Highest state is 'friendship and interior communion with God'


The Jesus Mysteries: Was the Original Jesus A Pagan God?
"The Mysteries were divided into various levels of initiation, which led an initiate step by step through ever deepening levels of understanding. The number of levels of initiation varied in different Mystery traditions, but essentially the initiate was led from the Outer Mysteries, in which the myths were understood superficially as religious stories, to the Inner Mysteries, in which the myths were revealed as spiritual allegories. First the initiate was ritually purified. Then they were taught the secret teachings on a one-to-one basis. The highest stage was when the initiate understood the true meaning of the teachings and finally experienced what Theon of Smyrna calls 'friendship and interior communion with God'." - Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy

--- In adishakti_sahaja_yoga@yahoogroups.com, "Violet" wrote:
>
> (P.25)The ancient philosophers were not so foolish as to believe
> that the Mystery myths were literally true, but wise enough
> to recognize that they were an easy introduction to the
> profound mystical philosophy at the heart of the Mysteries.
>
> The Jesus Mysteries
> Was the Original Jesus A Pagan God?
> Chapter 2 - p.25
>

Dear All,

Yet perhaps, unknown to the ancient philosophers, in the Spirit World in the Kingdom of God the mythologies do come true. It would seem that these mythologies give a deeper spiritual truth of the 'Divine within' that has to be individually realized - and in the Spirit World these mythologies can be witnessed, according to the knowledge that Kash and his siblings have given evidence of. Therefore, this knowledge is not only important evidence to confirm Shri Mataji's incarnation, but it is also knowledge that perhaps the ancient philosophers did not know, about the Spirit World and the Kingdom of God:

"This overriding unity of all messengers of various religions as One was consistently witnessed by Kash throughout all his journeys into the Kingdom of God. It was for this reason that on December 31, 1993, his father requested him to wish Shri Mataji and all the Messengers of God Almighty a "Happy New Year".

This young child had been meditating for nearly two months and daily provided his father with unassailable evidence that whatever he was witnessing in the Kingdom of God within was not a figment of his imagination, but a Reality greater than that of this earthly existence. And he (together with his brother Arwinder and sister Lalita) always maintained that all the Messengers of Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism and others were living in perfect harmony in the Spirit World."

http://adishakti.org/meeting_his_messengers.htm

violet


Dear Violet and all,

Namaste - i bow to the Primordial Mother who resides in you!

This is the first time the Great Devi has revealed Herself this way i.e., simultaneously and daily to three siblings from 1993-2007 who bore witness to the Spirit World and the Kingdom of God. She has given irrefutable evidence that Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi is Her incarnation, the Comforter promised by Jesus Christ. Of even greater significance are the Great Mother's revelations that She is the Shakti/Holy Spirit of God Almighty entrenched in all religions stretching back into time. But most important, relevant and comforting to humanity today is Her Divine Message and Sure Signs of the Resurrection--the promised redemption and salvation of all humans--which is the heart and soul of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

We are Her disciples specifically empowered with the knowledge and faith of the Last Judgment and General Resurrection to bring about the salvation of souls:

"Jesus solemnly assures the disciples that they will, in the future, perform even greater miracles than He. By this He means to say that through the power of the Holy Spirit, they will bring about the greatest miracle of all – the salvation of lost souls."
(The Randall House Bible Commentary: The Gospel of John)

and even warn Muslims, "You persistently closed your mind to this promise" of the Resurrection! (You need knowledge of the Qur'an to say so.)

So whether you are a pagan, atheist, gnostic or religious person the Divine Mother has given the knowledge and evidence to establish a deep faith in the Divine. The Great Mother/Holy Spirit/Ruh/Adi Shakti/ Aykaa Mayee within personally leads Her devotee to the highest state of human existence, the 'friendship and interior communion with God'.

However, all the bhakti--devotion and reverence for the Divine expressed through rituals, sacrifices, ascetic practices, pilgrimages, donations, idols, hymns, prayers, purifications--will not lead to this highest state. Thus all the bathing at Benares, hajjs to Mecca, drinking holy water at Lourdes, circumambulations of Mount Kailash, flagellations for Hussain, Golden Temple recitations, Ramadan fasts, Navratri penance, and other manmade rituals will never liberate. Of course that includes the rituals and treatments of SYSSR, the Sahaja Yoga Subtle System Religion. Knowledge need not arise from even total dedication of these external religious rituals, as has been the case for millennia.

