Povijesti Podcasti

Tobias Churton

Tobias Churton

Svjetski autoritet gnostičke duhovnosti, TOBIAS CHURTON vodeći je britanski znanstvenik na području zapadnog ezoterizma. Doktorirao je teologiju na Brasenose Collegeu u Oxfordu, a 2005. je imenovan počasnim suradnikom i predavačem fakulteta zapadne ezoterije na Sveučilištu Exeter. Tobias je također filmaš, pjesnik, skladatelj i autor mnogih knjiga, uključujući Gnostici, Zlatni graditelji, Okultni Pariz, Babilonski gen i hvaljene biografije Williama Blakea, Aleistera Crowleya, Eliasa Ashmolea i G.I. Gurđijev.

Gornja slika: (c) Mark Bennett 2018

Posjetite: https://tobiaschurton.com

Najnovija knjiga

Nijedno desetljeće u modernoj povijesti nije proizvelo više kontroverzi i podjela od burnih 1960 -ih. Za neke su šezdesete bile doba slobodne ljubavi, droga i društvene revolucije. Za druge su šezdesete bile bezbožno odbacivanje svega dobroga i svetoga. Krećući u duboku potragu za duhovnim smislom iza masovnih društvenih preokreta 1960 -ih, Tobias Churton okreće kaleidoskopsku leću vjerske i ezoterijske povijesti, industrije, znanosti, filozofije, umjetnosti i društvene revolucije kako bi identificirao značenje svih ovih različitih pokreta .


    TOBIAS CHURTON



    Tobias Churton, rođen 1960. u Sutton Coldfieldu u drevnoj obitelji Cheshire, proveo je dvije godine u Australiji od 1966. do 1968. godine i vratio se u svoju petu školu, katedralnu školu u Lichfieldu. Tri škole kasnije osvojio je izložbu na Brasenose Collegeu u Oxfordu, gdje je studirao teologiju. Prisiljen zamijeniti zvanje svećenika za niže izglede karijere na televiziji, prvi put je došao u javnost s produkcijom Channel 4 1987. godine, GNOSTIKA. Četverodijelni, dramsko-dokumentarni film izašao je u najveće vrijeme subotom navečer. Dobitnik je zlatne nagrade njujorškog TV festivala za najbolju vjersku seriju. Churtonov Channel 4/knjiga Weidenfelda i Nicolsona koja prati seriju bila je bestseler.

    Mnogo prije nego što je Dan Brown postigao pogodak Da Vincijev kod, Tobias Churton uveo je popularnu publiku u autentični svijet ezoteričnih misterija. Prema riječima nizozemskog znanstvenika, Gillesa Quispela, TV serija bi "promijenila mišljenje milijuna". Churton je iznio činjenice, a ne fantaziju. Švedski teolog Jan-Arvid Hellström pozdravio je Churtona kao "vjerskog genija", dok je amsterdamski bibliofil i industrijalac Joost Ritman s oduševljenjem pozdravio pojavu nove "zvijezde pisca".

    Uspjeh Gnostici dopustio Tobiasu da koncentrira svoju energiju na svoju prvu ljubav: pisanje. Nakon godina opsežnog čitanja, mističnog iskustva i kreativnih nastojanja, Churton je imao mnogo toga za izraziti.

    Snimanje "ČAR U UNUTRAŠNJOSTI" album s pjevačicom Merovée Churton

    Nakon što je završio svoju dvadeset četvrtu komisiju za knjige, Tobias Churton danas je međunarodno priznat po svojim pronicljivim knjigama o ezoteriji, duhovnoj povijesti, umjetnosti i filozofiji. Pristupačna i znanstvena, Churtonova djela podjednako se obraćaju vjernicima i sumnjičavima te su, iznimno, kod nekih čitatelja potaknula duhovna iskustva. Uspješno je proširio privlačnost takozvane "ezoterijske" duhovnosti. Churtonov topli stil i dubina znanja pritom su zabavili tisuće čitatelja. Tobias je također filmaš, predavač, pjesnik i glazbenik. Nedavno je snimio svoju orkestriranu partituru za svoj budući dramski projekt, William Blake: Ljubav je u plamenu!, dok je njegov mjuzikl o Nancy Cunard i Henryju Crowderu, TI, JA I JUČER, zajedno s umjetnikom i kantautorom Johnom Myattom, izveden je uz veliko priznanje u kazalištu Lichfield Garrick 2011. Skladao je i snimio šest albuma izvorne glazbe.


    Tobias Churton

    Tobias Churton (rođen 1960.) britanski je znanstvenik rozenkrojcera, masonerije, gnosticizma [1] i drugih ezoterijskih pokreta. Predavač je na Sveučilištu Exeter i autor je Gnostička filozofija, Mag slobodnog zidarstva i masonerija i brojna druga djela o ezoteriji. [2]

    Churton je snimio nekoliko televizijskih programa, uključujući Gnostici, četverodijelna dramsko-dokumentarna serija koju je za Channel 4 (UK) napravila Border TV (zajedno s popratnom knjigom) koja je emitirana 1987. i ponovljena 1990. [3] [4] Churtonove studije uključuju kritiku percepcija hereziologa o ulozi žena u tim "neortodoksnim" kršćanskim pokretima. [5]

    Churtonova biografija Aleistera Crowleya objavljena je 2011. Naknadno je objavio još četiri biografska toma o Crowleyju - Zvijer u Berlinu, Aleister Crowley u Americi,, Aleister Crowley u Indiji i Aleister Crowley u Engleskoj: Povratak velike zvijeri. Potonja biografija trebala bi biti službeno objavljena 7. prosinca 2021.


    Pregled ezoterijske knjige

    Nevidljivi: Istinska povijest Rozenkrojcera
    od Tobiasa Churtona
    objavio je Lewis Masonic
    HB, 444 str., 19,99 GBP
    recenzirao David Rankine

    Ako ste već pročitali bilo koje od djela Tobiasa Churtona i#8217s, poput Gnostika ili masonerije i#8211 stvarnosti, znat ćete da ima naviku postavljati sebi teške teme koje će pokriti, a zatim ih učiniti dostupnima dobrom znanošću i oštrim lucidan stil objašnjavanja. S Invisiblesima ostaje vjeran u stvaranju, pružajući opsežan pregled povijesti i razvoja rozenkrojcera, jednog od najznačajnijih niti duhovne tapiserije nastale razvojem zapadnog društva u posljednjim stoljećima. Kao i u drugim knjigama, Churton koristi svoju naviku digresije prema fascinantnim putovima informacija, samo da bi ih vratio pred čitatelja kako bi ilustrirao ono što je iznio iz potpuno drugog kuta! On također pruža informacije na način koji čitatelju omogućuje da sam zaključi, rijetku i korisnu kvalitetu u djelu poput ovog.
    Ova bi se knjiga mogla opisati kao skrivena ili nevidljiva povijest duhovnog razvoja znanosti i filantropije u posljednja četiri stoljeća. Podijeljen je na dva dijela, Podrijetlo i Razvoj, oba uvode čitatelja u čitav niz povijesnih ličnosti, od kojih su neke poznatije i poznatije od drugih. Čak i s poznatijim brojkama, još uvijek postoje detalji i isječci koji nekoliko proizvode iznenađenja koja čekaju da skoče na neočekivani um i izazovu ponovnu procjenu ideja.
    Churton je proizveo knjigu koju bi trebalo čitati kroz određeno vrijeme, jer je svako poglavlje puno ideja kojima je potrebno vrijeme da se u potpunosti istraže i pokupe sjeme poput snažnog stabla. Ako ništa drugo, u nekim poglavljima gotovo da ima previše informacija, stoga moja preporuka da odvojite malo vremena za ovu knjigu. Kao i dobro vino, ono ima zrelost i najbolje ga je uživati ​​kroz gutljaje, a ne gutljaje!
    Dakle, do suštine knjige –, u ovo je djelo uključeno sve što biste očekivali, od Fama Fraternitas i Christiana Rosenkreuza do Rose-Croix-a i Societas Rosicruciana u Angliji. Europska suština rozenkrojcera istražuje se kroz njegova svjetla, kojih ima mnogo. Za mene je možda najbolja kvaliteta ove značajne knjige to što uspijeva iznijeti duhovnu suštinu koja prožima povijest rozenkrojcera, veliki podvig na kojem Churtonu treba čestitati. Ova je knjiga izvrsna i vrijedna studija koju zaslužuje pročitati svatko tko ima najmanje interesa za duhovnost, povijest ili doista put Filozofskog kamena do osobne transformacije.


