Tag Archives: dark ages

Murder for God 2

FEW honest and sincere believers have the faintest conception of the history surrounding the early beginnings of the Church.

Almost everyone is familiar with what is recorded in the New Testament concerning the differences of opinion that arose between Peter and Paul. But how many are aware of the fact that this split continued to grow?

For several centuries after the time of Jesus the best and most prominent of the Church Fathers were irreconcilably divided among themselves on issues of basic doctrine.

In order to retain power and authority, the dominant sectarians inaugurated a custom never before known in the recorded annals of religious history — the custom of anathema.

These Churchmen were too narrow and dogmatic in belief to allow room for natural divergences of opinion, which alone could have made of Christianity a vital and healthy organism. The result was a course of action diametrically opposed to the principle of tolerance reflected in the life of their declared inspiration, Jesus of Nazareth.

Having no faith in their capacity to win the adherence of thinking minds, the Church Fathers used anathema for the purpose of “persuading” those who could not be converted — and of silencing those not to be persuaded.

For the millennium “beginning with Buddha and Pythagoras at one end and the Neo-Platonists and Gnostics at the other, is the only focus left in History,” says Mme. Blavatsky in The Secret Doctrine — (see Holy Heretics) —

“… wherein converge for the last time the bright rays of light streaming from the æons of time gone by, unobscured by the hand of bigotry and fanaticism.” Continue reading

Murder for God 1

Rachel Weisz as Hypatia

THE fourth century was the turning point in the history of the Western world, the period in which Christianity took the form of a strong political organization.

Throttling the old religions, sciences and philosophies, “the Church” arose as a temporal power upon their remains.

At the same time, admiring crowds began gathering at the door of the academy where the learned and unfortunate Hypatia taught.

Hypatia, expounding the doctrines of the divine Plato and Plotinus, thereby impeded the progress of Christian proselytism.

She successfully dissipated the mists of the religious “mysteries” invented by the Christian Fathers, and was therefore considered dangerous.

H. P. Blavatsky writes in Isis Unveiled:

“This alone would have been sufficient to imperil both herself and her followers.”

The city of Alexandria is interesting to the Theosophical student, for there, just fifteen hundred years ago, existed the last great Theosophical School in history — the School which was begun by Ammonius Saccas, (called theodidaktos, or “god-taught”), and ended with the death of Hypatia. Continue reading

Holy Heretics

crocus_snow1IN ANY age, when doctrine becomes dogma, and when fanaticism compels lip service to exclusive group beliefs, the ideas of Theosophy seem buried and forgotten.

We discover, however, that this is never entirely the case.

The insurgencies of dogma and prejudice are like the frozen snows which hide the promise of spring. But seeds survive beneath the snow — and even during the darkest centuries of Western history, there was heat and warmth enough under the surface to allow some of these seeds to germinate.

In a sense, then, the history of the relationship between “heretics” and the “renaissance” is the history of every age.

jung_alchemy

“We do not mean to take upon ourselves to defend the sects which inundated Europe at the eleventh century,” Helena Blavatsky wrote in Isis Unveiled (p. 326), “and which brought to light the most wonderful creeds. We limit our defense….

“…to those Christian sects whose theories were usually grouped under the generic name of Gnosticism. The Gnostics [who] appeared immediately after the alleged crucifixion, and lasted till they were nearly exterminated under the rigorous execution of the Constantinian law.”

Gnostic Mystery Schools
(overview)

“Had not the Christians burdened themselves with the Revelations of a little nation, and accepted the Jehovah of Moses, the Gnostic ideas would never have been termed heresies,” Blavatsky wrote.

“Once relieved of their dogmatic exaggerations the world would have had a religious system based on pure Platonic philosophy, and surely something would then have been gained.” – (Isis Unveiled, p. 155.)

