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On the Mysteries

  1. In Search of an Unknown God
  2. Lost Wisdom of the Ancient Teachers
  3. Exoteric Interpretation of Genesis Chapter One
  4. Emanations, and Unfallen Angels
  5. Sophia
  6. The Woman Who Hid Yeast
  7. Why all the Secrecy?
  8. The Powers of the Pneumatic Man
  9. The Paulicans

WHY ALL THE SECRECY?

By Jeffrey Brackeen


"Unto you it is given to know the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Cod but to others in parables; that seeing, they may not see, and hearing, they may not understand."
- Luke 8;1I

"For this cause, therefore, have I brought the Keys of the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven; otherwise no flesh in the world would be saved. For without Mysteries no one will enter into the Light-Kingdom, no matter whether he be righteous or a sinner"- Books of the Savior

"I shall reveal unto you things which have been kept secret since the foundation of the earth things which the prophets have desired to took into." - Matthew 13:5

"Because it is given unto you to know the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven." - Matthew 13;11

"I thank you, 0 Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them unto babes." - Matthew 11:25

Many centuries ago, Socrates stated, "The Initiates are sure to come into the company of the Gods." He also stated, It is quite apparent that those who have established the Mysteries, or the secret assemblies of the initiates, were no mean persons, but powerful genii, who from the first

ages had endeavored to make us understand under those enigmas that he who will reach the invisible regions unpurified will be hurled into the abyss, While he Who will attain them purged of the maculation's of this world. and accomplished in virtues, will be received into the abode of the Gods." (from Plato's 'Phaedo')

It is highly probable that the Greeks learned some of their mysteries from the Egyptians, but they also have recorded traditions of various practices which originated From their own seers and wise men, While there are many areas in which the Greek mysteries and the Egyptian mysteries overlap each other, there are some major dissimilarities.

The religions of several countries in ancient times each had their own mysteries which differed from each other considerably. On the whole, the sum total of the mysteries in each religion Was called 'wisdom'; therefore the ancients spoke of Sibylline Wisdom, Hermetic Wisdom. Orphic Wisdom, Mosaic Wisdom, Pythagorean Wisdom, etc. And

needless to say, the results of each system of 'wisdom' produced different results. Probably the most famous and Well guarded religion was the Egyptian for there are many historical records from differing sources showing that Egyptian priests Were capable of causing one of

the Gods to appear visibly in the presence of others and to accomplish many other marvelous things. But the secret mysteries of the Jews and of the Greeks were not far behind.

Speaking of the hierophantic symbols which these systems employed to instruct their initiates Fabre d. Olivet, the Skilled Hebrew scholar wrote, ". . . Those who regarded these sacred symbols and images as stupid, without seeing anything beyond them stagnated, it is true, in ignorance, but their ignorance was voluntary, from the moment that they

were willing to depart there from, they had only to speak. All the sanctuaries were open to them: and if they had the necessary constancy and virtue, no thing hindered that they Should go from knowledge to knowledge, from revelation to revelation even to the most sublime

discoveries. They could, living and human, descend among the dead, rise even to the gods, and penetrate every Where in elemental nature. For religion comprised all these things. . ." (P. 7, Vol. II, La Langue Hebraique Restitutee)

The Egyptians, the Greeks and the Jews divided their mysteries into higher and lower. The system which Jesus taught his followers consisted of five lower mysteries and Seven higher mysteries, making twelve. This is not to say that there were not many sub-mysteries within the major and minor mysteries for this s obvious. (See Matthew's Loaves)

Concerning the Mysteries which Jesus taught, he said, "They who have received the Mystery of the Light, if they come out of the body of the matter of the Rulers, then will everyone be in his order according to the Mystery which he has received. Those who have

received the higher Mysteries will abide in the higher order; those who have received still higher Mysteries will abide in an even higher order; those who have received the lower Mysteries will be in the lower orders. In a word, up to whatever region each has

received Mysteries, there Will he abide in his order in the inheritance of the Light. For this reason. I spoke to you in days gone by, saying, 'Where your heart is there will your treasure be' for up to what- ever region each has received Mysteries, there will he be' - Books of the Savior

The Christian churches of today feel that they had done their job if they can make a man into a virtuous person. This is their sole end and objective. But this was not so of the very early Church, for they realized that when a person had become possessed with integrity and virtue, he was just ready to enter into real initiation. They called this early stage Purification. It was Followed by a stage called 'Enlightenment' which was followed by still another state Called 'Perfection'.