    RIELPOLITIK

    “ …Gnoza za mene osobno znači primiti dar - dar koji sa sobom nosi određene odgovornosti. Prilično je teška stvar osvijetliti - ili prosvijetliti! Mnogo toga nosimo što nas sprječava da rastemo i rastemo u božanskom znanju. Za mene gnoza znači ljubav prema istini, osjetljivost na magične aspekte života, i iznad svega, trajnu borbu s materijalnom sviješću ”

    Gnostici, rozenkrojceri i almpamija pojačala, intervju s Tobiasom Churtonom

    Tobias Churton jedan je od današnjih najživljih i najduhovitijih istražitelja tog podzemnog toka zapadne tradicije poznatog kao gnosticizam. Za gnostici se prvi put zainteresirao čitajući doktorat iz teologije na Sveučilištu u Oxfordu 1970 -ih.

    Ubrzo nakon odlaska, zainteresirao se za istraživanje ovih ideja za televiziju. "U glavi mi je palo da nikada nije bilo vjerske televizije - samo programi o religiji", prisjetio se kasnije. „Napisao sam rad na tu temu koji je preporučio novu vrstu televizije za ovo najzapuštenije područje, nešto na liniji televizije, neku vrstu programa koji bi ušao u samu prirodu vjerskog iskustva, a ne samo ga promatrao. ” Churton je svoju priliku dobio sredinom osamdesetih, kada je producirao seriju o gnosticima za britansku televiziju. Kako bi popratio svoju seriju, napisao je svoju prvu knjigu, Gnostici, povijest ovog nedostižnog ezoterijskog pokreta od ranog kršćanstva do modernih manifestacija u likovima poput Giordana Bruna i Williama Blakea, pa čak i u Frankensteinu Mary Shelley.

    U godinama od tada, Churton je nastavio i produbljivao cijenjenje zapadnih ezoteričnih tradicija. Bio je osnivač urednika časopisa Slobodno zidarstvo danas časopis, a tijekom prošle godine objavio je dvije nove knjige. Zlatni graditelji: alkemičari, rozenkrojceri i prvi slobodni zidari istražuje pozadinu zidarstva od njegovih prethodnika u alkemijskoj i hermetičkoj tradiciji antike kroz njegove moderne manifestacije. Njegova posljednja knjiga, Gnostička filozofija: od antičke Perzije do modernog doba, baca još širu mrežu, prateći gnostičku baštinu od korijena u zoroastrizmu, mitraizmu i esenima do magusa Aleistera Crowleya iz 20. stoljeća i manifestacija gnoze u pop kulturi. Churton trenutno živi u Britaniji - Richard Smoley

    Kako biste točno opisali gnozu? Što za vas znači?

    Kako bih opisao gnozu? Htio bih opisati gnozu kao iskustvo spoznaje ili bliskosti s onim što nazivamo Bogom. Biblija nam kaže da Bog želi biti poznat. Riječ 'gnostik' - onaj koji je iskusio gnozu - prvi su upotrijebili kao nadimak oni koji su se protivili cijeloj ideji ili su smatrali da je to previše za ljudska bića.

    Na neki način, doista je najveći dio obraza reći da ste imali iskustva s Bogom! Ivanovo evanđelje, na primjer, kaže da „nitko nikada nije vidio Boga“. Bolnice za mentalno bolesne pune su ljudi koji zahtijevaju izvanrednu bliskost sa moćima izvan sebe. U gnostičkoj tradiciji, razum i duševni mir plod su gnoze. A "razum" znači postati čist ili "cjelovit" pa postoji moralna, kao i fizička i psihološka dimenzija koju treba uzeti u obzir. Moglo bi se reći da netko mora imati udjela u Kristu da bi upoznao Boga. No očito je postojala gnoza izvan kršćanske tradicije. Dakle, Bog očito želi da ga svi znaju!

    Gnoza meni osobno znači primiti dar - dar koji sa sobom nosi određene odgovornosti. Prilično je teška stvar osvijetliti - ili prosvijetliti! Mnogo toga nosimo što nas sprječava da rastemo i rastemo u božanskom znanju. Za mene gnoza znači ljubav prema istini, osjetljivost na magične aspekte života, i iznad svega, trajnu borbu s materijalnom sviješću. Ljudi bi radije vidjeli spaljenu osobu nego spaljen vlastiti novac. Rekli bismo da je to prirodno. Političari su vješti u obraćanju nama na ovoj razini. Biti gnostik uključuje neobičan stav prema prirodnom poretku. Čisto ljudsko u nama doista je pod lupom - svjetlo pokazuje sjene i tamu u nama, ako želite. Očito, nitko ne voli da nas se "prikazuje", pa progonimo donositelje svjetlosti i skrivamo se iza slika onog tko mislimo da smo. Gnoza je laka i, ako mogu tako reći, "moj teret je lagan".

    Je li moguće sami doživjeti gnozu?

    Očito vjerujem da je moguće i sam iskusiti gnozu. Teško da bi to mogli doživjeti drugi ljudi! Ali iskustvo se mijenja i možda nećemo uvijek biti svjesni da doživljavamo gnozu. To nije jedinstvena država. To nije isto što i 'instant satori'. Sam svemir je projekcija gnoze, ako je ograničen. Trebao bih reći da ako netko nema iskustva s gnozom, teško bi se moglo reći da je zaista bio živ.

    Možete li objasniti nešto o gnostičkim školama iz antike i što se s njima dogodilo?

    U kasnoj antici bilo je mnogo gnostičkih škola, koliko možemo reći, koje su okruživale nekog određenog učitelja ili samozvane sljedbenike takvog učitelja. Imali su vizije, snove, izjave, stavove i naredbe sljedbenika. Neki su vjerojatno bili šarlatani, a neki ‘prava stvar’, kako bi se očekivalo.

    Pravoslavni kršćanski učitelji koji su se bavili ocrnjivanjem i uništavanjem gnostičkog pokreta u Crkvi uvijek su nastojali izolirati učitelja. Imenovanje imena bio je veliki dio antignostičke propagande. Zahvaljujući njihovom trudu, imamo neke mračne zapise o ljudima poput Bazilida, Karpokrata, Marka, Markiona, Valentina, Šimuna Maga, Dositeja. Na primjer, ortodoksni apologete Irenej, Hipolit, Epifanije i Tertulijan, poslovili su predstaviti ove gnostičke učitelje kao dementne nadriliječnike koji su svoje sljedbenike vodili u ono što je Irenej nazvao - oko 180. godine naše ere - "ponor ludila i bogohuljenja". Ne znam koliko se ozbiljno može shvatiti njihovo izvođenje dokaza. To je pomalo kao da pitate Georgea Busha preferira li mu se "Lonely Hearts Club Band" narednika Peppera od Revolvera!

    Gnostici su predstavljali svojevrsnu protukulturu pa su se stoga izložili progonima i ismijavanju. Ne možete zamisliti da Gnostici lutaju u odijelima i kravatama s aktovkama govoreći o vrijednostima nekretnina! Čini se da su se neki sreli u katakombama i na privatnim mjestima. Bilo je gnostika u prvim samostanima svetog Pahoma u egipatskom Tebaidu. Doista je sporno da je prvi monaški pokret bio nadahnut željom za mjestom za bijeg od svijeta i iskustvo Boga, tj. Gnostičko nadahnuće. Jasno je da su samostani oduvijek imali posebnu ulogu u promicanju autentičnog duhovnog života, ako obično u tajnosti. Zidovi su imali uši.

    Nažalost, britanska i njemačka reformacija, napadajući samostane u ime protestantske tendencije, nastojale su izbaciti bebu s vodom za kupanje, pa položaj današnjeg gnostika ima neke srodnosti s položajima ranih kršćanskih gnostika. Kamo idemo ?, mogli bi se upitati. San Francisco očito nije radio za sve!

    Međutim, kako znamo iz priče o knjižnici Nag Hammadi, čak ni u pustinjskim samostanima gnostici nisu bili sigurni. Službene posjete uklonile su uvredljivu literaturu i osudile je na plamen. Uskoro će i gnostike uvrede dočekati ista sudbina. Crkva se spojila s državom u 4. stoljeću prije Krista i prava je Gnoza prognana. Samo jedan dobar razlog da vjeru ne držite u politici!

    Kako je ovo gnostičko naslijeđe preživjelo nakon završetka starih gnostičkih škola? Kakvo su naslijeđe dali našoj civilizaciji?

