the prophet elijah

A Biblical understanding of vision, from the Greek:

1) that which is seen, spectacle
2) a sight divinely granted in an ecstasy or in a sleep, a vision

It's worth noting that in the post Resurrection appearances of Jesus, he ate with his friends - perhaps so as to demonstrate he was not a ghost/vision/chimera ...

Thomas said:
Reincarnation - the notion of reincarnation does not and can not 'fit' in any Judeo/Christian/Moslem anthropomorphism - it just confounds itself in too many contradictions - any attempt to introduce the subject is invariably a popular borrowing from the Asiatic traditions in which the 'person' - be it man or God - is itself without any substantial reality.

Judaism, Christianity and Islam hinge on the notion of a Personal God, and a personal relationship between the two. Reincarnation renders all of this a nonsense, unless 'the person' is by nature schizophrenic.


then how do you resolve incarnation? or is it ok to use that word which i also do not see in the scriptures, but not reincarnation?
if we believe God turned into a man once, are we saying that it is no way possible for him to do that again?

& what do you tell those few who honestly believe & feel they have been reincarnated? i mean just call them liars, ritards & sick individuals or what?

i am sorry but i do not see enough in the scriptures to support a yes or no absolute doctrine on it. what i am seeing are opinions & interpretations.
while i agree the asian dogma is at the same odds because the scripture does not support that either.

OTH- i suppose if the scripture reads it is appointed unto man to die ONLY once with a second witness for it, then we have something. i know man can die twice because there is a second death & that is the spirit of man.

how do you support the return of the prophet Elijah? because he did not die a natural death?

& who are the two prophets there in revelations? if we say one is elijah, would he not have to come through the womb of a woman?
or what?, you tell me.

how do explain this from Jesus:
this is twice Jesus says the same thing about JTB

11:7 And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
11:8 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.
11:9 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.
11:10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
11:14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
11:15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

thanks in advance Thomas.
Hi Bandit -

then how do you resolve incarnation? or is it ok to use that word which I also do not see in the scriptures, but not reincarnation?

The Incarnation means precise that God took on human form - 'that God became man,' as the Fathers have it, 'that man might come to God'.

Reincarnation, in popular terms, means that a given soul discards a body and assumes another one. So one soul can have numerous lives, and numerous bodies. This presents major problems.

In the Jewish Tradition, and subsequently in the Christian, the body is not an empty vesel that the soul occupies (as the Greeks had it) the body is the presence of the soul in the material or physical world, if there is no body, there is no presence, and if there is no presence there is no body.

Only Christianity views this as a profoundly positive trait - only God and man partake of the whole order of creation - in man there is the mineral, vegetable, animal, human, angelic and the divine present in a dynamic union which has the unique name 'human' which is why we are potentially higher than the angels, but lesser in the sense that angelic beings are fully manifest (perfect) in themselves.

The Catholic Church, for example, has never issued a statement of faith regarding reincarnation, because the notion is so utterly alien to Christianity that it is a needless discussion.

if we believe God turned into a man once, are we saying that it is no way possible for him to do that again?

Nothing is impossible, but the question is why? Everything that needed to be done was accomplished in Christ. Another 'incarnation' would be superfluous.

& what do you tell those few who honestly believe & feel they have been reincarnated? i mean just call them liars, ritards & sick individuals or what?

Cannot say without knowledge, but there is a broad range of possibility.
They might well be liars, more likely they are simply deluding themselves - there is much research into false and aquired memory syndrome.

There is also the law of like goes to like. There are psychic influences out there which we are all subject to, and some more than others. It is entirely possible for a set of memories (all that remains of a person) to attach themselves to a person so that the person thinks they are his own memories, much in the same way that certain places can determine how you act within them.

Any confidence trickster will show you how he can make you think what he wants you to think, and furthermore make you think you thought it, we are highly suggestible creatures. So no, I would not say liar, nor necessarily ill, nor stupid. But I would employ reason.

i am sorry but I do not see enough in the scriptures to support a yes or no

You have to look at the whole picture.

I'll return later - I must go now.

Thomas said:
Hi Bandit -

You have to look at the whole picture.

