear.

This is the middle path.


From “The Pocket Buddha Reader,”

 

 

Jesus said, “When you make the two into one, you will become children of Adam, and when you say, ‘Mountain, move from here!’ it will move.”

–Gospel of Thomas

………………………………………………..


You are worthy of praise, beneficent Father, primeval Ancestor!
Blessed are you, beneficent God!

You, Lord, are the first alif and the last tau.
Through you yourself your pious wish has been fulfilled and
accomplished.

All gods and aeons, the deities of Light,
And the righteous bring praise to you,
singing “Holy”  repeatedly.

The spirits, the plants and all . . . . truly implore you
to blessing. And bring forth supplications with one voice.

Grant us our pious wish . . . .
They bear the form  that we have given up from afar.

Be merciful unto us in your mercy;
Show us your form, the noble epiphany, for which we yearn.

Let your brightness shine upon us, sweet source and breath of life!

Make, us, your children, strong.
In vain the dark foe boasts, together with the bellicose,
rebellious giants, In vain he wishes to cling to the Aeons.

–Hymn to Mani

……………………………………………………………

 

But  woe to him who, after having reached the top of one of these secondary eminences, lingers there through letting himself imagine that he has accomplished something final; for then it immediately turns from an aid into a hindrance, from a stage into a barrier, from an open into a closed door, from a symbol into an idol.” This indeed is the essence of idolatry” against which all the traditions are continually inveighing; nothing can be called an idol itself, but any­thing, even down to good works” and service,” can become one if it is for a moment allowed to assert is own independence to the Principle and thus enter into rivalry with it…

 

So long there yet exists a step to be taken there are alternatives and hence there are possibilities of comparison, but at the summit all alternative routes become one; every distinction between them, and therefore every opposition, is spontaneously reconciled. The summit itself not only occupies no space, although the whole mountain is virtually contained in it, but it is also outside time and all succession, and only the “eternal” present reigns there.  It is utterly inexpressible in its uniqueness; silent is the Knower of the Summit and the Whole Universe strains its ears to catch the accents of his speechless eloquence… [The summit] must be known immediately or not at all; ultimately all roundabout approaches must rejoin the direct route, of which they are but translations in the discursive mode, or they will not arrive

 

–Marco Pallis  from The way and the mountain

 

……………………………………………….

 And the Lord added and said: Let us go unto the mountain (and) pray.  And going with him, we the twelve disciples besought him that he would show us one of our righteous brethren that had departed out of the world, that we might see what manner of men they are in their form, and take courage, and encourage also the men that should hear us.

And as we prayed, suddenly there appeared two men standing before the Lord (perhaps add, to the east) upon whom we were not able to look.  For there issued from their countenance a ray as of the sun, and their raiment was shining so as the eye of man never saw the like: for no mouth is able to declare nor heart to conceive the glory wherewith they were clad and the beauty of their countenance.  Whom when we saw we were astonished, for their bodies were whiter than any snow and redder than any rose.  And the redness of them was mingled with the whiteness, and, in a word, I am not able to declare their beauty. For their hair was curling and flourishing (flowery), and fell comely about their countenance and their shoulders like a garland woven of nard and various flowers, or like a rainbow in the air: such was their comeliness.

We, then, seeing the beauty of them were astonished at them, for they appeared suddenly. And I drew near to the Lord and said: Who are these? He saith to me: These are your (our) righteous brethren whose appearance ye did desire to see. And I said unto him: And where are all the righteous? or of what sort is the world wherein they are, and possess this glory? And the Lord showed me a very great region outside this world exceeding bright with light, and the air of that place illuminated with the beams of the sun, and the earth of itself flowering with blossoms that fade not, and full of spices and plants, fair-flowering and incorruptible, and bearing blessed fruit. And so great was the blossom that the odor thereof was borne thence even unto us.

And the dwellers in that place were clad with the raiment of shining angels, and their raiment was like unto their land.

And angels ran round about them there.  And the glory of them that dwelt there was all equal, and with one voice they praised the Lord God, rejoicing in that place.

The Lord saith unto us: This is the place of your leaders (or, high priests), the righteous men.

–The Apocalypse of Peter

 

 

 

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