    Hvala Bogu, gnostičko iskustvo i izazov su upravo preživjeli kraj leta rimskog orla. Kao što se moglo očekivati, opstalo je na rubovima starog Carstva - u Siriji, Iraku, Bugarskoj, Turkestanu i Bosni - moguće Irskoj. Čak, neko vrijeme, u Mongoliji i Kini. Plamen je održan na životu kroz nebrojeno mnogo vojnih pohoda, masakra i nasilnih sukoba kraljeva, sultana, polubogova, polubogova, diktatora i careva. Nošena je u krilo Islamskog Carstva nakon 7. stoljeća u obliku hermetičke filozofije kao inspiracija znanosti i filozofiji - ispitivanju Boga u njegovim djelima i čudima. Sarani iz Harrana - koji nisu bili muslimani, već su Sabijci i kojima je Kuran to dopustio - njihova je uloga izuzetno važna u održavanju plamena na životu.

    Pojava islamskog misticizma-ili bolje rečeno, gnoze-među takozvanim sufijama u devetom i desetom stoljeću bila je vrlo značajna. Magiju, filozofiju, znanost, misticizam-ukratko, ljudski napredak, poticali su prosvijećeni krugovi islamskog svijeta-uvijek se igrajući, valja napomenuti, svojevrsne igre boksa u sjeni s tvrdokornim vlastima kojima je bilo svejedno za osobni doživljaj božanskog kraljevstva kao što je to učinila Rimska crkva na zapadu.

    Uništavanje takozvanih 'katara' u južnoj Francuskoj i sjevernoj Italiji u 13. stoljeću pokazalo je koliko su vlasti bile spremne ići u pokušaju uništenja duhovnog postojanja koje nije kontroliralo status quo-uvijek prisutne vlasti nalazimo u svakom dobu: očite moći nevidljive duhovne suprotnosti, kako to gnostik vidi. Gnostici su bili svjetlo svijeta i kvasac u kruhu. Svijet bez gnoze doista bi bio jako mračno mjesto. Gnostik pozdravlja Sunce, ‘vidljivog boga’. On ili ona će prvi vidjeti zoru - prvo, mogli biste reći, u vrtu uskrsnuća.

    Neki znanstvenici sugeriraju da je izraz "gnostik" previše problematičan da bi bio vrijedan i da ga treba zamijeniti nečim drugim. Slažeš li se?

    Neki znanstvenici, kažete, sugeriraju da je izraz 'gnostik' previše problematičan i da ga treba zamijeniti. Pa, žao mi ih je. Sama će gnoza na ovom svijetu uvijek biti problematična. Dan kada će se ugodno uklopiti u rječnik nekog učenjaka bit će dan kada je prestao imati moć. Ne, 'gnostik' - poput 'kršćanina' - počeo je kao nadimak i kao i sva takva imena treba se nositi s ponosom u slijepom svijetu. Da, postoje problemi s definicijom. Godine 1966. održan je kolokvij znanstvenika u Messini koji je namjeravao definirati pojam 'gnosticizam', ali nije mogao zadržati taj pojam. Tako da ja, čak i bez koristi od talijanskog sunca, ne mogu to učiniti za vas u ovom intervjuu. Predmet bi mogao ispuniti knjigu. Postoji, međutim, još jedan potez koji možemo slijediti. Odnosno, zašto bi to trebalo definirati? Definicija - poput popisa - vodi kontroli. Mnogo je bolje da gnostička tradicija nosi jedinstvenu kvalitetu opiranja definiciji! Nema sumnje da je to pitanje pomućeno aktivnostima kršćanskih crkava koje dominiraju razmišljanjem na Zapadu u većoj mjeri nego što mi možda shvaćamo.

    Na primjer, dok sam bio student na Sveučilištu Oxford, trebalo mi je puno vremena da shvatim pune implikacije činjenice da su teološke tečajeve vodili crkveni poglavari uglavnom u svoju korist. Doduše, bilo bi čudno da su njima upravljali industrijski kemičari! No poanta je bila da se, na primjer, 'gnosticizam' bavio univerzalnim iskustvom samo u smislu njegove prisutnosti ili izgnanstva iz ortodoksne kršćanske crkve. Teologizirajući je poricao svoj korijen u autentičnom iskustvu. Ako ne možemo vjerovati svom najdubljem najosobnijem i apsolutno autentičnom iskustvu, čemu možemo vjerovati? U svakom slučaju, mislim da bi bilo bolje, gledajući unatrag, proučiti čitavo polje gnostičke filozofije, religije i tako dalje kao vlastiti tok koji se nužno prožima sa svim takozvanim 'velikim religijama' svijet.

    Jedna od zanimljivih stvari o ortodoksnoj Crkvi - ako samo na sekundu možemo vidjeti mnoštvo sukobljenih tijela kao široko jedinstvo - jest ta što smatra da na kraju može primiti sve - sve, to jest osim gnoze! Time želim reći da je engleska crkva do Prvog svjetskog rata više ili manje prihvatila Darwina. Crkveni su se vođe - znam da nisu svi - dogovorili s Hitlerom, Staljinom i Mussolinijem i - priznajmo, Crkva je prilično dobro sklopila svoj mir sa svijetom. Gnostički se tipovi ne nalaze u tako ugodnom položaju s obzirom na svijet kakav jest.

    Mnogi su ljudi na putu ka gnozi koji to možda i ne shvaćaju, koji se iz ljubavi prema Bogu i straha od Boga - i straha od sebe i drugih - gube godinama na vrlo nezadovoljavajućim crkvenim okupljanjima koja su - u ime od Boga - zahtijevaju njihovu žrtvu i odanost. Uvijek sam uviđao da su najsebičnije skupine propovijedale samoodricanje.

    No, da se vratimo na stvar, koja bi druga pitoma riječ mogla zamijeniti otrcanu slavu i istrošeni kruh riječi Gnostik, Gnoza - čak i riječ učenjaka 'Gnosticizam'? Mistika je previše maglovita. Magika je kuglana i Disneyfied. Duhovnost - dobro! Nekada je imao značenje, sada znači bilo što, a vjerojatno ništa. Samo je pitanje vremena kada će proizvođači automobila smisliti automobil koji zadovoljava vaše duhovne potrebe! Zaista ne znam na što ljudi misle kad govore o 'duhovnosti'. Toliko je neodređeno da može biti od koristi svakom pseudoreligioznom šarlatanu i pohlepnom političaru na svijetu! Kad kažete 'gnostik', uvijek to morate objasniti. A kad to učinite, ljudi su uvijek fascinirani, priznali oni to ili ne! Dakle, to je ono što imamo i moramo to učiniti najbolje. Gnoza znači znanje. Shvaćaš?

    Što mislite o trenutnim pokušajima oživljavanja gnosticizma? Koju vrijednost imaju?

    Pitate o nedavnim pokušajima oživljavanja gnosticizma. Ovo je teško pitanje za ljude poput mene koji preferiraju autentična iskustva s prilogom stvarne povijesti. Ovo govorim učenjak i antikvar. Moj put nije tvoj put.

    Ne vjerujem da se 'gnosticizam' - ta riječ doista odnosi na gnostičke skupine koje su došle u sukob s kršćanskim ortodoksnim vlastima u prvih pet stoljeća poznatog života kršćanske crkve - može ili treba 'oživjeti'. Pacijent nije mrtav - iako bi svijet mogao biti. "Mrtvi nisu živi", kako kaže gnostičko evanđelje, "i živi neće umrijeti." Ovo je moj osobni favorit među mnogim velikim gnostičkim logijama. Mrtvi nisu živi i živi neće umrijeti. Kako istinito.

    Osim toga, postoji nekoliko sjajnih autentičnih gnostičkih tokova koji su i dalje jaki - iako je barem jedan od njih ozbiljno progonjen. Jezidi sjevernog Iraka, zapadnog Irana, gruzijske Armenije - to jest transkavkaski Kurdestan - imaju najnevjerojatniju inspirativnu tradiciju. U cijelom svijetu nema toga za usporediti. To je za svoju klasu. Jezidi su okrutno progonjeni od strane onih koji su u vezi s njima jer ih se ne smatra "ljudima iz knjige" kako je definirano - opet postoji ta riječ! - u Kuranu. Dugo su optuživani za 'obožavanje đavla', ali takva je okrutnost uobičajena među tlačiteljima otkad je prije svih tih godina Isus optužen da je đavoov glasnik. To je najstariji trik u knjizi i djeluje jer se ljudi boje svake vrste zla - osim vlastitog.

    Jezidi su danas napadnuti i ubijeni u Mosulu i okolici te im je uskraćena policijska zaštita u gruzijskoj Armeniji. Ovo je činjenica.