I'll return later - I must go now.


i am looking at the whole picture as well as all Three sides & have been looking at the whole picture for 40 years... but it seems i am only getting opinion & traditional church dogma & not scriptures for it & when that happens i have to say so.

i feel Jesus is trying to show something here, but the traditions of men are not allowing it. what that is, i am not sure about but i know there is more to it than a cut & dry explanation & nailing the casket closed.
i am not too proud or bias to say I dont have all the answers, if that means allowing to farther my understanding at some later time in my life.

There is also the law of like goes to like. There are psychic influences out there which we are all subject to, and some more than others. It is entirely possible for a set of memories (all that remains of a person) to attach themselves to a person so that the person thinks they are his own memories, much in the same way that certain places can determine how you act within them.

Any confidence trickster will show you how he can make you think what he wants you to think, and furthermore make you think you thought it, we are highly suggestible creatures. So no, I would not say liar, nor necessarily ill, nor stupid. But I would employ reason.

yes i am very aware of these things & i know very well when i see it, but i dont think that has anything to do with elijah, JTB & what Jesus is trying to say here.

it is ok Thomas, you dont need to explain any farther & thanks for trying.:)
"And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
Luke 1:17

The Jews followed a Prophetic Tradition, but the voice that spoke to Abraham and Moses is the same voice that speaks 'upon the tongues of the prophets' and it is the Holy Spirit.

Thus Jesus speaks of John not as the reincarnation of Elijah, but someone who performs the same function, as a vehicle of the Spirit, to 'make straight the way of the Lord' - to the Jews John is an 'Elijahan' because he follows in the line of the Prophets, but Christ knows better because John does not simply prophecy, he is witness to the coming of the Messiah.

Thus Jesus calls on John to baptise him, and in so doing renders baptism a Sacramental rather than a simply liturgical action - something only God can do - and John knows that what Jesus is asking is beyond him, but it is in the Gift of the Son that the Forerunner is empowered - it is an honour bestowed upon John (as is baptism upon us all) which we can do nothing to deserve - and it also caps and crowns the whole Prophetic Tradition.

As I write this I cannot express the pride and humility that John must have felt, that he should be chosen to annoint the Son of God.

Nor can I express, succinctly, what this action establishes - there are two sacraments of the Early Church - Baptism and the Eucharist - Christ alone can effect them, but it was his gift to John and to Israel to allow the last in the Office of Elijah (the first to know him, for John leapt as a child in his mother's womb when Mary visited Elizabeth) to enact the former.

So John said that someone would follow him, who would not baptise with water but with the holy spirit....

So isn't any group that still baptizes with water following the example of John rather than Jesus?
I have a 16-point reply, and my posts are never short, but I'll aim for concise, if at the expense of brevity. Forgive me if I don't quote each person for each point. Also, my disclaimer is that I do not hold to the conventional views of the average follower or practitioner of exoteric christianity. I do not claim to be a "good christian," or even to practice the same Teachings of the Christ which I then go and presume to shed light upon. Ironic in the least (!), probably hypocritical or even worse (?).

But I do "believe them" (my interpretations), with all my heart & soul - every fiber of my being! ... and this is what inspires me - at least in this season of renewal, swift approaching- to make a fresh effort, whatever the past may have held. With this disclaimer, I only do my best to characterize what I believe are the true, esoteric teachings of the Christ ... unchanged essentially, 2000 years later, just as they were already ancient in Jesus' time, and simply presented anew for the people of the day. None of these ideas are uniquely mine, and I can support each & every one of them, if need be, with quite a number of references, drawn from various traditions and interpretations, both esoteric and conventional. Just ask. Only my style is my own ... for better or worse ...