In the Devi Gita the Divine Mother proceeds to describe Her essential forms. The Devi declares that prior to creation, She is the only existent entity, the one supreme Brahman and is pure consciousness. The Devi Gita is clear about salvation and attainment of eternal life: "Even when a person performs bhakti, knowledge need not arise. He will go to the Devi's Island. Till the complete knowledge in the form of my consciousness arises, there is no liberation."

As we continue to extract ever more knowledge and evidence that progressively eradicates our inherited religious ignorance and false indoctrination, our consciousness and attention is slowly shifting through daily meditation towards 'friendship and interior communion with God' i.e., the complete knowledge in the form of consciousness. The Holy Spirit/Adi Shakti/Aykaa Mayee/Comforter/Ruh/Antaryamin within is nothing but pure consciousness. Your spirit or soul too is pure consciousness. Consciousness is eternal.

The invisible Spirit is eternal, and the visible world is transitory. The reality of these two is indeed certainly seen by the seers of truth. The Spirit (Atma) by which all this universe is pervaded is indestructible. No one can destroy the imperishable Spirit. Bodies of the eternal, immutable, and incomprehensible Spirit are perishable. The Spirit (Atma) is neither born nor does it die at any time. It does not come into being, or cease to exist. It is unborn, eternal, permanent, and primeval. The Spirit is not destroyed when the body is destroyed.

The Holy Spirit/Adi Shakti/Aykaa Mayee/Comforter/Ruh/Antaryamin within is nothing but pure consciousness. Your spirit or soul too is pure consciousness. Consciousness is eternal. Only the knowledge of the friendship and interior communion with Her--all in the form of pure consciousness --is liberation! That excludes all rituals, baths, sacrifices, ascetic practices, pilgrimages, donations, idols, hymns, prayers, treatments, circumambulations, flagellations, fasts, recitations, penance and purifications required by religious institutions. The highest state is when we understand the true meaning of the teachings of the Divine Mother and begin experiencing the 'friendship and interior communion with God'. The pagan civilization knew about Self-realization and "The Mysteries" confirm they were far advanced, and still are today over the religions that eradicated and replaced them.

regards to all,

jagbir




The Jesus Mysteries: Was the Original Jesus A Pagan God?
"The Mysteries - Part 1

'Blest is the happy man
Who knows the Mysteries the gods ordain,
And sanctifies his life,
Joins soul with soul in mystic unity,
And, by due ritual made pure,
Enters the ecstasy of mountain solitudes;
Who observes the mystic rites
Made lawful by the Great Mother;
Who crowns his head with ivy,
And shakes his wand in worship of Dionysus.'[1]

- Euripides


Paganism is a 'dead' religion - or more accurately an 'exterminated' religion. It did not simply fade into oblivion. It was actively suppressed and annihilated, its temples and shrines desecrated and demolished, and its great sacred books thrown onto bonfires. No living lineage has been left to explain its ancient beliefs. So, the Pagan worldview has to be reconstructed from the archaeological evidence and texts that have survived, like some giant metaphysical jigsaw puzzle.

(P.19) 'Pagan' was originally a derogatory term meaning 'country- dweller', used by Christians to imply that the spirituality of the ancients was some primitive rural superstition. But this is not true. Paganism was the spirituality which inspired the unequalled magnificence of the Giza pyramids, the exquisite architecture of the Parthenon, the legendary sculptures of Phideas, the powerful plays of Euripides and Sophocles, and the sublime philosophy of Socrates and Plato.

Pagan civilization built vast libraries to house hundreds of thousands of works of literary and scientific genius. Its natural philosophers speculated that human beings had evolved from animals. [2] Its astronomers knew the Earth was a sphere[3] which, along with the planets, revolves around the sun.[4] They had even estimated its circumference to within one degree of accuracy.[5] The ancient Pagan world sustained a population not matched again in Europe until the eighteenth century.[6] In Greece, Pagan culture gave birth to the concepts of democracy, rational philosophy, public libraries, theatre and the Olympic Games, creating a blueprint for our modern world. What was the spirituality that inspired these momentous cultural achievements?