    Druga tradicija na koju sam mislio bila je tradicija Mandejaca iz donjeg Iraka, koji tvrde da je Ivan Krstitelj poseban prorok i zanimljivo su se pozvali na 'Krista Rimljana'. Što se tiče 'gnostika', ti su ljudi nesumnjivo 'prava stvar'.

    Kad sam snimao TV seriju Gnostici 1985-87, pisali smo iračkom veleposlanstvu u Londonu, a oni su poricali bilo kakvo znanje o Mandejcima. Bio sam zabrinut da su zbrisani pod posljednjim bijednim iračkim režimom, ali na moje zadovoljstvo, sada primjećujem da su preživjeli - iako se i dalje moraju opravdavati, okruženi različitim islamskim tradicijama. Mislim da se u Kur'anu kvalificiraju kao Sabijci i da su stoga zaštićeni. S druge strane, divni Jezidi progonjeni su 1300 godina i nemaju takvu zaštitu.

    Nezavisni Kurdistan vjerojatno bi tim jedinstvenim i vrijednim ljudima ljudima ponudio budućnost koja bi inače mogla biti ugrožena. Ovo bi bilo jako dobro izaći iz trenutne zbrke u Iraku. Velike sile sjebale su Bliski istok od pada Rimskog Carstva pa se može s pravom postaviti pitanje hoće li luda, loša igra dijeljenja imovine ugroženih završiti za naših života. Moramo se nadati, imati vjere i ljubavi. Poštedite malo ljubavi prema Jezidima - iako većina ljudi vjerojatno nikada nije čula za njih.

    Ovo bi, da odgovorim na vaše pitanje, bio dobar način za brigu o gnostičkoj tradiciji - tradiciji, rekao bih, o autentičnom čovjekovom duhu, porobljenom u svijetu i od njega. Ljubav prema novcu korijen je svakog zla. Način oživljavanja Gnoze treba oživjeti Gnozom.

    Zašto su ljudi toliko zainteresirani za gnosticizam ovih dana?

    Mislim da su ljudi zainteresirani za gnosticizam ovih dana jer očito postoji duhovni vakuum u središtu naše kulture. Znanost i masovna proizvodnja učinili su mnogo za vanjsku stranu šalice, ali iznutra je prazna i ne mogu je zasititi droga, seks i rock 'n' roll. Obećano oslobođenje kratko je zadovoljstvo nakon čega slijedi brz pad. Grace odvraća pogled i žrtva mora, ako ima sreće, pogledati unutra.

    Čak i u zemljama koje nisu bile toliko zasićene velikim biznisom kao što smo mi-gdje bi perilice rublja, centralno grijanje i osobni stereo uređaji i računala mogli biti dobrodošli-postoji sada dobro izražena pritužba koja uz sav novac i „obećanje sloboda i sloboda za sve ”dolazi velika prijetnja.

    Prijetnja je životu srca i osjetljivom, nevidljivom životu - tisuću veza s Bogom - koje su stoljećima održavale ljude u životu pred brojnim opasnostima i lišenjima. Ovdje ne želim romantizirati, ali treba se upitati: ‘Kome je najpotrebnija pomoć?’ Istok ili Zapad? Jasno je da oboje pate od siromaštva - materijalnog i duhovnog - i, naravno, na Zapadu ima dosta materijalnog siromaštva i nesumnjivo duhovnog siromaštva na Istoku. Ali zar si ne možemo pomoći? I time si pomoći? Ali kako ćemo to učiniti?

    Pa, Isus nudi trag: "Prvo očisti unutrašnjost čaše." Očisti to? možda ćemo plakati - većina nas ni ne zna da je tamo! Gdje je ovo ‘unutar šalice’? Gdje je to nebesko kraljevstvo (kraljevstvo, napomena, a ne demokracija!) Koje bi trebalo biti "blizu i unutar nas"? Pa, primjer i beskompromisna predanost duhovnoj stvarnosti toliko je snažna i moćna rijeka koja prodire kroz gnostičku tradiciju, da bi bilo izvanredno da naš suh kostiju svijet ne želi zaroniti u svoje vode koje daju život!

    Dok se sami ne riješimo, možemo izvesti samo svoju zabunu.

    Možete li reći nešto o zapadnoj ezoteričnoj tradiciji u cjelini? Kakva je njihova današnja situacija? Što oni imaju za doprinos našoj civilizaciji?

    Zamolili ste me da kažem nešto o zapadnim ezoterijskim tradicijama u cjelini i o tome što oni mogu pridonijeti našoj civilizaciji. Drugi dio tog pitanja je jednostavan. Ono što oni moraju pridonijeti je civilizacija. Što je civilizacija? To očito nije moć i moć ili sposobnost prisiljavanja na promjenu. U protivnom moramo Atilu Huna i Chingiz Khana svrstati u vođe civilizacije! Civilizacija se doista svodi na sposobnost niza ljudi da žive u gradu, da se organiziraju i međusobno slažu bez pada u kaos. Ono što promiče život zaposlene košnice može se opisati kao civilizacijski utjecaj. Civilizacija tada nije arbitar istine, već onoga što dobro funkcionira. Međutim, mudri muškarci i žene skloni su - nasuprot vjerojatnosti - drevnom uvjerenju da ništa ne radi tako dobro kao istina, te da pokvarena grana - trula od truleži - neće se čak ni dugo održavati - bez obzira na teret civilizacije. Istina je dobra.

    Kad pomislim na zapadnu civilizaciju sa svim njenim nejednakostima sposobnosti i društvenog statusa, velikom raznolikošću rasnih i vjerskih tipova, golom gustoćom pulsirajućeg ljudskog postojanja, njenom ranjivošću na prirodne sile, bolestima, očajem, histerijom, lažnim očekivanjima, dosadom i tako da, ne mogu a da ne pomislim da su važne organizacije poput masonerije i diskretna društva osobnog razvoja. Dok korumpirajuće sile uvijek nastoje djelovati unutar trupa, lijekovi moraju djelovati i unutar tkiva ljudske košnice - ne u strašnoj tajnosti, već sa skromnošću i ljubavlju sumnjičavom prema slavi, taštini i društvenoj pažnji. Hladni povjetarac dobro djeluje neviđeno. Ovo je višegodišnja mudrost. Mislim da je najbolje iz masonske tradicije uvelike doprinijelo razumijevanju tolerancije i društvenog idealizma koji ruši barijere. Povremeno čak nalazimo duhovni uvid u nekom od najtvrdokornijih mentalnih materijala!

    Što god dobri muškarci i žene pokušali postići s ovim disketnim idiotom zvanim čovjek, iskrena zaposlena pčela uvijek je protiv našeg biološkog i moralnog naslijeđa. Ovo je nasljedstvo zasigurno dovoljno mračno da rasplače jake muškarce i žene i da dovoljno razloga za očaj ili utočište u ciničnom stoicizmu tipa koji, primjerice, Gore Vidal pokazuje takvim ukusom i klasom.

    Za suvremena rozenkrojcerska društva može se puno toga reći za uvođenje ljudi u svijet maštovitog duhovnog razvoja. Mnogi pronalaze uvid u svjetove teozofije, teleme i antropozofije, na primjer. Ovo je sve u redu, što se toga tiče, ali ljudsko društvo može biti korozivno - čak i destruktivno.

    Ljudska bića doista nisu jako fina - osim ako nisu u nekakvoj ljubavi jedno s drugim - pa čak i tada ... pa! Stope razvoda sa svim njihovim tužnim pričama o oštrini i pohlepi svjedoče o krhkosti zakletvi izgrađenih na entuzijazmu i dobitku na lutriji. Psalmist je bio jednostavno realan kada je izgovorio riječi: „Nitko nije pravedan. Ne, ni jedan. ” Uključivanje sebe u grupe može ugušiti kreativni i božanski duh. No, usamljenost može biti teška, a usamljenost je, kako je pjevao Jimi Hendrix, "potez". Možda bismo trebali na neki prilagođen način oživjeti koncept samostana - ne, mogu li naglasiti, tu tužnu alternativu, 'komunu'. Hipiji su bili popularni u svemu osim u vlastitoj izopačenosti. Peter Coyote i Kopači nedvojbeno bi mi rekli da jednostavno nisam vidio prave hipije. Bio bi u pravu. Možda sam ja bio jedan od njih - i koliko često vidimo sebe?

