Malcolm - Hi PB I wonder,is there a different perspective on the Jesus virgin birth? Your experience/s are not so much physical as spiritual and the 2 realms are very different?
PB - I quite agree. But for where we are going, let me back up a little. In our discussion on caves, I had mentioned experiencing or merging with the Void, which I see as a place or space that the Eastern religions or faiths recognize as the transcendent space. Elsewhere on this thread, you wrote the following - [grahamhancock.com]:
Malcolm - "People so often equate God with a male figure yet women give birth to us all and loving nurture, etc they are amazing Creatures surely if we have to use genders woman is so much better. My mother died when I was 4 yrs old I missed her terribly, it made me realize how important mothers/women are. But we know that god is No-thing, so genders are really silly."
As I go on, please understand that I am not bothered by this at all, as one who sees himself as Christian because he believes that God sanctified his relationship to Christianity. Your statement about the No-thingness tells me that you have either seen the Void or understand it, because that, I found was one of its fundamental characteristics. That said, when it comes to "God", I wonder if our or some of our conceptions of deity attain absolute value here in matter, where we move beyond the purely transcendent position to a place where things attain an absolute value. This is why one can only run so far with the idea that everything is illusion or Maya, the Buddhist concept: Within the physical realms, things are absolutely real.
One question therefore, is if God has an absolute reality within the material realm. Is man's conception of God purely invention? Or, does God, at times, present 'Itself' within matter in terms that are every bit as real as compelling as the computer screen you are now looking into? My opinion is yes, and while I am Christian I certainly don't discount the possibility that this has occurred in other relational spiritual and/or religious contexts. So, know that going forward.
However, as one who has merged with the Void, and experienced what I have in the context of this mortal existence I wonder, Malcolm, if cosmic differentiation occurred within the Void 'prior' to the Atman-Brahman differentiation. (I qualify prior because, as you will surely know, from the perspective of the Void time is just another 'thing' that is wholly subordinate to the Void, and a creation of the Void itself.)
What I am wondering, to put it another way, as a Christian, is if a subdividing occurred in this context that resulted in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If this did indeed occur, then the Christian theology in this regard has absolute value, and it literally becomes true that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit can and perhaps have entered the material realms with the full force and presence of any material 'thing'.
I am not saying that this hasn't occurred in other contexts. It might have. I don't know. I don't even profess to know if the aforementioned F-S-HS subdividing occurred. One more thing to say, as I move forward is this. Your notion of the gender issue being "silly", while somewhat understandable, seems highly problematic to anyone who takes even some of Jesus' teachings seriously. I say this because the notion of God the Father was central to his theology. So, with these ideas in mind....
Malcolm - Some of the early texts show a more spiritual take on it, they seem imo to be showing the original Primal Adam doctrine. Eusebius 300-40ad. Listed a group called Ebonites ('the poor' see Essenes) who had the doctrine of the 'Primal Adam', in Hebrew language 'Adam' and the word 'Man' are interchangeable, and so Adam can be the 1st Adam or Man. To the Ebionites, Christ is Adam, the first created, a 'Spirit' higher than angels, lord of all. He comes here when he (it?) chooses, as when he (it?) came in Adam, he (it?) came also in the last days, put on Jesus body, appeared to men, was crucified, resurrected and ascended. also they say, the Spirit which is Christ came unto him and put on the man, who is called Jesus. So the 'first Adam' comes in and out of being, manifesting in bodies through out time.
PB - So, I have mentioned my Easter Sunday experience, here and on the Thomas thread, which speaks to an experience I had that has left me believing that God sanctified my relationship within Christianity. As I also mentioned, this occurred in the context of what I regard as a spiritual Initiation that occurred over a three month period, off and on, in the early part of 1986.
When I woke up that morning, I was immediately informed that I should go to Mass, and to stay for Holy Communion. My feeling was that I was being informed of this by some angelic agent. I also felt like I had one foot in heaven, so to speak. Knowing that this had to be the next thing in my Initiation, I went to Mass, and as soon as I entered the church this heavenly feeling amplified intensely. Here I was, in a church that I had received my first Communion in, a place that had bored me always quite frankly, a building, and for the first time ever I recognized it as a House of God.
Had I not been prepared for this, I wouldn't have been able to handle what I was experiencing. However, the day after my Void experience, I had what I am certain was a Kundalini activation which led to the opening of my Crown chakra. If you haven't had such an experience, I would say this, based on my own: all of what you've read about the heavenly bliss that accompanies this experience is true. The state cannot be embellished. It is, quite literally in my opinion, an experience of being 'in heaven on earth'.
So, I was like, "Here we go again, my next lesson in this Initiation process." I knew I was in two worlds at once, and behaved accordingly, like some other person going to Mass. After settling into one of the seats, I closed my eyes to pray, and recognized that the heavenly presence was within me as well as without. It was totally ubiquitous, in other words, and I soon felt the presence of God the Father.