Most people associate Paganism with either rustic witchcraft or the myths of the gods of Olympus as recorded by Hesiod and Homer. Pagan spirituality did indeed embrace both. The country people practised their traditional shamanic nature worship to maintain the fertility of the land and the city authorities propped up formal state religions, such as the worship of the Olympian gods, to maintain the power of the status quo.

It was, however, a third, more mystical, expression of the Pagan spirit which inspired the great minds of the ancient world. The thinkers, artists and innovators of antiquity were initiates of various religions known as 'Mysteries'. These remarkable men and women held the Mysteries to be the heart and soul of their culture. (P.20) The Greek historian Zosimos writes that without the Mysteries 'life for the Greeks would be unlivable' for 'the sacred Mysteries hold the whole human race together'.[7] The eminent Roman statesman Cicero enthuses:

'These Mysteries have brought us from rustic savagery to a cultivated and refined civilisation. The rites of the Mysteries are called "initiations" and in truth we have learned from them the first principles of life. We have gained the understanding not only to live happily but also to die with better hope.'[8]

Unlike the traditional rituals of the official state religions, which were designed to aid social cohesion, the Mysteries were an individualistic form of spirituality which offered mystical visions and personal enlightenment.[9] Initiates underwent a secret process of initiation which profoundly transformed their state of consciousness. The poet Pindar reveals that an initiate into the Mysteries 'knows the end of life and its God-given beginning'.[10] Lucius Apuleius, a poet-philosopher, writes of his experience of initiation as a spiritual rebirth which he celebrated as his birthday, an experience for which he felt a 'debt of gratitude' that he 'could never hope to repay'. [11] Plato, the most influential philosopher of all time, relates:

"We beheld the beatific visions and were initiated into the Mystery which may be truly called blessed, celebrated by us in a state of innocence. We beheld calm, happy, simple, eternal visions, resplendent in pure light.'[12]

The great Pagan philosophers were the enlightened masters of the Mysteries. Although they are often portrayed today as dry 'academic' intellectuals, they were actually enigmatic 'gurus'. Empedocles, like his master Pythagoras, was a charismatic miracle-worker.[13] (P.21) Socrates was an eccentric mystic prone to being suddenly overcome by states of rapture during which his friends would discover him staring off into space for hours.[14] Heraclitus was asked by the citizens of Ephesus to become a lawmaker, but turned the offer down so that he could continue playing with the children in the temple.[15] Anaxagoras shocked ordinary citizens by completely abandoning his farm to fully devote his life to 'the higher philosophy'.[16] Diogenes owned nothing and lived in a jar at the entrance of a temple. [17] The inspired playwright Euripides wrote his greatest tragedies during solitary retreats in an isolated cave.[18]

All of these idiosyncratic sages were steeped in the mysticism of the Mysteries, which they expressed in their philosophy. Olympiodorus, a follower of Plato, tells us that his master paraphrased the Mysteries everywhere.[19] The works of Heraclitus were renowned even in ancient times for being obscure and impenetrable, yet Diogenes explains that they are crystal clear to an initiate of the Mysteries. Of studying Heraclitus he writes:

'It is a hard road to follow, filled with darkness and gloom; but if an initiate leads you on the way, it becomes brighter than the radiance of the sun.'[20]

At the heart of Pagan philosophy is an understanding that all things are One. The Mysteries aimed at awakening within the initiate a sublime experience of this Oneness. Sallustius declares: 'Every initiation aims at uniting us with the World and with the Deity.'[21] Plotinus describes the initiate transcending his limited sense of himself as a separate ego and experiencing mystical union with God:

(P.21) 'As if borne away, or possessed by a god, he attains to solitude in untroubled stillness, nowhere deflected in his being and unbusied with self, utterly at rest and become very rest. He does not converse with a statue or image but with Godhead itself. And this is no object of vision, but another mode of seeing, a detachment from self, a simplification and surrender of self, a yearning for contact, and a stillness and meditation directed towards transformation. Whoever sees himself in this way has attained likeness to God; let him abandon himself and find the end of his journeying.'[22]

No wonder the initiate Sopatros poetically mused, 'I came out of the Mystery Hall feeling like a stranger to myself.'[23]

What were these ancient Mysteries that could inspire such reverent awe and heartfelt appreciation? The Mystery religion was practised for thousands of years, during which time it spread throughout the ancient world, taking on many different forms. Some were frenzied and others meditative. Some involved bloody animal sacrifice, while others were presided over by strict vegetarians. At certain moments in history the Mysteries were openly practised by whole populations and were endorsed, or at least tolerated, by the state. At other times they were a small-scale and secretive affair, for fear of persecution by unsympathetic authorities. Central to all of these forms of the Mysteries, however, was the myth of a dying and resurrecting godman.