    Pretpostavljam da će se u životu neke osobe, kad se pruži ruka u ruke Boga - koliko god mi znali o Njemu - za vodstvo, susresti sve vrste grupa i ljudi. Nijedan način ne funkcionira za sve ljude ili sve prigode. Tako mora biti. Oni kojima je potrebna apsolutna sigurnost bit će spremni vjerovati u sve. Jedan je uvijek prisutan, ako se ne vidi.

    Iskustvo pokazuje da postoji mnogo skrivenih vena u kozmičkom životu čovječanstva i ja - na primjer - drago mi je - i imam razloga za zadovoljstvo - što postoje. Gnoza je, kao što sam ranije rekao, dar. One has to be in the right place to receive it. No organisation can do that for anyone. The Spirit bloweth where it listeth. Heed the Spirit above all – and keep the powder dry!

    Could you talk a little bit about your own background, how you came to be interested in this area, and what meaning it has for you personally?

    You ask about my background. I am an Englishman born in Birmingham – the English Midlands – in 1960, who grew up to believe that something was seriously ‘out of kilter’ in my own dear country and in the world at large. This was something I found in myself as I grew older and travelled about the busy world. I had no special financial or educational advantages, but my father – a railwayman by choice in his later years – said “Seek and ye shall find.” I loved the past and had great respect for the ancients. I was always suspicious of words like ‘modern’ and ‘new’. No one knows the future and if, as someone once said, “the future is a poor place to store our dreams,” then I should say that a dream stored is a dream over. King Arthur will sleep so long as we do.

    I cannot remember when I first became interested in the authentic tradition of spiritual life. It seems to have always been with me. I suppose studying the Gnostics at Oxford in the late 70s made me realise that I was not alone, but there were always shadows and intimations of gnosis in books, films – especially old films (the new stuff is generally too cocksure, superficial and loud to have anything to say worth hearing) – and in music.

    I have often tried to ‘get away’ from Gnosis, rather like Jonah sailing to sea to avoid Nineveh, but I keep coming back to port, whether I like it or not. Often, I don’t like it at all. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the cold belly of the whale. The world, however, needs this insight, even if for me it now seems an old story. Somehow, it comes alive afresh again with each telling. And I discover so many new aspects to it, each time I willingly return to its study. It makes us wise and makes fools of us. Gnosis means creation because we do what we know. Creation is the fiery dragon whose scolding breath burns away the void and leaves the golden tree. We pick its fruit and create nothing.

    I was lucky (by modern standards) to have both parents and that both parents believed in the individual and believed in the mystery and magick of life, and that they were plain speaking, virtuous and down to earth as well as being receptive to higher influence. That was a gift too. Come to think of it – it’s all been a gift. I’ve done little to deserve such a theatre of sorrow and joy! There’s so much more to do and life is really both too long and too short. We’re here and we’d better make the best of it. Long may She reign over us.

    Could you tell us about your recent books, The Golden Builders and Gnostic Philosophy? What are they about?

    Moje knjige The Golden Builders i Gnostic Philosophy took me ten years to write and were continuations of a work begun in 1986 when I wrote my first book, The Gnostics, at the age of 25. You could say that the new books are the considered works of research and experience – an attempt to bring readers of the first book into deeper acquaintance with the extraordinary Gnostic tradition. I was very aware that some terrible books have appeared in the last 20 years which have exploited the whole subject area and confused people with a lot of journalistic twaddle and conspiracy tales. Some have inspired a recent best-selling novel that suggested Leonardo Da Vinci worked with a code that could be understood by an idiot demented by marijuana.

    I wanted to put the record straight. The truth is stranger than fiction and a good deal more interesting. The trouble with fiction is that you can’t live on it you always want more. Perhaps if you wanted to define the Truth, you might – with tongue in cheek – call it NON FICTION. There is NON FICTION in magick, Gnosis, mysticism and spiritual understanding – but then, I suppose, your readers know this already, or they would not be suffering this interview with a distant star..


    The Lost Pillars of Enoch, by Tobias Churton

    Although I was excited to dive into The Lost Pillars of Enoch: When Science & Religion Were One by Tobias Churton, I will also admit to feeling slightly intimidated by the subject matter. Religious history is interesting to me, but this book was denser than my usual reading for review fare and certainly not my area of expertise. It is, however, the author’s area of expertise, and he skillfully presented an enormous amount of information in these 325 pages.

    Tobias Churton, a British scholar, author, and lecturer at Exeter University, has authored an impressive number of books regarding history and esoteric belief systems including Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry, and Gnosticism, as well as biographies of those involved in these studies and systems, including several biographies of Aleister Crowley, and at least two titles that are now on my wish-list (Occult Paris: The Lost Magic of the Belle Epoque i The Spiritual Meaning of the Sixties). The more pages I turned, the more comfortable I became with the idea that I would indeed be able to understand the imposing subject matter at hand and the main premise of the book: the idea that once upon a time science and religion were one.

    Our journey begins in antiquity with an explanation of how information was carved into pillars (stele) as a way of record keeping. One example given was Herodotus’ (ca. 484-425 BCE) account of conqueror Sesostris’s pillars that included this passage:

    “When those that he met were valiant men and strove hard for freedom, he set up pillars in their land whereon the inscription showed his own name and his country’s, and how he had overcome them with his own power but when the cities had made no resistance and had been easily taken, then he put an inscription on the pillars even as he had done where the nations were brave but he drew on them the privy parts of a woman, wishing to show clearly that the people were cowardly.” 1

    This passage seemed to present much more than just an example of how history was recorded, and it is an example of how far back we can trace certain mindsets and attitudes as well.

    Of the many pillars carved, inscribed, and painted to preserve history, the pillars in question — the pillars of Enoch — were supposedly carved with information so important to our survival that it was inscribed upon pillars made of brick and marble because these would survive should the world be destroyed by flood or by fire.

    The book is divided into three parts and moves quickly through a compact history of religion, which then proceeds into part two, the bulk of the book, which deals with Hermetic philosophy. Being very interested in Hermeticism, I found this entire section highly illuminating. And although this section covers an extensive history of “believers” and supporters of both science and Hermeticism, from the Medici family, Copernicus, Giordano Bruno, to famed court magician John Dee, and even on to Aleister Crowley in the relatively recent past, the thing that stood out to me the most was what the belief they all had in common. This belief is basically that something has gone wrong, in that we have lost touch with something our species once knew and understood. This results in an idea that we have to look to the past in order to move forward into a better future.

    The passages on Isaac Newton were particularly eye-opening for me, especially considering the premise of the book (that these pillars were inscribed to withstand flood and fire) and the discovery that Newton’s notes (millions of words sold at auction in 1936, now in the process of being revealed by The Newton Project, Canada) suggest a diluvium ignis, or deluge of fire, in 2060. 2 I found myself certainly hoping that Newton was not a prophet.

    Churton touches on the current popular archaeology portrayed on websites and documentary television and how there seems to be a basic spin from the explosion of alternative life theories associated with the 1960s, along with millions of adherents that find today’s science to be less friendly and more likely to be prone to government manipulation, politicization, and to being bought and sold.

    One of Churton’s proposals that I found to be quite profound is the idea that although we have been taught over and over, that the “ascent” of man is a progressive, generally upward affair, perhaps man has devolved and may yet evolve from a state that is now latent, or partially accessible within us. I find that thought very refreshing in the light of so much current talk within spiritual communities of “ascension” – an idea that does not seem congruent with so much societal behavior today. Part Three of the book is titled Paradise Regained? and the author once again makes some very thoughtful statements about our future as human beings and why the thoughts and ideas presented in esotericism are important to how we navigate it.

    Overall, I enjoyed The Lost Pillars of Enoch very much. The author presented a large amount of historical information in a balanced and insightful way, along with an occasional dose of humor that lightened the otherwise heavy subject matter. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in esoteric history and hermeticism. I’ve gained insight into how many of our current day ideas about spirituality, prophecy, and science have developed over time, and I’m encouraged that many of the myths we hold dear still have an important message for us.

    Cindie Chavez, “The Love & Magic Coach”, is a certified life and relationship coach as well as an author, speaker, and teacher. She has a reputation for bringing astounding clarity and having a wicked sense of intuition. She has a widely diverse range of other proficiencies and interests including astrology, kabbalah, tarot, magic, and spirituality. She also loves painting, knitting, gaming, and enjoying belly laughs with her husband and family.


    Are you an author?

    This definitive biography of Aleister Crowley (1875–1947), the most notorious and controversial spiritual figure of the 20th century, brings together a life of world-shaking ‘magick’, sexual and psychological experimentation at the outer limits, world-record-beating mountaineering and startling prophetic power – as well as poetry, adventure, espionage, wisdom, excess, and intellectual brilliance. The book reveals the man behind the appalling reputation, demolishing a century of scandalmongering that persuaded the world that Crowley was a black magician, a traitor and a sexual wastrel, addicted to drugs and antisocial posing, rather than the mind-blowing truth that Crowley was a genius as significant as Jung, Freud or Einstein.

