How I use the Metaphysical Bible Dictionary

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by wil, May 12, 2019.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    In my teens / twenties the Essenes were regarded very much as children of the New Age, helped by books like The Essene Gospel of Peace by Edmond Bordeaux Szekely (which I used to have, and might still), supposedly an ancient Aramaic manuscript (4 volumes, entire!) discovered by him in 'the Secret Archives of the Vatican'.

    A hoax. There is no record of Szekely ever visiting the Vatican library, nor quite how he might have managed to 'liberating' the original Aramaic texts therefrom. Nor have any such documents ever come to light from other sources (one was the library at Monte Cassino, a monastery destroyed during WWII). Szekely was the co-founder of the International Biogenic Society and the Jesus of the Essene Gospel cannily matches Szekely's opinions on vegetarianism, colonic irrigation, etc., etc.

    Later scholarship has since identified that the Essenes were not quite so peace-loving nor new-agey as was supposed; in fact they were quite rigorously fundamentalist and even militant.
     
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  2. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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  3. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Last edited: May 12, 2019
  4. stranger

    stranger lost in the night

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    My first though after reading this was: "Indeed, we live as human beings, but we do not wage war according to human standards; for the weapons of our warfare are not merely human, but they have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ." -- 2 Cor 10:3-5

    If we could only grasp that these things are not literal, it would begin to dissipate some of the rancor created by the reading of them and the judging of them according to our sense of right and wrong, our current moralities. But that's when it gets interesting and caution has to be exercised. The types, the shadows of truth from the OT. A veritable treasure trove of potentiality, powerful, mysterious... but, well, one has to be careful... You have to wait for it, and it it doesn't come, wait for it some more. I rather enjoy my own ignorance in these matters but am willing to be taught at the proper time, if and when that time should come.
     
  5. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    Sources, please?
     
  6. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Why people will never stop reading the Bible:

    As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
    My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
    My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?
    When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.
    Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

    O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.
    Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.
    Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.
    I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
    As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?
    Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

    Psalm 42 (KJV)
    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+42&version=KJV
     
  7. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    It's general reading rather than specific sources, I'm afraid.

    Although little is actually known, it does seem the Essenes were sectarian, had a priesthood which practiced celibacy, held property in common. But they seem to have lived by a strict rule of Mosaic Law, especially with the rules of purity. If Christ managed to shock His contemporaries by consorting withe the lowest of the low, He would have outraged ... or perhaps horrified is a better term ... an Essene.

    I'm sure I read somewhere they might have been closer to the 'zealot' kind of Judaism than your average man in the street, and / or that the Qumran community were Essene hardliners living absolutely apart from society.
     
  8. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    Seems like a new thread is in order.
     
  9. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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  10. Arif Ghamiq

    Arif Ghamiq Active Member

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    I also read the Esseene Gospel of Peace many years back - I had no idea it was a hoax!!!
     
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  11. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    I loved it. I got into the fasting thing and angels found me. It changed my life.

    But then eventually I saw a sick sheep away from the flock, waiting to die.

    It was sinless, it hadn't done or omitted anything to cause it's own condition, and then I realized the philosophy of the Essense Gospel and the angelic invocations are essentially a young person's assessment.

    But I gained a lot from the Essense Gospel of Peace, when I was younger. It's always stayed with me. There's a lot of wisdom in it. Fasting has helped me, probably more than anything.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
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  12. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    Back in my Sunday school days I was taught the waters really parted, the water really turned to wine, and the dead were really raised.

    No relevance for me.
     
  13. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    I see. I was reading the MBD's view of David and Goliath below. I can relate to this story more than the one in post #2. I agree with the MBD that this story "illustrates the necessity of our doing things in our own natural, original way."

    In the MBD many of the characters in the Bible are related to aspects of consciousness. Midianites are said to be representations of "contentious thoughts, also judgment or discrimination in sense consciousness; judgment of the senses according to outer appearances produces discordant thoughts, jealousies, and the like."
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    I rather think the whole thing is a humanist reading of Scripture as a kind of map of human consciousness and everything is related to that, so it does come across as rather naive and new agey — our understanding of human consciousness has advanced a long way since Filmore wrote his dictionary.

    And of course anyone can interpret a text as they so choose — it's the difference between exegesis and eisegesis.

    This is not to say it's necessarily a bad thing, it's simply not all there is, and by making it all there is, it misses a great deal.

    Addition:
    By taking a humanist anthropology as the blueprint, as it were, Christianity, indeed the Abrahamics, are not the ideal model, as it insists on a Personal god in dialogue with man, and the Bible is its unfolding. The MBD assumes a correlation between the 'higher mind' and God, rather because it takes man as the model and God is the exemplar of what it is to be man, therefore a kind of 'man to the nth degree'.

    Perhaps a non-theist doctrine would have been better ... ?
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  15. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Christian mystics and theologians have a long history of commentary around the idea of treating persons named in Scriptures as archetypes.

    John Scottus Eriugena (a fave of mine) offered in his commentary on John the idea that Peter and John signify the will and the illumined intellect respectively — the race to the empty tomb can be read as a psychodrama in that respect.

    Hans Urs von Balthasar, a giant among theologians, has written extensively on the topic in "Mary Archetype of the Church".

    In my own speculations, I have offered before that anyone called 'Mary' signifies an aspect of the soul — not the least Mary Mother of Christ and Mary Magdalene who signify two ends of the spectrum.

    But all these assume Christian doctrine as a given, whereas MBD actually abandons the core principle of the NT — divine union or theosis — and deploys Scriptural terms to tag elements of the psyche and modes of human consciousness which it elevates to a godlike status.
     

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