The Greek Mysteries celebrated at Eleusis in honour of the Great Mother goddess and the godman Dionysus were the most famous of all the Mystery cults. The sanctuary of Eleusis was finally destroyed by bands of fanatical Christian monks in 396 CE, but up until this tragic act of vandalism the Mysteries had been celebrated there for over 11 centuries.[24] At the height of their popularity people were coming from all over the then known world to be initiated: men and women, rich and poor, slaves and emperors [25] - even a Brahmin priest from India.[26]...

Why did the myth enacted by the Mysteries have such a profound effect?

Encoded Secret Teachings

In antiquity the word 'mythos' did not mean something 'untrue', as it does for us today. Superficially a myth was an entertaining story, but to the initiated it was a sacred code that contained profound spiritual teachings.[37] Plato comments, 'It looks as if those also who established rites of initiation for us were no fools, but that there is a hidden meaning in their teachings.'[38] He explains that it is 'those who have given their lives to true philosophy' who will grasp the 'hidden meaning' encoded in the Mystery myths, and so become completely identified with the godman in an experience of mystical enlightenment.[39]

The ancient philosophers were not so foolish as to believe that the Mystery myths were literally true, but wise enough to recognize that they were an easy introduction to the profound mystical philosophy at the heart of the Mysteries. Sallustius writes:

(P.26) 'To wish to teach all men the truth of the gods causes the foolish to despise, because they cannot learn, and the good to be slothful, whereas to conceal the truth by myths prevents the former from despising philosophy and compels the latter to study it.' [40]

It was the role of the priests and philosophers of the Mysteries to decode the hidden depths of spiritual meaning contained within the Mystery myths. Heliodorus, a priest of the Mysteries, explains:

'Philosophers and theologians do not disclose the meanings embedded in these stories to laymen but simply give them preliminary instruction in the form of a myth. But those who have reached the higher grades of the Mysteries they initiate into clear knowledge in the privacy of the holy shrine, in the light cast by the blazing torch of truth.'[41]

The Mysteries were divided into various levels of initiation, which led an initiate step by step through ever deepening levels of understanding. The number of levels of initiation varied in different Mystery traditions, but essentially the initiate was led from the Outer Mysteries, in which the myths were understood superficially as religious stories, to the Inner Mysteries, in which the myths were revealed as spiritual allegories. First the initiate was ritually purified. Then they were taught the secret teachings on a one-to-one basis.[42] The highest stage was when the initiate understood the true meaning of the teachings and finally experienced what Theon of Smyrna calls 'friendship and interior communion with God'.

The Jesus Mysteries
Was the Original Jesus A Pagan God? p.18-26
Timothy Freke & Peter Gandy
Element (imprint of HarperCollins'Publishers')
77-85 Fulham Palace Road
Hammersmith, London W6 8JB
ISBN-13 978-0-7225-3677-3
ISBN-10 0-7225-3677-1