    Churton has enjoyed the full co-operation of the world’s Crowley scholars to ensure the accuracy and plausibility of his riveting narrative. The author has also been in contact with Crowley’s grandson, who has vouchsafed rare, previously untold accounts of family relationships. The result is an intimate portrait that has never before been shown, and one that has great emotional impact.

    The book contains the first ever complete investigation of Crowley’s astonishing family background – including facts he concealed in his lifetime for fear of social prejudice.

    Tobias Churton also gives us a detailed account of Crowley’s work as a British spy during World War I in Berlin during the early 1930s and during World War II. This information has not been available to any previous biographer.

    Follow Aleister Crowley through his mystical travels in India, which profoundly influenced his magical system as well as the larger occult world

    • Shares excerpts from Crowley’s unpublished diaries and details his travels in India, Burma, and Sri Lanka from 1901 to 1906

    • Reveals how Crowley incorporated what he learned in India--jnana yoga, Vedantist, Tantric, and Buddhist philosophy--into his own school of Magick

    • Explores the world of Theosophy, yogis, Hindu traditions, and the first Buddhist sangha to the West as well as the first pioneering expeditions to K2 and Kangchenjunga in 1901 and 1905

    Early in life, Aleister Crowley’s dissociation from fundamentalist Christianity led him toward esoteric and magical spirituality. In 1901, he made the first of three voyages to the Indian subcontinent, searching for deeper knowledge and experience. His religious and magical system, Thelema, shows clear influence of his thorough experimental absorption in Indian mystical practices.

    Sharing excerpts from Crowley’s unpublished diaries, Tobias Churton tells the true story of Crowley’s adventures in India from 1901 to 1906, culminating in his first experience of the supreme trance of jnana (“gnostic”) yoga, Samadhi: divine union. Churton shows how Vedantist and Advaitist philosophies, Hindu religious practices, yoga, and Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism informed Crowley’s spiritual system and reveals how he built on Madame Blavatsky and Henry Steel Olcott’s prior work in India. Churton illuminates links between these beliefs and ancient Gnostic systems and shows how they informed the O.T.O. system through Franz Hartmann and Theodor Reuss.

    Churton explores Crowley’s early breakthrough in consciousness research with a Dhyana trance in Sri Lanka, becoming a devotee of Shiva and Bhavani, fierce avatar of the goddess Parvati. Recounting Crowley’s travels to the temples of Madurai, Anuradhapura, and Benares, Churton looks at the gurus of yoga and astrology Crowley met, while revealing his adventures with British architect, Edward Thornton. Churton also details Crowley’s mountaineering feats in India, including the record-breaking attempt on Chogo Ri (K2) in 1902 and the Kangchenjunga disaster of 1905.

    Revealing how Crowley incorporated what he learned in India into his own school of Magick, including an extensive look at his theory of correspondences, the symbology of 777, and the Thelemic synthesis, Churton sheds light on one of the most profoundly mystical periods in Crowley’s life as well as how it influenced the larger occult world.

    Explores the unified science-religion of early humanity and the impact of Hermetic philosophy on religion and spirituality

    • Investigates the Jewish and Egyptian origins of Josephus’s famous story that Seth’s descendants inscribed knowledge on two pillars to save it from global catastrophe

    • Reveals how this original knowledge has influenced civilization through Hermetic, Gnostic, Kabbalistic, Masonic, Hindu, and Islamic mystical knowledge

    • Examines how “Enoch’s Pillars” relate to the origins of Hermeticism, Freemasonry, Newtonian science, William Blake, and Theosophy

    Esoteric tradition has long maintained that at the dawn of human civilization there existed a unified science-religion, a spiritual grasp of the universe and our place in it. The biblical Enoch--also known as Hermes Trismegistus, Thoth, or Idris--was seen as the guardian of this sacred knowledge, which was inscribed on pillars known as Enoch’s or Seth’s pillars.

    Examining the idea of the lost pillars of pure knowledge, the sacred science behind Hermetic philosophy, Tobias Churton investigates the controversial Jewish and Egyptian origins of Josephus’s famous story that Seth’s descendants inscribed knowledge on two pillars to save it from global catastrophe. He traces the fragments of this sacred knowledge as it descended through the ages into initiated circles, influencing civilization through Hermetic, Gnostic, Kabbalistic, Masonic, Hindu, and Islamic mystical knowledge. He follows the path of the pillars’ fragments through Egyptian alchemy and the Gnostic Sethites, the Kabbalah, and medieval mystic Ramon Llull. He explores the arrival of the Hermetic manuscripts in Renaissance Florence, the philosophy of Copernicus, Pico della Mirandola, Giordano Bruno, and the origins of Freemasonry, including the “revival” of Enoch in Masonry’s Scottish Rite. He reveals the centrality of primal knowledge to Isaac Newton, William Stukeley, John Dee, and William Blake, resurfacing as the tradition of Martinism, Theosophy, and Thelema. Churton also unravels what Josephus meant when he asserted one Sethite pillar still stood in the “Seiriadic” land: land of Sirius worshippers.

    Showing how the lost pillars stand as a twenty-first century symbol for reattaining our heritage, Churton ultimately reveals how the esoteric strands of all religions unite in a gnosis that could offer a basis for reuniting religion and science.

    • Reveals Crowley’s sex magick relations in London and his contacts with important figures, including Dion Fortune, Gerald Gardner, Jack Parsons, Dylan Thomas, and black equality activist Nancy Cunard

    • Explores Crowley’s nick-of-time escape from the Nazi takeover in Germany and offers extensive confirmation of Crowley’s work for British intelligence

    • Examines the development of Crowley’s later publications and his articles in reaction to the Nazi Gestapo actively persecuting his followers in Germany

    After an extraordinary life of magical workings, occult fame, and artistic pursuits around the globe, Aleister Crowley was forced to spend the last fifteen years of his life in his native England, nearly penniless. Much less examined than his early years, this final period of the Beast’s life was just as filled with sex magick, espionage, romance, transatlantic conflict, and extreme behavior.

    Drawing on previously unpublished diaries and letters, Tobias Churton provides the first detailed treatment of the final years of Crowley’s life, from 1932 to 1947. He opens with Crowley’s nick-of-time escape from the Nazi takeover in Germany and his return home to England, flat broke. Churton offers extensive confirmation of Crowley’s work as a secret operative for MI5 and explores how Crowley saw World War II as the turning point for the “New Aeon.” He examines Crowley’s notorious 1934 London trial, which resulted in his bankruptcy, and shares inside stories of Crowley’s relations with Californian O.T.O. followers, including rocket-fuel specialist Jack Parsons, and his attempt to take over H. Spencer Lewis’s Rosicrucian Order. The author reveals Crowley’s sex magick relations in London and his contacts with spiritual leaders of the time, including Dion Fortune and Wicca founder Gerald Gardner. He examines Crowley’s dealings with artists such as Dylan Thomas, Alfred Hitchcock, Augustus John, Peter Warlock, and Peter Brooks and dispels the accusations that Crowley was racist, exploring his work with lifelong friend, black equality activist Nancy Cunard.

    Churton also examines the development of Crowley’s later publications such as Magick without Tears as well as his articles in reaction to the Nazi Gestapo who was actively persecuting his remaining followers in Germany. Presenting an intimate and compelling study of Crowley in middle and old age, Churton shows how the Beast still wields a wand-like power to delight and astonish.

    An extensive examination of the history of gnosticism and how its philosophy has influenced the Western esoteric tradition

    • Explains how the Gnostic understanding of self-realization is embodied in the esoteric traditions of the Rosicrucians and Freemasons

    • Explores how gnosticism continues to influence contemporary spirituality

    • Shows gnosticism to be a philosophical key that helps spiritual seekers "remember" their higher selves

    Gnosticism was a contemporary of early Christianity, and its demise can be traced to Christianity's efforts to silence its teachings. The Gnostic message, however, was not destroyed but simply went underground. Starting with the first emergence of Gnosticism, the author shows how its influence extended from the teachings of neo-Platonists and the magical traditions of the Middle Ages to the beliefs and ideas of the Sufis, Jacob Böhme, Carl Jung, Rudolf Steiner, and the Rosicrucians and Freemasons. In the language of spiritual freemasonry, gnosis is the rejected stone necessary for the completion of the Temple, a Temple of a new cosmic understanding that today's heirs to Gnosticism continue to strive to create.