  1. Teachings on rebirth come in many flavors, including transmigration, palinogenesis, metempsychosis, metensomatosis, and (Hebrew) gilgulim, as well as reincarnation & rebirth. While many followers of various spiritual traditions - both eastern & western - may hold to the notion that Souls can regress in their evolution, or return to a lower/lesser incarnation as a direct result of heavy/negative karma, this is entirely contrary to the teachings of the Ageless Wisdom, and thus to Esoteric Christianity. In short, the Law of Rebirth as has been taught by Gnostics (in the true significance of this word) ... is that all souls progress, however gradually, along a steadily upward-rising spiral toward greater spiritual enlightenment. Errors or sins committed along the way have their due karmic consequence, just as do acts of love, charity, and selfless service. The idea of punishment has no place in the Wisdom Religion. Instead, the emphasis is entirely on individual Responsibility, foreign as this may seem in the minds of many theologians.
  2. Arizona, your posts have resounded with me as words of Truth, sincerity, Wisdom and Loving-kindness. Were the Christ Himself, or the Syrian Master (Jesus) to speak, I do not believe they would express themselves any different. Alas, the voice of reason does not always concur with the status quo.
  3. Another word on rebirth and memory - or the lack thereof, as we can all readily attest ... there is something called the `Alaya-vijnana,' or abode of discriminative knowledge (from Sanskrit). Only within this 'vehicle' of higher, Soul-consciousness (and not within the lower, threefold personality - of mind, emotions, & physical body), can we access directly the stored accomplishments (sic) of previous incarnations. This aspect of our being is referred to symbolically in the Bible as the true Temple of Solomon - wherein we are asked to "lay up treasure," and it is again spoken of by Christ when he said he would rebuild the Temple in 3 days if destroyed (emphasizing that the one rebuilt would be made "not with human hands"). Most Christians would agree that he made good on his promise.
  4. Esoterically it is stated that Human Evolution consists of 60 billion (sic) souls, obviously most of them out of incarnation at any given time. This number may have fluctuated - possibly increased due to the arrival of beings from other, sister evolutions ... needy of the correct environment & spiritual conditions for fulfilling the next stage of their development (just as we will need to "move on" when we have reached a similar stage). Such beings - existing as we will, in time - arrive on spiritual levels, as suggested above in referring to the Alaya-vijnana. So stop thinking of "little green men!" :p Also, note that the Deva (or `Angelic') evolution is stated esoterically to consist of approx. 140 billion individual "souls." And we think the physical world is crowded! :rolleyes:
  5. Stating that one prefers not to return to earth in a future (re-)incarnation, at least imho, is like saying, "I wish aunt Edna would live forever ... because I like her and wish she didn't have to go." We all understand that she does "have to go," even if there is still question and exploration as to just exactly how that whole process works. We do not question that it will happen to us all, in time, but nevertheless, we often live in denial regarding our own mortality - or even that of our loved ones. Direct experience helps us to understand, but meanwhile, the whole of Western medicine seems unhealthily bent on trying to cheat death a little longer - rather than seeking to improve the quality of life and promote honest, healthy living. You can buy a damn pill for everything, if you don't mind the heart attack caused as a "mild reaction." Some would argue, in response, that rebirth is not like death - because we don't "see" it on a regular basis. Poppycock. You see your face in the mirror, don't you? ;) Christ said that those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, would observe the Truth, and the Kingdom of Heaven, or Souls ... and this is both within us, and all around us. Even science will one day have the instrumentation necessary - and this is closer than you might think - to prove the existence of a "soul." It will at first be only a physical soul, so to speak, but this will open the door to demonstration of subtler & subtler aspects of our spiritual being. For evidence of rebirth, consult the seasons. Not a thing on the earth, nor the earth itself, nor the other planets, nor stars or galaxies .... functions in any other fashion than cyclically. As the phoenix rises from its own ashes, all life is reborn again & again - and the true signficance of the Resurrection is precisely this.
  6. John the Baptist might indeed be called `an amnesiac.' We all fit this category when it comes to former incarnations; why should John have been any different? On the one hand, though pure of heart and spiritually advanced, it still makes perfect sense that he would not have known his prior incarnations, and so it would have been entirely logical to deny having been Elijah. But another possibility exists. John may have known quite well that he "was Elijah" (speaking in the past tense), but for prudence's sake, and out of humility, he may have chosen to speak the literal truth, which was, "I am not Elijah." Do not say this is a game of semantics. Of course it is! But that's the whole point. As is invariably the case, he who shouts the loudest that he knows the most ... is the biggest fool of all. The wise man knows just how little he actually knows, prompting Socrates to speak humbly and in exaggerated fashion to say he knew nothing. Surely we recognize that he was a wise man, indeed, evidenced - or at least indicated - by his humility. I submit that John fits this bill to the utmost, and may have even sought to emphasize that past accomplishments should not be allowed to eclipse current opportunities ... which is the entire reason for re-incarnation to begin with. We cannot rest on our laurels.