Gnostic gospels of Nag Hamadi

Gnostic gospels of Nag Hamadi

The Lost Gnosis

(Prof. Elaine Pagels)

The Turning-Point

THE days of Constantine were the last turning-point in history, the period of the Supreme struggle that ended in the Western world throttling the old religions in favor of the new one, built on their bodies.

“This period, beginning with Buddha and Pythagoras at the one end and the Neo-Platonists and Gnostics at the other, is the only focus left in History wherein converge for the last time the bright rays of light streaming from the æons of time gone by, unobscured by the hand of bigotry and fanaticism.” (Secret Doctrine I, Introductory)

inquisition

The Suppression

THE history of the Albigenses may be said to be written in blood. At first the church was content to condemn their errors at various councils (1165, 1176, 1178, 1179), but as their practical opposition to Rome became stronger, more decided measures were taken. Innocent III had scarcely ascended the papal throne when he sent legates to Toulouse (1198) to endeavor to suppress the sect.

Under the Roman Empire

The bloody war of extermination which followed has scarcely a parallel in history. As town after town was taken, the inhabitants were put to the sword ecclesiastics who were in the army especially distinguished themselves by a bloodthirsty ferocity. without distinction of age or sex, and the numerous

Inquisition4

The establishment of an Inquisition at Languedoc in 1229 accelerated the exterminating process, and a few years later, according to some historians, the sect was all but extinct. (Britannica, 9th Ed., “Albigenses”)

The Inquisition

NOT only were all Christians made to feel that it was their highest duty to aid in the exterminations of heretics, but they were taught that they must denounce them to the authorities, regardless of all consideration, human or divine. No tie of kindred served as an excuse for concealing heresy.

inquisition5

The son must denounce the father, and the husband was guilty if he did not deliver his wife to a frightful death.

Every human bond was severed by the guilt of heresy — children were taught to desert their parents, and even the sacrament of matrimony could not unite an orthodox wife to a misbelieving husband.

No pledge was to remain unbroken. (Britannica, 11th Ed., “Heresy”)

One Mother-Trunk

GnosticSoul

“We can assert, with entire plausibility, that there is not one of all these sects — Kabalism, Judaism, and our present Christianity included,” writes H. P. Blavatsky (Isis Unveiled 2:123):

“— but sprung from the two main branches of that one mother-trunk, the once universal religion, which antedated the Vedic ages — we speak of that prehistoric Buddhism which later merged into Brahmanism.”

Cracking the Gnostic Code

gnostic1

Gnosis means spiritual knowledge while Gnosticism was an ancient pre-Christian form of esoteric wisdom. The speaker, John Algeo, refers to Gnostic texts translated by the 19th century Theosophist G. R. S. Mead, Mme. Blavatsky’s Secretary — and shows how the Gnostics coded their wisdom.

This is an hour-long video lecture. You may wish to make a note of the elapsed minutes, and return to this valuable information several times, by sliding the bottom bar to the right.

 

blavatsky

Helena Petrovna Blavatsky ….

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“The world is not prepared yet to understand

… the philosophy of Occult Science – let them assure themselves first of all that there are beings in an invisible world … and that there are hidden powers in man …” (HPB Letters)

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“Races of men differ in spiritual ‘gifts

… as in color, stature, or any other external quality — among some peoples seership naturally prevails, among others mediumship.” (Isis Unveiled)

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Psychism, with all its allurements and all its dangers

… is necessarily developing among you, and you must beware lest the Psychic outruns the [mental] and spiritual development. Psychic capacities held perfectly under control, checked and directed by the [mind] principle, are valuable aids in development. But these capacities running riot, controlling instead of being controlled, using instead of being used, lead the student into the most dangerous delusions and the certainty of moral destruction.”
(To the American Conventions)

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“The acquisition of the highest knowledge and power

… require not only many years of the severest study …. and an audacity bent by no peril, but also as many years of retreat in comparative solitude, and association with but students pursuing the same object, in a locality where nature itself preserves like the neophyte an absolute and unbroken stillness, if not silence!” –  (H. P. Blavatsky)

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