It is unfortunate but true, that the last place one would go today seeking mystical experience, would be a Protestant church or a Catholic church or a Jewish synagogue and yet the inhabitants of our modern world are truly hungry for true spiritual experiences. The reason for this sad state of affairs is that the orthodox leaders of these so-called

'spiritual' communities are afraid of the mystical and transcendent. When they behold various ones of their flocks turning to the teachings and practices of Eastern religions or cults they shake their heads in amazement and wonder where they went wrong. Long a go these leaders

threw out the Mysteries. They now only know to speak of 'faith'. Worse yet, they place all 'believers' on one level making no distinction between those who are advanced and those who are puerile but the early Church did not make this mistake.

THE LESSER MYSTERIES Vs THE HIGHER MYSTERIES

Clement of Alexandria pointed out that simple faith was "suitable for people who are in a hurry" while wisdom and knowledge (gnosis) were reserved for those being initiated into the "higher mysteries". The common Christian received only the "lesser mysteries" while those who had the spiritual intuition were given the "great mysteries" Origen also

was careful to make this distinction between mere believers and their 'popular irrational faith' which produced 'somatic Christianity' and those who possessed Knowledge- Wisdom which produced a more "spiritual Christianity". The common Christian accepted the gospel narratives at face value, while the spiritual Christian grasped the hidden meaning behind the stories.

In the Gospel of John, we find Jesus also making this same distinction. John writes, "Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But he did not commit himself unto them,

because he knew all men, and did not need any to give testimony concerning them." The true meaning of what John was saying is obscured here by a chapter division which was not part of John's original writing. In the original account, he continues. "But, there was a

man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus . . ." (John 2:23-3:1) And John goes on to relate how Nicodemus came to Jesus by night to be initiated by him. Jesus begins by instructing him in the necessity of a new birth.

In the Gospel of Barnabus and a couple other gospels, Jesus tells a parable to his disciples which contained an important lesson on the necessity for distinguishing between the varying classes of men, Here I will quote from The Complete Gospel of Jesus as compiled by myself.

"109. There was a man who owned a large house; in it he had sons, servants, cattle and pigs. He also had corn and barley, hay, Castor oil and acorns. 110. Being an intelligent man, he knew which food was proper for everyone; he gave his own children meat and bread. 111. To his slaves he gave castor oil and meal. To his cattle, he gave hay and barley. 112. To the pigs, he gave acorns and scraps from the table and to his dog, he threw bones.

"113. Consider the disciple of God; The is intelligent, he will understand what discipling is all about. 114. He will not look at the outward bodies of men but at the condition of each man's soul and will thereby speak with him. 115. For there are many kinds of

animals that wear the human body. 116. If he sees that one is a swine, he will feed him acorns, or if he sees a cow, he will feed him barley and grass, 117. If he sees a man who is a dog, he will throw him some bones, but to the servants, he will give elementary

lessons. The the sons, he will give complete instruction. 118. Therefore, do not give sacred things to dogs and do not throw pearls to the swine because they will only trample them under foot and turn on you, tearing you to pieces. 119. Every disciple who has been trained in the Kingdom of Heaven is like the owner of the house, who brings Out of his storehouse, things new and old.

"120. He further said to them, 'Bring out of every other house and into the House of my Father, but do not take anything Out of the House of the Father or carry it off. 121. You shall therefore keep my Mysteries for the sons of my house." (P 97, The Complete Gospel of Jesus, Compiled by Jeffrey Brackeen).

PARABLES WERE TO HIDE THE TRUTH !

Cyril the Bishop of Jerusalem, recorded in his 'Catechesis' around 386 AD. "The Lord spoke in parables to his heaters in general; but to his disciples he explained in private the parables and allegories which he spoke in public, The splendor of glory is for those who are early

enlightened; obscurity and darkness are the portion of the unbelievers and ignorant. Just so, the Church discovers it Mysteries to those who have advanced beyond the class of caterhun4cns; we employ obscure terms with others."

Archelaus who was the Bishop of Cascara in Mesopotamia, when he was questioned about the secret Mysteries of the early Christians, answered: "These Mysteries the Church now communicates to him who has passed through the introductory degree. They are not explained to

the Gentiles at all; nor are they taught openly in the hearing of catechumens: but much that is spoken is in disguised terms, that the faithful, who possess the knowledge, may be still more informed and those who are not acquainted with it, may suffer no disadvantage."