  7. Yes, it is true, each man dies once. I have never - and I mean NEVER - been incarnated before!!! I was born but once, and I shall die but once. This is true, in the letter. And it is also true psychologically speaking. The personality, Andrew S., knows only its current existence, and after death, my earthly self shall gradually return to its parent Soul. In this fashion, every mortal life is truly the only one we have. Even from the angle of the Soul, the personality is its literal instrument, or projected portion-of-itself into the three worlds of human endeavor (mind, emotions, outward activity). So strictly speaking, the Soul itself is living but one incarnated life ... though certainly its greater being remains in the Platonic World of Ideas, as indicated by the Scriptural statement: "Having permeated the entire universe with a fragment of Myself, I remain."
  8. Thomas, the knowledge of Being that you speak of, and the firm foundation of our understanding on Scripture, is a matter that I must defer to those who have gone before ... and especially to those who, as did Christ Jesus, chose also to return - and to speak of their experiences. While the Mystic enters into the Bliss of the very Being of Deity Itself, and then weeps over her realization that in no way will she be able to relate the faintest indication of what she has truly experienced (truly meaning both in earnest, and also finally, after much aspiration and prayer) ... so the Esotericist who walks the Higher Path (narrow as a razor's edge) - knows full well that he will be utterly misunderstood by all but the precious few. The best effort is made, nevertheless, to step down the result of the Heavenly Thunderbolt whose Power he has been privileged enough to feel ... resonating throughout the Heavens and through to the depths of his being. This Peace that is beyond Understanding itself (!) - as the Christ characterized it - is the only foundation that can ever again be referenced as he seeks to penetrate to the depths of a person, place, thing, or experience in his efforts to Understand. And to touch this ground of being, "again" (so to speak, while referencing that which transcends space, time, and even conceptuality itself) ... is verily to KNOW - because it is Identity WITH. No effort of the western mind will grasp this, so long as the illusion of duality is maintained, and so long as (one's) authority rests with aught else than direct experience. But then, as you may suspect (and rightly so), a glimpse of such Higher Realms, or subtler states of awareness & being ... does not eradicate the pride of the personality - or instantly wash away one's impurities. That, is mentioned under my final point ...
  9. Jesus ate with his disciples, post-Crucifixion, in the same way that you & I eat with each other. He was flesh and blood. The same body that was placed upon a cross (or nailed to a tree, what-have-you), was also taken down from that cross - breathing. Though my own understanding is yet far from complete or fully satisfied, the best bet going imho is that the Syrian Initiate (Jesus) entered into samadhi, or satori, and demonstrated - for all intents and purposes - "death." This feat has been accomplished hundreds & thousands of times by Indian Yogis and adepts of all traditions from times immemorial. It serves numerous purposes, and shows in the very least that one has accomplished a considerable measure of control over the external organism, or vehicles of consciousness. The christian who argues that this suggests some form of deceit, is begging the very question that I am arguing. It was not that Christ was "supposed to die" and found a way out of it. Think, man, think. This was the greatest Teacher the world had ever known - and He sought, through whatever means karma (and an unaccepting humanity) would allow, to complete his mission. The world would only tolerate 3 years of such radicalism (Unconditional Love & Perfect Forgiveness) ... but karma allowed for the continued teaching of the Apostles, and all those ready for such new interpretations of familiar teachings & problems ... in secret. Again, we chose this, not God, not Christ.:(
  10. Thomas, again, I must disagree that early Judeo-Christian doctrines did not indicate that the body is the vessel of the Soul. This notion is 180 degrees from the Wisdom Teachings as found in the Old and New Testament. To wit, vide Ecclesiastes 12:6: "Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern." Even readers of New Age fluff know what a `Silver Cord' is. This is the sutratma (`thread-soul' in Sanskrit), which binds the "golden bowl" to the dense physical body (solid, liquid & gas) ... though its root, so to speak - is within the same world of Atma, or Nirvana, already mentioned (Christ's "peace that passeth understanding"). The Golden Bowl is the etheric double - or the model body in the physical ether (subtle matter of the physical world) - upon which our outward appearance is modeled (the prototype, so to speak). This Golden Bowl is referenced in the Ageless Wisdom as the literal expression of the soul and its symbol (or Eye) in the outer, physical world - though still invisible to average human vision. Some do perceive the etheric double (with normal sight, not clairvoyance) ... and can sense the `health aura.' This, in Kabbalistic teachings, has been called the nephesh, and it has another dozen or so common monikers, depending on which particular religious tradition "floats your boat." I emphasize only the one relevant to this forum. And I believe I have shown that the soul does certainly use the outermost physical form as but a vessel - even casting off the etheric "golden bowl," following death - but during life, yes, one might identify the transcendent Soul with it direct earthly expression - the Vital Principle (nephesh).
I'll have to have a Part II, while all this is still fresh in mind, and while I still have steam ... :D
taijasi said:
I have a 16-point reply, and my posts are never short, but I'll aim for concise, I'll have to have a Part II, while all this is still fresh in mind, and while I still have steam ... :D