What happened next was what I regard as a Directed experience, one that continued throughout Mass. It was as if my mind was directed to things within and without that were demonstrations of God's presence and majesty, ongoing validations of my initial impression, what I described in the previous paragraph.
One thing I remember early on, was a back and forth going on in my head, which had to do with this "Catholic" religious experience I was having. For a time, early on, I kept coming back to, or was Directed to, the fact that Catholic means 'universal'. I don't know if this is true, although I believe it is, but my interpretation was that I was going through a 'universal' religious experience, one that wasn't necessarily limited, perhaps, to one setting. I sensed that this was something that likely occurred throughout the ages, a kind of generic experience that is, perhaps, articulated throughout time in various institutions. So, know that much going forward, Malcolm.
Malcolm - Hippoltus ad 200s Rome. Listed a group called the Elchasaites for who, 'The Christ is superior to the rest, is transfused into many bodies and was now in Jesus, Like wise this Jesus afterwards was continually transfused into bodies and was manifested into many in different times.
PB - This speaks to exactly what I was getting at in the preceding paragraph, Malcolm. I only hesitate to mention my views because I am no theologian. I really don't know if this is true, so I wouldn't want to lead anybody astray with my opinions on such profound matters, lest I be wrong.
Malcolm - This Secret Adam St Paul letters 1 Corinthians. He talks of Jesus as the 2nd man? (man = adam) So Jesus could be 2nd Adam the primal Adam. Paul knew the old doctrines well. So is the real Jesus the 'Christ'? A power that lives in bodies, in yours, in mine? The source of life itself?
PB- And here you touch on my takeaway regarding the Catholic-universal thing. The farthest I am willing to go, at least for now, given my experience, is to state my conviction that God sanctified my relationship to Christianity through this experience. I see NO reason why the same thing couldn't have happened to others in other contexts, past and present. What I see, through certain testimonials, compels me to believe that something more 'universal' happens. This is why I so enjoyed my exchange with Naveen. One looks for telltale signs on this Road Less Travelled.
Malcolm - Then in Islam, Adam and Jesus are the only men who didn't have fathers and Adam didn't even have a mother. So for me experiencing the spiritual essence, which is not born of woman, the Elan Vital, Ground of Being, the essence of every body, is the goal, but sadly unrecognised by most people, only those who have experienced the Gnosis, of vision/experience can really grasp this concept. So should we even be bothered about parenthood of the great teachers?
PB - I am in basic agreement with you on this last sentence. I would state the matter differently, however. I don't think we should obsess with it. Suffice it to say, that I am inclined to believe in Mary's Virgin birth given the totality of what I have experienced and because - as I was saying to Matt - nobody can argue nowadays that 'virgin' births aren't possible. They happen all of the time.
It is mildly ironic that all of this came up with me getting very annoyed about the Catholic Churches' teachings regarding Mary. Suffice it to say that I recognize my perceptual limitations on such matters, and don't obsess over them, as I think people should in general. If I could travel back in time and see what happened, I would speak otherwise - one way or the other. I can't, and so I don't. This isn't so much being 'humble' as it is being real, and it is a very different take from those who would 'declare' that Jesus wasn't born of a Virgin (because the Church wanted a patriarchy or whatever).
Malcolm - For me it is about experiencing Gnosis and making that the solid foundation (the rock) and not the world of change (sand). I was taught to achieve this through meditation, (not a 5min quick fix as advertised on the web) focusing in silence for 1 hour a day minimum, slowly washing off the hard edges of my stone mind. I think we discussed this in the vicar in the cave documentary thread.
There are other hints IMO, Joshua 1chp8, “This book of law shall not depart from thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate there in day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written there in: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous and then thou shalt have good success”
the First Epistle of John chp1 “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard which we have seen with our eyes which we have looked upon and our hands have handled of the word of life.
Gospel of Thomas, “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you”
I was taught without books, just to meditate and live from/in that experience. I asked about books, one mahatma said, 'why do you want to keep reading the menu, eat the food!'
I see the greatness of Jesus as his gift of Peace, which brings with it all the good stuff compassion, patience and Love. But I don't lock out John the baptist or James the Just. I see a chain of influence right through to Islam and back in time too as EOH33 has posted, the bathing, the food laws, Mohamed's vision in a cave, etc.. I would Love to see all peoples not fighting over who has best religion but appreciating all the great teachers and then perhaps we could stop the religious hatred, but it maybe a forlorn hope. malc
PB - Yes, and I wish to get back to you on this. I was positively moved by this in our earlier exchange. I think it's time I get on with this more seriously. Doing and being. I'm a bit out of balance when it comes to the latter.