Cyril. the Bishop of Alexandria in 412 AD. (died in 444),wrote in his seventh book against Julian, "These Mysteries are so profound and so exalted, that they can be comprehended by those only who are enlightened. I should say much more, if were not afraid of being heard

by those who are uninitiated: because men are apt to deride what they do not understand. The ignorant still today, not being aware of the weakness of their minds condemn what they ought most to venerate."

The early Christians divided men into three categories: First were the "hylics", who were entirely dead to spiritual things, Secondly, were the "phychics" who believed in spiritual things but still required miracles and signs to strengthen their faith. Included under this category were the "charismatics" who possessed one of more spiritual gifts which were

given by the Holy Spirit. Thirdly were the "pneumatics" or 'spiritual" persons who possessed great powers which were considered miraculous by their Fellow men. These were also referred to as kings within mystery groups but they were also known as the Perfect. The Gnostics

interpreted the parable of the Talents In Matthew's gospel as showing this three-fold distinction. This is one of the reasons why the Temple in Jerusalem was divided into three sections. The Holy section faced west. while the Holy of Holy faced south and the Holy of Holies faced east. Therefore, we can begin to understand the secret meaning behind the Outer court with its Gentiles and the inner court spoken of by Jesus in Johns Revelation. (Rev, 11:2)

Doctor Angus wrote, "An awful obligation to perpetual secrecy as to what was said and transacted behind closed doors in the initiation proper was imposed - an obligation so scrupulously observed through the centuries, that not one account of the secrets of the holy of Holies of the Mysteries has been published to gratify the curosity of historians." - (P78, The Mystery-Religions and Christianity)

WHY ALL THE SECRECY

Minucius Felix in his Octavius has the heathen Caecelius arguing, "Why do they endeavor with such pains to conceal and to cloak whatever they worship, since honorable things always rejoice in publicity, while crimes are kept secret. . . Why do they never speak openly, never congregate freely unless for the reason that what they adore and conceal is either worthy o punishment or something to be ashamed of"

He also wrote: "They recognize each other by secret signs and objects and love each other almost before they meet. Among them religion constantly joins with itself, as it were, a sort of lust and they commonly call each other brothers and sisters

Lactantius, a Christian historian who lived during the persecutions, wrote, "We are not accustomed to defend and assert such matter. In public, since God orders in quiteness and silence to hide his secret, and to keep it within our own conscience and not to strive with obstinate

contentions against those who are ignorant of the truth.. . For a Mystery ought to be most faithfully concealed and covered especially by us who bear the name of the Faith. But they accuse this silence of ours, as though t were the result of an evil conscience; whence also they invent some detestable things respecting those who are holy and blameless and wllingly believe their own stories."

When the anti-Christian writer Celsus attacked the Christians for teaching the truth only to the few and for maintaining secrecy, Origen, a truly knowledgeable Christian teacher, replied that, while it was true that the Church reserved its inner teachings for its more advanced adherents, it was merely doing what other mystery schools practiced. He wrote :

In these circumstances, to speak of the Christian doctrine as a secret system is altogether absurd. But that there should be certain doctrines, not made known to the multitude, which are divulged after the exoteric ones have been taught, is not a peculiarity of Christianity alone, but also of philosophic systems in which certain truths are exoteric and other

esoteric. Some of the hearers of Pythagoras were content with his ise dixit; while others were taught In secret those doctrines which were not deerned fit to be communicated to profane and insufficiently prepared ears. Moreover, all the Mysteries that are celebrated everywhere throughout Greece and barbarous countries, although held in secret.

have no discredit thrown upon them, so that it is in vain he endeavors to calumniate the secret doctrines of Christianity, seeing that he does not correctly understand its nature have not yet spoken of the observance of all that is written in the Gospels, each one of which contains much doctrine difficult to be understood, not merely by the multitude, but

even by certain of the more intelligent, including a very profound explanation of the parables, which Jesus delivered to "those without" while reserving the exhibition of their full meaning for those who had passed beyond the stage of Exoteric teaching, and who came to Him privately in the house. And when he comes to understand it, he will admire the reason why some are said to be "without" and others "in the house" - (Origen Against Celsus)