ok. but wait wait. could you please sum all this up in like 2 sentences as to what YOU believe & not what everyone else believes?
like, before you do another 16 points of steam:D
While I don't agree 100% with your point of view, Andrew, such as re the specific picture you paint of "who" Jesus is/was, I often find myself in general agreement with the esoteric points of view you put forth. Just wanted to say, though, do always find all the details of the view (be they entirely accurate or simply speculative:) ), an interesting read. Take care, Earl
I will provide my final 6 points because I hold to them ... more than in belief. It is the summary of both my experience and my insight. I would not go so far as to say this I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, but I can support each of the points I'm making from personal experience(s). Besides, I would happily challenge any conventional christian to abandon his bible and then try to defend himself ... but where would that get us?

My effort is to show that there are specific teachings as to reincarnation or rebirth, found both within the usual christian references (The Gospels, the Pentateuch, the Apocrypha, etc.) ... as well as within a whole host and variety of other sources. Far from being comprehensive or exhaustive, I am merely suggesting the tip of the iceberg, since it is my observation that it is not a familiar one in these waters. If you prefer not to swim down and examine the depth of the matter, then don't read the post! :rolleyes:

No seriously ... I apologize for being so verbose, but that's my nature. I'm more of an intellectual than a religious devotee. I was challenged earlier when I posted on this topic, so this time I've decided to be a bit more thorough. The summary is that Reincarnation is compatible with Christianity through and through ... being the same Law taught by the Christ as by His brother, the Buddha. Other teachers, such as Pythagoras, Origen (see my next post), and a host of Eastern saints ... have likewise sought to shed light on this Mystery, which is also a simple fact of life.

(Btw, thanks Earl. New tv show about a guy with your name, ya know. It's all about karma ... ;))

The Christian presentation of metaphysics that you shared yesterday, Thomas, is probably one of the most beautiful and succinct expressions of the Ageless Wisdom - regarding the constitution of (wo)man, that I have ever seen. We combine the three sub-human kingdoms, mineral, vegetable, animal ... add our own intellectual component (Aristotle's rational soul) ... and the Crown of our being throughout 99% of our evolution (both spiritual & psychological, or material) - is the Solar principle, which in esoteric teachings is literally a Deva (or Angel). The lattermost portion of our being is regarded esoterically as a threefold entity almost any way we view it. Unto itself, it is a "graduated" or perfected Human, "loaned" to us from a prior evolution (like this one). Thus it is an individual Being all to itself, if we want to think ontologically/metaphysically. But to speak soteriologically, this Being has also donated itself (literally giving us a portion of itself throughout the entire, long journey of reincarnation) ... in order that we may gradually, very gradually, learn to contact it, infuse/suffuse our lower being (`personality') with its energies (love, will, & spiritual creativity), and through aspiration, raise our vibration to its level (the esoteric significance of John 12:32 - "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me"). Thus the Soul is the Christ Within - which St. Paul (post-conversion) knew, recognized, emphasized and elicited from his followers ... just as educare means to draw out - which is ultimately to educate by evoking our latent creativity & soul potential (and not to instill, since it is already there). The Solar Angel - as it is called esoterically, serves finally as the transcendent aspect of Spiritual Consciousness, relative to its embedded fragment which vitalizes the personality expression (mind, body, emotions) in the lower worlds. To the extent that the soul-in-incarnation cannot identify with, or "feel" the influence of, the Soul transcendent (the Solar Angel on its on plane), we experience confusion, doubt, temptation, fear, and the overall unpleasantness which seems like separation from G-d. In truth we may know, philosophically, that Christ is never farther away than the end of our arm (indeed, without the Soul, or the Christ principle, we would not, by definition, be physically incarnate - or at all so, in fact). This is not to speak to the Individuality of Christ ... which is but another (if lesser) aspect of "His" Being. :)