    The Gnostics believed that the universe embodies a ceaseless contest between opposing principles. Terrestrial life exhibits the struggle between good and evil, life and death, beauty and ugliness, and enlightenment and ignorance: gnosis i agnosis. The very nature of physical space and time are obstacles to humanity's ability to remember its divine origins and recover its original unity with God. Thus the preeminent gnostic secret is that we are God in potential and the purpose of bona fide gnostic teaching is to return us to our godlike nature.

    Tobias Churton is a filmmaker and the founding editor of the magazine Masonerije Danas. He studied theology at Oxford University and created the award-winning documentary series and accompanying book The Gnostics, as well as several other films on Christian doctrine, mysticism, and magical folklore. He lives in England.

    An exploration of Crowley’s relationship with the United States

    • Details Crowley’s travels, passions, literary and artistic endeavors, sex magick, and psychedelic experimentation

    • Investigates Crowley’s undercover intelligence adventures that actively promoted U.S. involvement in WWI

    • Includes an abundance of previously unpublished letters and diaries

    Occultist, magician, poet, painter, and writer Aleister Crowley’s three sojourns in America sealed both his notoriety and his lasting influence. Using previously unpublished diaries and letters, Tobias Churton traces Crowley’s extensive travels through America and his quest to implant a new magical and spiritual consciousness in the United States, while working to undermine Germany’s propaganda campaign to keep the United States out of World War I.


    The Missing Family of Jesus – by Tobias Churton

    An Inconvenient Truth – How the Church erased Jesus’s brothers and sisters from history

    –by Tobias Churton

    Published in The Watkins Review, Issue 26, Spring 2011

    Some time ago, I sat down with my family to watch the movie version of Dan Brown’s Da Vincijev kod. After a good dose of Tom Hanks’s adventures as symbol sleuth Robert Langdon, I began asking myself the question, ‘Why are people so involved in this story?’ I concluded that the root of the fascination lies in a single straightforward question: Whatever happened to Jesus’s family?

    It occurred to me that such a question might serve as the launching-pad for a book-length investigation. Fortunately, Michael Mann at Watkins Publishing shared this opinion and The Missing Family of Jesus was born.

    We’ve all seen paintings of ‘The Holy Family’. It’s a pretty nuclear affair. We might see Joseph leading a donkey on which Mary sits, holding the baby Jesus. Otherwise, we might see Mother Mary and baby Jesus – but no daddy at all.

    Families just weren’t like that in those days.

    Even the canonical gospels give us some hints. Mark 6,v.3 tells us that Jesus (Yeshua or ‘Joshua’) had brothers: James (properly ‘Jacob’), Joses (Joseph), Simon and Juda (called ‘Judas’ in Matthew). But after the establishment of Christianity in the Roman Empire, 300 years later, believers were discouraged from dwelling on questions like: ‘Whatever happened to Jesus’s Family?’ Even today, in Catholic encyclopaedias of the Saints, ‘Saint James the Just’ – universally regarded as Jesus’s brother by the earliest Church Fathers – is called the ‘son of Alphaeus’, deliberately obscuring any theologically compromising family relationship.

    The Jesus of the Church jumps out as an ‘only child’ from the pages of dogma. He is God’s ‘only begotten son’. This is a theological point, but we know now that Jesus was a part of history, and like everyone else, he came from a family. Indeed, his family was important to his work. The first ‘bishop’ of the ‘Church’ in Jerusalem after the Crucifixion was James the Righteous (‘Zaddik’), brother of Jesus. James continued his more famous brother’s hostility to the governing priests, scribes and pharisees. According to Eusebius, they had James clubbed to death in AD 62. Brother James was succeeded as second ‘bishop’ of Jerusalem by Jesus’s cousin, Symeon, son of Klopa. According to Hegesippus, Symeon, though a man of exceptional age, was also martyred, like his kinsman James, in AD 106 or 107. Furthermore, according to Church historian Eusebius, the grandsons of Jesus’s brother Judas survived until the reign of the Emperor Trajan (AD 98-117) when they were interrogated on grounds of being of the House of David, and therefore politically suspect.

    The earliest ‘Church’ in Jerusalem was to a significant extent, a family affair. Like all families, there would have been problems. Jesus did not need children of his own his family provided man (and woman) power.

    Why are these facts so little known? Why for so many people is Jesus an ‘unreal’ character? Odgovor je jednostavan. The Roman Church did not want a ‘real’ character. The Roman Church wanted a super-real character, preferably with no character at all, as we understand the term. By the late fourth century, the Jewish Christians, who followed the old tradition first established in Jerusalem (and who were nicknamed ‘the Poor’), were regarded as krivovjerci – outside of the care of ‘the Church’. The Roman Church had effectively usurped the Family and become self-appointed executors of Jesus’s Will and Testament. How could they do this? After Emperor Constantine gave ‘Christianity’ imperial sanction, the Roman Church had the power and might and muscle of the state of Rome behind it.

    The Missing Family Of Jesus constitutes the first systematic, historical investigation into svi of the evidence surrounding the questions ‘Who belonged to Jesus’s family?’ ‘What do we know about their relationships to one another?’ ‘What happened to Jesus’s Family?’

    What do we have to go on? There is some historical evidence, disparate, sometimes obscure, but sufficient to build a picture of reasonable probability, without recourse to wild speculation. There is legendary material, of which much has been made for conspiracy-style narratives. This material is examined rationally. The Missing Family of Jesus scrutinizes the historical basis, such as it is, for the ‘Holy Blood Holy Grail’ narrative. Good history is at last liberated from storytelling.

    The book includes in its sweep a thorough search into what orthodox authorities have called ‘apocryphal material’, accounts not included in the official canon of the Churches, but from an historical perspective, of value. For example, in several apocryphal gospels, the figures of James the Righteous and of a possible twin (‘Didymos’ or ‘Thomas’) brother, called Judas, are given special – and fascinating – prominence. James and Judas/ Thomas were important to some Jewish Christians living in Syria in the 2 nd and 3 rd centuries. We cannot dismiss evidence simply because the Churches do not like it. The shortcomings of evidence are highlighted.

    We also possess an abundance of historical and archaeological knowledge which helps us to establish real conditions and real possibilities as regards social and political conditions relevant to the story.

    It must be the case that behind both the historical and the legendary evidence, there exists a missing, truthful picture of the family of Jesus. The task of the book has been to establish as much of that truth as is historically possible within the bounds of reasonable probability.

    I am delighted to announce that the project has succeeded in bringing our picture of Jesus back home, for while I suspected at the start that such an examination might help us to get back to Jesus’s historical family, I had no idea that the search would take me directly to the ‘historical Jesus’. This, for me, was an astonishing experience, one in which I must confess I felt a guiding hand from above I can find no other words to describe the experience.

    The final chapter is subtitled ‘The Mystery of Christianity Solved’. I admit this sounds extremely bold, even rash, but I can convey to you in all sobriety that that is precisely what has been achieved. How I came to this momentous conclusion, I shall leave, naturally to the book itself, but I can say this: it is my belief that sooner or later, this book’s conclusion will have to be addressed by the highest religious authorities and, as a US contact has recently informed me, the results should be ‘world-changing’. Well, I don’t know about that, but it might be person-changing, and we can all do with a spiritual wake-up call. It all seems a long way from an evening in watching a filmed novel on TV. But does not the Lord move in mysterious ways?

    For those who like bullet-points, here are some key points explored in The Missing Family of Jesus:


    TOBIAS CHURTON



    "Tobias Churton is the perfect candidate to explore Gnosticism with an insightful gaze and a solid grip on history. In 1987 he was involved in the acclaimed British Channel Four series The Gnostics and wrote the companion volume. Many of us interested in Gnosticism were first exposed to the Gnostic tradition through these early works.

    Churton breaks out of the Christian ghetto mentality and explores Gnosticism as a wider phenomenon meandering through history. His depth of coverage is impressive, from early Vedic and Zoroastrian traditions through Judaism, Christianity and medieval sects, to modern neo-Gnostics, including the infamous Aleister Crowley. He offers an excellent summary of various Gnostic streams, with lucid commentary and lots of quotes from primary sources.Churton shows his background in Freemasonic history with a superb exploration of the Gnostic elements in Hermeticism and Freemasonry. Churton sees Gnosticism as a playful exploration of the spiritual verities, a praxis (i.e. practical spirituality) based on a direct perception of the spiritual world (gnosis = to know), rather than as a purely speculative form and this is the key to understand his work."