Malcolm - “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear
to man as it is: infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow
chinks of his cavern.” William Blake
PB - As I was saying regarding my exchange with Naveen, in a different context, Blake's reference to the infinite are the words of one who knows.
PS birth charts? I used to do them, we may talk sometime?
Malcolm, send me a message and let's make the time. : ) But I will close with the following:
By the time the Easter Mass I mentioned drew to a close, I had no doubt that I had been experiencing an ongoing Revelation. I was very calm when it came time to receive Holy Communion, and as I approached the priest I wondered if something amazing was going to happen, although I was hardly surprised when nothing did.
After returning to my seat, I knelt down an prayed, then sat back for a while with my eyes closed. After some minutes, as Mass came to a close, I looked up and saw the priest coming around from the altar, then to the rear of a posse of clergy, of sorts. I'm sure there's a proper term, but like I said, I'm no theologian.
A word about that priest. At a certain point during the Mass I began to think that he was recognizing the same Godly presence that I was. I have no idea if this is true, but this was my ongoing impression. The Presence seemed to gradually fill him, if that makes any sense (as it might, if one thinks in terms of Chi pr Prana, perhaps). I was greatly impressed by his ability to conduct a Mass and contain himself, to do his job. That impression surely had to do with what I understood about my own Crown chakra activations. Again, I wish to state that I have no idea if my interpretation was correct, but I was so certain of what I was seeing that I began to conclude that the priest was consummating his career, seeing, perhaps for the first time, That which he had chosen to faithfully serve.
So, with that being one this experiences sub-themes, I happened to look up in time to see the priest just before he and the 'posse' began making their way down the church's main aisle, from the altar to the main entrance of the church. As I watched the priest walk down the aisle, looking so happy, God said to me, "Don't worry Mark, I have everything under control."
Rather than leave the church as quickly as I could, which was much custom on those rare occasions when I did attend Mass, this time I stayed put until most of the other people had left the church. When I finally did leave, there were relatively few others. I strolled slowly down the aisle, and as I did I happened to notice a clock, a rotary clock, that was positioned above the aisle, on the front of the balcony that was to the back of the church. It read 12:15.
And here's one thing that I always found curious, Malcolm. When I saw that clock I noticed only the time. That struck me as odd, because prior to then it had seemed as though everything my mind had focused on during the Mass had been some sort of directed Revelation. And so, in seeing only the time, I concluded that this mystical experience had ended. My latest in a spiritual Initiation that had been going on for the better part of three months. Another one come and gone. I made my way out of the church, shook hand with the priest, and stepped out into what was a sunny day, never doubting for a moment that I had been brought before God...
Over time, I concluded that the means by which this experience occurred was that my Crown chakra was activated. Various descriptions of what this entails accord with my own perception then: of being connected to the divine, of being connected to my 'Higher Self', of being 'in heaven, on earth', of Mind being supreme over matter, of all of this shared experience being God's magnificent dream.
Obviously, all of this left me with much to reflect on, and as Fate would have it, this turned out to be the final experience in my Initiation. But it wasn't until several months later, in the summer, that I remembered seeing that clock AND the fact that I could read astrology charts. So I went and had a chart done, for where I was at that moment in time and space. Three things jumped out at me immediately.
First, I will remind you of two things. The Easter narrative is inextricably related to Jesus' Crucifixion, of course. More subtly, 12:15 on a rotary clock, when the hands are inverted, correlate to 3pm, the traditional time of Jesus's death. I mention this, because at 12:15 in Victoria BC Canada, on Easter Sunday 1986, at this time, a very tight Grand Cross appeared involving the Lunar nodes, which relate to destiny, in the vertical position, at 0 Taurus (north Node) and 0 Scorpio (south node). At the same time the Cross's cross beam was at 0 Leo and 0 Aquarius, on the ascendant and descendant, the Eastern and Western positions, as you will know.
When I saw this striking configuration, I was immediately reminded of a passage in Revelations 4:
"In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. 8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying:
“‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’who was, and is, and is to come.”9 Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. "
As you will surely know, the association is based on this portion, "The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle."
Call it coincidence, or call it what you like, but there can be no arguing that this Grand Cross is based on my imagination, because ultimately it is based on astronomy. As such, its appearance follows the Hermetic principle, "as above, so below", because it symbolically reflects, and reflects very precisely, the nature of this particular religious experience. I would go one step further, and say that it also reflects my inner state of mind during that Mass, this ongoing sense of matter being subordinate to Mind.
Were this Grand Cross to have appeared anywhere on the chart, it would still be thematically relevant to my experience, but it is also very 'sharp', for being anchored to within the 0 degree point of the 'fixed signs'. As you may know Malcolm, astrologers are much more lenient, allowing for offsets of up to 3 to 5 degrees. But what makes this Cross especially remarkable is the Cross beam, for being anchored to the ascendant and descendant, it literally aligns with the point where the heavens meet the earth. As such, this is also reflective of my perception throughout that Mass of being 'in heaven, on earth'. Here I should remind you what you know, Malcolm, which is that the Cross' crossbeam would only remain anchored on the point where the heavens meet the earth for a few minutes.