I must take issue, on the other hand, with your statement about the Catholic Church, Thomas. Yes, for 1500 years the papacy may have held more or less to its own prior decisions (contrary to Christ's original teachings) ... but this just means 15 centuries of some of the worst doubt, superstition, and grounds for such evil as the Spanish Inquisition - that the Kali Yuga (Dark Age) has ever known! Origen went to his death at the hands of the "Holy" Catholic Church for daring to uphold Christ's own doctrine regarding this matter. I do not fit anywhere near such a bright soul as Origen, spiritually speaking, but I will defend him - and the Truth he fought to preserve, 1500 years later. That he was squelched by the "Church" of the day and the then-pervasive doctrine and acceptance of Rebirth subsequently stamped out of existence (within the average christian's worldview) ... is a sad, sad thing, and something we can still witness all-too-often when ideas are presented that are not popular with the majority. Watch. I maintain that these view are my own - and while I would swear on any layperson's stack of bibles that these notions of Rebirth are true & accurate to the best of my ability to represent them - I also have to consider, what purpose could possibly be served by slighting another to make my point. Unless my point concerns the more unkind aspects of human nature, I will have failed utterly. Thus I question - is what I post the least bit helpful? And if it is not, then no matter how kind I try to be, and even if I post the truth - what have I accomplished? It is a conundrum, but on good faith I proceed, with the clarification that I am doing my best to distinguish the ideas we're discussing from those who hold them. If one takes offense because I speak plainly about the catholic church, or about mainstream christianity - then I would put it to you, why? If asked to "keep my peace," and not make waves, then in the interest of tolerance for all points of view and out of respect for a Higher Purpose ... I will do so. :cool:

I do not take the least offense from one who shows his bias and ignorance by resorting to character judgments or by retreating to abnormal psychology for an understanding of (belief in) reincarnation. Some who claim a certain prior incarnation are doing so with a good awareness that such was not the case. But many are also simply expressing some aspect of the wish-consciousness, possibly drawing from inaccurate readings of the akash, or dreams they've had, maybe past-life readings. And just because a man stands up and says, "I was Abe Lincoln," does not necessarily mean he wasn't! I think I'd immediately become skeptical, but if his arguments are sound, and if his statements resonate Truth (!) ... then why not? There is usually a spiritual Purpose behind any serious claim (by a sane, knowledgable person) regarding prior incarnations. Even if s/he is not correct about the specifics, this may simply be that person's journey of discovery - and in time what needs to come to her, will come. Before one steps upon such a firm ground as to state categorically that all claims to previous embodiments are by their very nature - unsound ... study your proposition a little more.

What is said about shells is a valid point, in my book, but you shoot holes in your own argument if you use this to dispute Rebirth! The psychic remnants which do indeed masquerade as the actual person at seances - or generally haunt the well-magnetized locales of the former personality - find their place in the Wisdom-Religion as evidence of an astral body. This vehicle vacated, just as the dense physical and etheric have been, a person finds his way finally into the realm of Mind (Hindu Sivaloka, or the Devachan of Theosophists, and the Pure Land of certain Buddhists). But this is not the end of the journey, Heaven-like and Blissful as the experience is (timelessness, so to us it may seem a short Eternity) ... and inevitably the pull of trishna/tanha (thirst for form experience) - or Dharma/karma - will require the re-incarnation of the Soul. From an esoteric angle, it is not the Soul, per se, which is reincarnating anyway ... but rather the human personality, loaned for its cyclical journey the bridging consciousness of the Soul, or interior Christ.