Jesus even told his own disciples, "I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot receive them now" (John 16:12) Even Paul, who claimed to be a "steward of the Mysteries" (I Cor. 4:1), inveigled against the Corinthians because some of them were calling themselves 'Kings'. he could not impart the "Wisdom of God" to them because they were too immature.( Cor, 2:5-8)

Had they possessed the Wisdom of God" they would also have possessed the power. The writer of Hebrews chides his readers in a similar manner, saying, "Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered seeing you are dull of hearing, for when you ought to be teachers, you have need that One teach you again the first principles of

the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that uses milk is unskilled in the Word of righteousness; for he is baby. But strong meat belongs to those who are of mature age, even to those who by reason of use have exercised their senses to discern both good and bad." (Heb. 5:11-6:1) He then urges them on to Perfection.

DO NOT CAST PEARLS BEFORE SWINE

Ignatius, the first Bishop of Antioch, while on his way to be fed to the lions in the arena, wrote, saying that "he was not yet perfect in Jesus Christ. For I now begin to be a disciple, and I speak to you as my fellow disciples" However, he addresses those whom he is writing as having already "initiated into the Mysteries of the Gospel, with St. Paul, the holy, the martyred"

Ignatius knew the dangers of imparting the divine secrets to those not prepared to receive them. In One place he writes, "Might I not write to you things more full of mystery? But I fear to do so. lest I should inflict injury on you who are but babes. Pardon me in this respect, lest, as not being able to receive their weighty import, ye should be strangled

by them. For even though I am bound and am able to understand heavenly things, the Angelic order, and the different sorts of angels and hosts, the distinction between Powers and Dominions, and the diversities between Thrones and Authorities, the mightiness of the Aeons, and the preeminence of the Cherubim and Seraphim, the sublimity of the Spirit,

the kingdom of the Lord and above all the incomparable majesty of Almighty God - though I am acquainted with these things, yet am l not therefore by any means Perfect . . ." (Epistles of Ignatius)

The word Perfect is a translation of the Greek work 'telos' or 'teleios'. It is sometimes translated 'mature' or 'complete' but within the Mysteries it has a more technical meaning, Those who had attained this state were so to speak, gods walking among men, for their powers were incredible.

According to Epicurus Lacetius, 'Teleios' bursts open the gates of the heavenly Temple and brings back knowledge to the disciple like so much booty. From this Temple, one could progress to still another more holy Temple progessing ever upward, (P.52, Lucratius 111,14 Heinze)

The Greek Word 'teletal' implies both a death and a finishing. A 'teletal' was an Initiation during which the soul of the candidate was elevated to absorb all manner of the power. purifying energy and wisdom it could assimilate. Generally it would return to the body after three days and nights. Paul, the Apostle hinted that he himself had experience this initiation -yet he did not consider himself Perfect.

Basil relates that the Fathers of the Church were well instructed to preserve the veneration of the Mysteries in silence. For, how could it be proper publicly; to proclaim in writing the doctrine of those things which no unbaptized person may so much as look upon." ('De Spiritu Sancto' Chap. XXVII).

Augustine believed that secrecy was necessary because: First, the Mysteries of Christianity Were incomprehensible to human intel. led and should not be derided by the uninitiated; Secondly, because this secrecy produced greater veneration for he rituals; Thirdly. so that the 'holy curosity' 0r those who were about to be initiated, should be increased in order that they might attain to a perfect knowledge of the faith.

Four things were required of those being initiated into the Mysteries: To Know, To Will, To Dare and to Keep Silent. These were the cardinal rules of all mystery systems. The very word, 'mystery' comes from the Greek word 'myein' which means to close the eyes or the lips; therefore,

One who was initiated Was a 'mystes' (plural 'mystai'). W. E. Vine's conclusion found in his word studies is completely amiss, He surmised that the word came from myth~ but this is not true. Another meaning for 'myein' is 'one vowed to keep silent'.

In the Polynesian islands, the priests are called Kahuna, The Kahuna were and still are known for their ability to create storms, to cause whole schools of fish to come to the nets of fishermen and even to cause death by speaking certain words, The word 'kahuna' literally means keeper of the secret.

Within the Greek Mysteries, three things were enjoined upon the initiate: hearing the 'legomenu', seeing the 'deiknymena' and doing. These three themes were used by Jesus in the Gospels. Plato observed, "Many indeed begin the rites, but few are fully purified," Jesus added, "The way is strait (rough) and the gate is narrow that leads to Life, and there are few who find it."