As you will likely know the ascendant, (which correlates to the 9 o'clock position on the astrology chart), is said to characterize the 'personality' of the chart. If we substitute personality for them, then we have another direct hit, as this was a Christian religious experience having to do with the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus was of the tribe of Judah. Turning to Revelation (5) again:
"Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” 3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals."
So, the 0 degree Leo point is also exceedingly relevant to this Christian religious experience, in an objective sense. As if this weren't enough the Sun, which spans roughly 1/2 half of degree point out of 360 degrees, was on the 'mid-heaven' degree(9 Aires) relative to where I was when I saw that clock. The mid-heaven is the highest point in a planet's (or the Sun and Moon's) daily trajectory. In being very nearly fully "risen, " the Sun's position then compliments the significance of this occasion metaphorically, in the sense that Easter is a celebration of the risen Son of God.
These were two things that jumped out at me, when I saw that astrology chart which marked what was going on in the heavens when I saw that clock and thought, wrongly, that I was 'only' seeing the time. Translation: this planet's only satellite, the centre of this solar system, and the stars in this part of the cosmos were all in perfect thematic alignment with what I had experienced throughout this Easter Mass.
As for the third thing, I happened to also notice two references to 0 Aquarius on an accompanying midpoint table. Midpoints, as you know, refer to the exact distance between two planets, their zodiacal location. I knew right away that it was exceedingly improbable that two pairings would point to the same zodiacal address, 0 Aquarius. Here is the totality of what jumped out at me then... [imgur.com]
Obviously, this particular feature steers the mind in epochal terms, but I see something more immediate, something having to do with one of the (many) things I experienced during that Mass. The descendant point, the Western horizon, correlates to the altar location at St. Andrew's cathedral, which is oriented East-West, as is common to many churches. As such, when one transposes the Grand Cross over the church, the descendant correlates to where the priest was.
As I said, throughout that Mass I began to have the impression that he was consummating his career as a priest. Father John Patrick Mott, who had looked so robust and joyous. He died of a heart attack exactly two weeks later. [imgur.com]
That being the case, the location of the altar, in the sunset or 'descendant' position, is also astronomically on point, since he was, literally, in the sunset of his career.
However, by the time I saw that clock, Father John had re-positioned himself to the other end of the Crossbeam. That being the case, seconds after I saw the clock he was in the ascendant position, where 0 Leo was at that time. As such, his new location superbly compliments what Easter, and the mission of Jesus's life is traditionally seen to be about: the ascension of a soul into heaven.
To bring this all home, I see a celestial alignment that accords with the Hermetic principle on multiple levels. As amazingly relevant as this configuration is, I immediately saw it as merely commensurate with everything else I experienced throughout that Mass, ongoing demonstration of God's infinite power and control over everything. It reflects the traditional Easter message in an objective sense, for whether one believes it or not, the traditional story is about Jesus' purposeful death and resurrection. While it reflects those things one thing it does not capture is the feeling of being in God's presence. That is a big difference, and it underscores the reality of what people in many cultures have attested to throughout the ages: the sense of Divine presence.
As I mentioned Malcolm, during this experience and my earlier Crown chakra activation experience, I had a very strong sense of being in a 'place' or 'space' where Mind wholly superseded matter. I see this configuration as also reflecting that. It was as if something about that experience leaked through to the other side, to the physical realm. What I have found since, is that this experience extends further, attaching itself to future and past events with comparable precision.
Turning to another subtheme that has been raised on this thread: the heart of what I'm describing here, are details which entirely rule out human intervention or manipulation. The details have 'absolute' value, for being based on objective fact, and are consistent with the traditional Christian narrative. As such, these details and the totality of what I experienced during that Mass speak to what I mean when I say that God sanctified my relationship to the Christian faith. I don't insist that similar experiences can't occur in other settings, religious or non, but that's what happened to me. I see this as some sort of ritual recognition of what may be regarded as one's Higher Self.
As such, Malcolm, you will see now why I personally don't agree that it is 'silly' that Christians believe in God the Father. Again, I don't take it personally. These are big questions. But as I wrote early on here, I wonder - but do not know - if a subdividing occurred in the Void that resulted in the Trinity, and perhaps other forms of 'God'.
On a more mundane level, it cracks me up to think that I would have missed all of this, had I exited the Church earlier, as was my usual custom.
Gospel of Thomas: Jesus said, "If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the (Father's) kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the (Father's) kingdom is within you and it is outside you. When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father."
PB related, 33 years later: [grahamhancock.com]
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 29-Jun-19 16:52 by Poster Boy.