Let us remember as we consider Elijah that however instrumental he may have been - in the Divine drama, serving a high and holy purpose as he yielded to and helped illustrate Deity's design ... he was also a man, just as you & I. However spiritually evolved, Elijah - and his reappearance as John the Baptist - was not exempt from those same laws that govern all of manifestation, generally speaking ... and from those laws that govern the appearance of God's Messengers, specifically speaking. Who can presume to fully understand these laws and cycles, or even their outward purpose (beyond the blanket statement that G-d never abandons his children) - let alone the greater Purposes involved? Who would be so bold as to suggest that s/he has an inkling of the Greater Purpose "for which it is wise that Deity has subjected Himself to incarnation," as one sage put it. Let us not make of G-d a creature of whims & pettiness, but remember that His Universe is governed by Laws - the greatest of which, we seem often the fastest to forget ... even before the latest Messenger has left the world. John the Baptist, I do believe, was required - as was the Christ - to carry out certain actions in order to fulfil the prophecies and "make good," as it were, in the eyes of the people, in service to God. I expect this service was joyfully rendered, and I see not the slightest problem accepting that and accepting John's prior existence as Elijah (not to mention his subsequent returns, characterized now by a life of Loving Service, just as before - yet magnified beyond imagining).

Baptizing with water was always symbolic of the Second Spiritual Initiation, which on this planet at this time means the purification of the emotional (or astral) body so completely that it may be sealed during a ceremony (usually out of the body, during sleep) wherein a much higher vibration is applied, and the astral vehicle is permanently raised "an octave higher," so to speak. The 2nd Initiation is the consummation of a certain phase of the long, hard work of the spiritual disciple, and it also marks the recipient's entrance into the work of mastering the mental, or mind body. The Baptizer was not, presumably, serving (or presuming to serve) as the Officiant at an actual 2nd Initiation Ceremony when he did his work at the River Jordan. He sought to prepare the way for the Christ, to evoke recognition of the Christ as World Teacher (and as Hierophant of the 1st & 2nd Initiation Ceremonies for ALL of HUMANITY, this being the true meaning of John 14:6), and to remind us all that only through the purification of the entire lower nature and the sincere dedication of the personality life to the service of G-d ... shall we enter by the narrow gate. And yet again, the meaning is lost to most, and even the narrow gate is misunderstood ... as if the very ground we trod were meant to crumble beneath our feet - and 99.9% of unworthy humanity be cast into unending hellfire and torment, while some chosen, over-zealous elect were meant to find an unwarranted and eternal bliss. If this is all that a man can see, then troubled will be his afterlife - until he escapes this damning prison of his own fears and foolishness. He shall meet a different God, then, and his journey will begin anew. And one day, once the Christ is born in his heart (1st Initiation), and once his life has become pure and holy (2nd Initiation) ... the very living Fires of God which rejuvenate & sustain but do not consume, shall Transfigure his being (3rd Initiation) and he shall see God (but not before). The destroying (and therefore Liberating) work of the fires of the 4th Initiation were known to arhats before the Syrian, they were known to St. Paul (the conversion), and they have been known to seekers since. But I would make an eduated guess that that is something quite some ways into our future, and yes - that means more lifetimes. It's a neat topic to discuss - and I damn sure raised enough points to merit discussion ... but don't fuss at me if you don't like it. Take it up with the "man upstairs." :p

ENOUGH! lol :D
Just a friendly reminder that we try and keep the Christianity board open for general Christianity issues and dicussions, without trying to challenge mainstream Christian beliefs from well outside of them.

There is a specific board here for Mysticism where Esoteric Christianity makes a far more focused discussion topic.

Please let's keep discussion of Elijah mainstream here, and set up any corresponding discussions of elements of Mysticism on that board, thanks.
Thanks for the reminder ... and for getting this back on track. I think my posts managed to stray far from the subject of Elijah (!), and my original intent was never to end up with a diatribe. :cool:

Advice heeded, from both you and Quahom.

"I am sending to you people Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and fear-inspiring day of Jehovah."—MALACHI 4:5

Elijah’s work not only had a parallel in the activities of John the Baptizer but also has one in those of anointed Christians in this critical period leading up to the coming "day of Jehovah." (2 Timothy 3:1-5) With Elijah’s spirit and power, they are staunch advocates of true worship.