    Churton separates the wheat from the chaff and disposes of unnecessary speculations and fantasy. To get a good handle on what Gnosticism is really all about (and isn’t), a great place to start is with Gnostic Philosophy by Tobias Churton."

    Robert Burns, NEW DAWN magazine

    "For the last 2000 years or more, Gnosticism has been persecuted and wilfully misunderstood by those who prefer to control human freedom. In this magisterial work Churton explores the origins of Gnosticism, its growth and development and along the way setting right not a few myths which have developed. This is not really a book to be read through in one sitting, it is rather a work to be dipped into in order to elucidate some important episode in our history which has hitherto been ignored or misused. The section on Jesus and the relationship of his words with the texts of the Dead Sea Scrolls is particularly important. Churton writes: ‘Had Jesus visited the supposed "Qumran Sect" he would I think have looked at the community, with their hopes for changing the nature of the world from without, with pity.’ Churton bravely seeks to rescue the eighteenth century Illuminati and the later Aleister Crowley from the hell to which they have been consigned by historians. He sees the rise of the radical Illuminati as the consequence of the replacement of pro-masonic and benevolent enlightenment rulers with narrow-minded successors. The exploration of Crowley’s thought is fascinating and, one assumes, seminal."

    Michael Baigent, FREEMASONRY TODAY

    "A wonderful book. I've felt happy since I read it yesterday. The breadth of coverage is great: over 2000 years of Gnostic groups and individuals, among them Cathars, Sufis, Jacob Bohme, Rosicrucians, Freemasons, Carl Jung, and Rudolf Steiner.

    Within each topic, there’s suprising depth of coverage. The coverage of the Sufis is beautiful writing. The coverage of Aleister Crowley is enthusiastic and complex. This is in no way a dry survey. Nevertheless, the writing is backed up with 42 pages of footnotes and a 7 page bibliography. Altogether, many pointers to further reading on Gnosticism. There were some surprises for me about who could be considered Gnostic: for example, the coverage of the Troubadours and, more recently, Jimi Hendrix. Churton is able to define Gnosticism through those he has selected to represent it. It's a long way from Valentinus to Hendrix, to be sure, but Churton quite capably threads together the many individuals and groups he considers Gnostic. In doing so, he moves from history to presence, so that he may, as if he did for me, provide you a vital sense of how Gnosticism may be relevant today for you.

    Gnostic Philosophy may inform and entertain, but, due to the deep care and warmth with which Churton has written it, it may also call to you. This book is a brilliant presentation of why Gnosticism matters."

    Everpresence of Gnosis, by ‘calmly’ May 7, 2005 ***** (Amazon Review)

    "Churton, founding editor of Freemasonry Today, is an authority on the subject and comprehensively chronicles Gnostic History to its earliest origins. What is more, he does this in a highly readable format, his journalistic experience shining through in each chapter. If your curiosity of Western esoterica has been piqued of late, and you're looking to get the low-down on what it is actually all about, there is probably no better place to start."

    The Real McCoy, August 11, 2005 **** by’ BPG’ (Amazon Review)

    "I read every word of this book. First, it is not about some slightly interesting “idea” circulating in the development of Christianity. It’s about gnosis which is the full realization of being. It’s about the ancient and eternal quest for the Meaning of Existence. It's the history of a philosophical search based on the illusion of separation from source that's become entangled over the long years in complex literalism. And it’s made thrillingly clear to a careful reader because it's well understood by its own writer. This one will always have space on my bookshelves, shelves that get smaller as the years pass rather than larger. I seem to be getting very picky as I go along."


    Excerpt

    Not everyone greeted the Invisible Ones with the salivating relish of a yellow journalist in a vulgar Sunday newspaper. Another anonymous writer of 1623 penned a document entitled Recherches sur les Rose-Croix (Researchers into the Rose Cross), now in the Bibliothèque Nationale:

    The Rose Cross is an imaginative invention of a group of persons who use it as their symbol and mark. Besides this it means nothing. They claim that an ancient wisdom has been transmitted from Adam through Seth, Noah and Moses to Solomon, and that this wisdom was revealed by the Arabs to the foreigners in 1413. . . . It has seen been preserved in obscure terms by the alchemists Basilius Valentinus, Theophrastus, Isaac the Hollander, Severinus Danus, Paracelsus, Raymond Lull, Valentin Conrad, and Robert Fludd. . . .
    Their religion is drawn exclusively from Geneza, from the book of Wisdom, i Psalam of David, but they approach them with a formal conception to create a semblance that these great personalities wrote only to justify their own belief. In this endeavour they are greatly assisted by their knowledge of the roots of languages.

    Whether the Brethren of the Rose Cross were in fact devil worshippers or, as the author of the above study maintained, “Protestant monks, formerly of the Cistercian order, who live on a rock on the shores of the Danube in an almost inaccessible place,” fraternization with their beliefs or literature incurred dire consequences.
    Three years before the Invisibles were supposed to have floated about Paris, two students of Marburg University in Hessen, Philipp Homagius and Georg Zimmerman, were tried by the university. Homagius was accused of burning all his books except his Rosicrucian works and a magical textbook attributed to “Arbatel.” Homagius was sentenced to “eternal imprisonment” in a frontier fort.
    Meanwhile, the University of Paris condemned all works by, or inspired by, Paracelsus--and that included “Rosicrucian” works as a matter of course.
    In the same year as the Paris scare, “Rosicrucian” defender and mathematician Heinrich Nollius was expelled from the University of Giessen for his professional interests in sacred magic and Hermetic philosophy. Two years later he would try to form a new group “the keepers of the celestial wheel.”
    In 1624, a year after the Paris scare, catholic authorities at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands set up a tribunal to try Rosicrucian writings. The Leiden trials would be followed in Haarlem in 1627 by the trial, torture, and imprisonment of a sometime-pornographic artist, Jan Symonsz van der Beek. According to Susanna Åkerman, the Leiden judges “correctly saw that the Rosicrucian fiction stemmed from Arabic magic, from Hebrew wisdom, and from dangerously subversive Paracelsian themes.”
    That is quite a case for the prosecution. So the Rosicrucian beliefs were a fiction? Why then were people all over northern Europe and elsewhere getting into trouble for paying attention to a fiction? It is not as if they did not have novels in the seventeenth century. They knew the difference between a novel and a serious book. What was it about this fiction that was causing so much trouble?
    Were the Invisibles real, or were they . . . invisible, that is to say, imaginary?
    Tko su bili oni? Would one of them stand up and be counted? People were, after all, suffering in their name. Even where it was not physically dangerous, mere rumor of association with the Brothers of the Rose Cross could make life very inconvenient.
    Take the case of (now) world-famous philosopher, René Descartes. According to Adrien Baillet’s biography, Descartes returned to Paris from his travels with the Duke of Bavaria’s army in 1623, only to find the Rosicrucian scare in full force. In fact, Descartes had vainly sought the Brothers of the Rose Cross in the winter of 1619, hoping for help with his internal struggles and obscure mathematical studies. (The Brothers of the Rose Cross had promised a new mathematics.)
    A year later, Descartes had met up with an excellent mathematician, Johann Faulhaber, whose less advanced ideas inspired Descartes to new heights of original genius. Faulhaber had been an early defender of the mysterious Brothers, having responded eagerly to their promise of a reformed science.
    Descartes was unlikely to have swallowed the calumnies about satanic brethren invisibly subverting the capital, but he took seriously the advice given him that he was a potential suspect, having appeared alone, and from Germany--and doubtless being a mathematician and philosopher too. Should he hide? No, he concluded. He made himself visible about town. How, he reasoned, could anyone suspect he was a Brother of the Rose Cross? Had not everyone heard? The infernal brethren were invisible!
    Furthermore, he reasoned, having sport with the credulous inquiries of friends, it was that very invisibility that must have prevented his finding the fraternity in Germany!
    It is good to know the philosopher had a sense of humor there are not many laughs in his Discourse on Method.
    What were people afraid of? Why were even the more enlightened writers, such as Descartes’ mentor Father Marin Mersenne and well-informed commentator Gabriel Naudé, so suspicious? What had the Brothers of the Rose Cross učinjeno?

    In order to find out how such a powerfully subversive group of conspirators had come out of nowhere, only to manifest themselves without manifesting themselves, only to be seen in the imagination while remaining distinctly and indistinctly invisible--only to be dismissed as harmless by some, yet perceived by others as a threat to the stability of the whole catholic world (and all in the space between two celestial conjunctions), we need to go back to the beginning of what Simon Studion thought (in 1604) was the end.