Notes:
[1] Euripides, 'The Bacchae', 194, lines 74-83
[2] Kirk and Raven, (1957), 393, Anaxagoras fr. 532; see 141, Anaximander fr. 140
[3] The earliest mention of a spherical Earth in the West is in Plato, 'Phaedo', 110b, although Diogenes Laertius tells us that it was Pythagoras who first called the Earth round, see Guthrie, K.S. (1987), 154. The Alexandrian scholar Eratosthenes (275-194 BCE) asserted that if one sailed westward from Spain one would eventually reach India, see Marlow, J. (1971), 72.
[4] Kirk and Raven, op.cit., 257, fr. 329: 'Most people say that the earth lies at the centre of the universe but the Italian philosophers known as Pythagoreans take the contrary view. At the centre they say, is fire, and the earth is one of the planets creating night and day by its circular motion about the centre.' The Pythagorean theory was later adopted by the astronomers of the Alexandrian library: 'Aristarchus of Samos hypothesises ... that the earth is borne around the sun on the circumference of a circle.' See Walbank, F.W. (1981), 185. Aristarchus was Eratosthenes' successor as Chief Librarian; see Marlow, op.cit., 74.
[5] Marlow, J. op.cit., 71. Eratosthenes' calculation was correct with an error of less than 1 per cent.
[6] Lane-Fox, R. (1986), 47. Augustus ruled over an empire of over 100 million people. In Egypt, for example, the population did not approach eight million again until the mid-nineteenth century.
[7] Quoted in Kerenyi, C. (1967), 11. Zosimos is commenting on the laws passed in the fourth century CE by the Christian Emperor Valentinian to prohibit the celebration of the Greek Mysteries of Eleusis. They were regarded by local authorities as unworkable because the Mysteries were still held in such high esteem.
[8] Campbell, J. (1964), 268, quoting Cicero, 'On the Laws', 2.36
[9] Burkert, W. (1985), 291:'Dionysus is the god of the exceptional. As the individual gains in independence, the Dionysus cult becomes a vehicle for the separation of private groups from the polis. Alongside public Dionysiac festivals there emerge Dionysus mysteries.' Guthrie, W.K.C. (1952), 50: 'It is this emergence of mystery religions into the stream of history that is meant by those who refer to the great religious revival of the sixth century. Henceforth ... the choice of belief being a matter of individual temperament.' See Wallis, R.T. (1992), 28, which records Jaeger's view that 'From the fourth century BC on, the form of Greek religion that appealed to most people of higher education was not the religion of the Olympic gods but that of the mysteries, which gave the individual a more personal relationship with the godhead.' The Mystery religions were ideally suited to the conditions following Alexander's conquest, when previously discrete cultures were thrown together. The science of comparative religion was born and old national and racial deities reinvented. The new Mediterranean 'koine' presented to the individual new challenges and new opportunities. The individualistic salvation cults of the Mysteries flourished in this environment.
[10] Burkert, op.cit., 289. The mystical understanding that the end and the beginning are One is a sentiment expressed by many initiates. In Greek initiation is 'telete', meaning 'to finish', but when Cicero translated the concept into Latin he used 'initiatio', meaning 'to begin'. That both terms can be true is a reflection of this paradox. To the initiate the moments of birth, death and initiation are the same.
[11] Lucius Apuleius, 'The Golden Ass', 187, Chapter 18: 'This was the happiest day of my initiation, and I celebrate it as my birthday ... I remained for days longer in the temple, enjoying the ineffable pleasure of contemplating the Goddess's statue, because I was bound to her by a debt of gratitude that I could never hope to repay.'
[12] Plato, 'Phaedrus', 250b-c
[13] Kingsley, P. (1995), Chapter 24. Kingsley states that the current state of research on the Presocratic philosophers has reached crisis point. Post-enlightenment classical scholars were as embarrassed by the mysticism and 'miracle-mongering' of men like Pythagoras and Empedocles as they were of the supernaturalism of the New Testament. Consequently Plato's indebtedness to the Mysteries and to Orphic/Pythagorean doctrines was ignored or misunderstood. Only now are historians beginning to acknowledge that 'rational' philosophy emerged from a wave of Oriental mysticism that swept Greece in the sixth and fifth centuries BCE. See Boardman, Griffin and Murray (1986), 115:'The development of science and philosophy was concurrent with, and to some extent implicated in, the spread of untraditional doctrines derived not from pure reason but from oriental myth.'
[14] Plato, 'Symposium', 220c-d