The Christian initiate could go either of two ways: He could go within to become acquainted with the Self and there explore inner powers or he could used the methods of ascension to go into the heavens, This latter process was accomplished in a sleep- like state with

his astral body. From his various vantage points, he could survey the earth, the heavens, and even future events. Jesus taught his disciples both methods. To pass the Archons and go into the heavenly realms, it was imperative for the initiate to remember that they are made From the Same material as man's soul.

The early Christian fathers operated no differently than the teachers in the other Mystery schools. They required their advanced initiates to take a vow of silence. Justin, One of the earliest martyrs of the Church (100 AD) required such a vow of silence: "Swear then, if you wish to know what eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of

man (I Cor. 2:9), by the One who is Over everything that is Good, the exalted One, to preserve and never to communicate the secret Mysteries of the doctrine, for Our Father too, seeing the Good and becoming Perfect with him, kept secret the Inexpressible and swore, as it is written, ~The Lord hath sworn and will not repent". (Psl. 11O;) (Hippolytus, V 24, 1)

Gregory of Nazianzen, the Bishop of Constantinople (379 AD.) wrote, "You have heard as much of the Mystery as we are allowed to speak openly in the ears of all; the rest will be communicated to you in private; and that you must retain within yourself. . . Our Mysteries are not to be known to strangers."

Ambrose wrote, "All the Mysteries should be kept concealed, guarded by faithful silence, lest It should be inconsiderately divulged to the ears of the Profane. . . It is not given to all to contemplate the depths of our Mysteries . that they may not be seen by those who ought not to behold them; nor received by those who cannot preserve them." ('De Mysteriis').

In his second book, he wrote, "He sins against God, who divulges to the unworthy the Mysteries confided to him. The danger is not merely in violating truth but in telling truth, if he allow himself to give hints of them to those from whom they ought to be concealed . . . Beware of

casting pearls before swine! . . . Every Mystery ought to be kept secret; and as it were, to be covered over by silence, lest it should rashly he divulged to the ears of the profane, Take heed that you do incautiously reveal the mysteries!"

Theodoret, Bishop of Cyropolis (in Syria, born 393: made Bishop 420 A.D,) quotes Orthodoxus as saying. Answer me if you please, in mystical or obscure terms, for per- haps there are some persons present who are not initiated into the Mysteries."

HAVE THE MYSTERIES DISAPPEARED?

If someone were to ask me If I know of any church or lodge which is currently giving thorough instruction either in the art of ascending, such as was taught to the Old Testament prophets in their schools, Or in the art of realizing the Self, I would have to answer in the negative. The only school as such that I personally know of was in Beirut, Lebanon In the

Christian sector and I doubt that it will be able to survive the destruction that is currently going on there now. There are also a handful of rabbis who are acquainted with the old system of meditation which has been handed down privately which is part of the Kaballah tradition, but I doubt that they would share those techniques with anyone who is not well trained in the Kaballah.

The Christian churches by and large threw them out back in the days of Origen and Clement of Alexandria. here and there groups of Christians preserved the secret teachings and guarded them jealously, but to say that the Mysteries have disappeared as some would hint

today, is just not true. First of all, the Mysteries have to do with Cod and his Kingdom, so as long as God lives and his Kingdom remains intact, the Mysteries will also remain intact. Secondly, there are still enough of the scriptures left in various languages and for those who

possess the Keys, it is possible theatrically to work Out an intellectual comprehension of the Mysteries. But, OF course this is not the same thing as living them and gaining experiential knowledge. One of the higher Mysteries requires meeting and visiting with One's guardian Angel. This possibility exists for anyone who will develop the requisite purity in his lifestyle.

Gaining the assistance of what Jesus called the 'Comforter' is still as much possible for the man living today as it was two thousand years ago.

Now, I realize that most Christians have come to believe that the 'Comforter' is the same thing as the Holy Spirit and this is a tremendous error. The word used in the Original Greek texts, was the word 'paracleton' which means someone who comes and stands beside you, to advise you and, yes, even to comfort you. But it refries to a literal

person not the Holy Spirit of life. There is a long standing promise, which was made long ago, stating that when the initiate is ready, God would send prophets and holy men to the initiate to personally instruct him. So the Mysteries remain open to anyone who desires to seek after God, for God will diligently reward those who seek after him if they do not despair.

May God bless you. Sincerely, Jeffrey Brackeen


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