[15] Kirk and Raven, (1957), 183. Orphaned children in Ephesus were looked after in the Temple of Artemis, the 'Great Mother' of Asia Minor. It was to this temple that Heraclitus donated his famous book. The bear was Artemis' totem animal, probably on account of its fiercely protective mother instinct. The children of the temple were known as 'cubs'.
[16] Plutarch, 'Life of Pericles', 16
[17] Diogenes and Antisthenes were the disciples of Plato and the originators of Cynic philosophy.
[18] Euripides was the last of the Classical Greek tragedians; 'The Bacchae' was his last work. The cave in which it is thought Euripides worked and meditated has recently been discovered near Salamis.
[19] Kingsley, op.cit., 112, making clear his belief that large parts of Plato's philosophy derive from the teachings of the Mysteries. The Mysteries were shaped by the religious movement of Orphism and Pythagoreanism which swept Greece in the sixth and fifth centuries BCE. Pausanias, referring to a secret Pythagorean doctrine, says, 'Whoever has seen the Mysteries or read the books of Orpheus will know what I mean,' implying that the sayings of Orpheus formed a liturgical accompaniment to the performance of the sacred rites. A recently discovered fragment by Plato's nephew Speusippus, who took over the Academy after Plato, leaves us no doubt that he saw Plato as the successor of Pythagoras, see Burkert, W. (1972), 62. Aristotle also points out the dependence of Plato on Pythagoras, see Kingsley, op.cit., 111. Photius said that Plato was entirely dependent on the Italian Pythagoreans, and Numenius of Apamea claimed that Plato derived all his doctrines from Pythagoras, see Boardman, Griffin and Murray, op.cit., 700. Proclus tells us that 'Plato received all his knowledge of divine matters from Pythagorean and Orphic writings' and Moderatus of Gades severely criticized Plato, accusing him of using the ideas of Pythagoras without giving him credit where it was due, see Guthrie, K.S. (1987), 41. The Mysteries, Orphism, Pythagoreanism and the philosophy of Plato can only be understood as a unified whole. Unfortunately the key to this mystery was the secret imparted during initiation, a secret which initiates invariably took with them to the grave.
[20] Kahn, C.H. (1979), 95, quoting an epigram attributed to Cleanthes
[21] Angus, S. (1925), 70, quoting from 'Concerning the Gods and the Universe', 4
[22] Quoted in Gregory, J. (1987), 188; slightly adapted
[23] Burkert, W. (1992), 90, quoting Sopatros, 'The Rhetorician', 8.114
[24] Angus, op.cit., vii. Eleusis was destroyed by Alaric the Goth aided by Christian monks.
[25] Burkert, W. (1985), 286, and see Willoughby, H.R. (1929), 38, which also presents evidence that women and slaves were admitted to the rites. Numerous Roman nobles and Emperors were initiated at Eleusis, including Sulla, Mark Antony, Cicero, Augustus, Claudius, Domitian, Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius, see Magnien, V. (1938), 25ff.
[26] Kerenyi, C. (1967), 100ff. The Brahmin priest Zarmaros went as an ambassador to Emperor Augustus from King Poros of India. Augustus, initiated himself in 31 BCE, decreed that the Eleusinian Mysteries should be celebrated out of season to initiate his guest. At the climax of the Mysteries, when the sanctuary opened and the great fire blazed forth, Zarmaros astonished onlookers by walking directly into the flames.
[37] Fidler, D. (1993), 6: 'The teachings of the mystery religions were characteristically embodied in allegory, myth, and symbolic imagery, both as "teaching stories" and as basic paradigms of human experience. Certain philosophical schools, especially the Stoics and Platonists, drew upon traditional myths to illustrate insights which transcend merely logical description. Moreover, they held that the interpretation of the traditional myths, like the pursuit of philosophy itself, constituted, at its core, a process of initiation.'
[38] Plato, 'Phaedo', 69c
[39] Ibid., 69d: 'As those who understand the mysteries say, "There are many who bear the wand, but few who become Bacchoi."' Becoming one with the godman was the goal of the Mysteries.
[40] Quoted in Fidler, op.cit., 23. Sallustius also writes: 'The universe itself can be called a myth, since bodies and material objects are apparent in it, while souls and intellects are concealed,' see Ehrenberg, V. (1968), 5.
[41] Heliodorus, 'An Ethiopian Story', 9.9, quoted in Fidler, op.cit., 322, note 46
[42] Kingsley, P. (1995), 367. A beginner was called a 'mystae', which means 'eyes closed' and is the root of our words 'mystery' and 'mysticism'. The 'mystae' were those who had not yet understood the secret Inner Mysteries. The higher level of initiates were called 'epoptae', meaning 'to have seen'. The 'epoptae' were those who had understood the Inner Mysteries.


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