The Liberator-God in Ancient Religion: Salvation and Resurrection of the Initiated
Resurrection of the DEAD and the Liberation of MAN in the MYSTERIES. Initiates, as Lovers of Education and WISDOM.
THE DRAMA OF GRADUATION IN THE MYSTERIES
Think only the Greeks and Romans celebrated the MYSTERIES? As Francis Bacon once said, Ipsa scientia potestas est (“Knowledge itself is power”)—Meditationes Sacrae, 1597.
I must be INITIATED, ere I die!!
—Aristophanes, Eirene (“Peace” Comedy).
The INITIATED, are the “just.”—Aristophanes.
“Open your ears, O ye Initiated, and receive the most sacred mysteries!”—Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, The Works of Philo Judaeus: Allegorical Interpretations, III.
‘I show you a MYSTERY—the ‘WISDOM of God’ in a Mystery—THE HIDDEN WISDOM!’
“But we speak the WISDOM of God in a mystery, even
THE HIDDEN WISDOM, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.” (1 Corinthians 2:7)
“Moses will be summoned upwards, the Steward and Guardian of the ‘Sacred Mysteries of the living God’.”
—Philo Judaeus of Alexandria.
“If they hear not Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if one rose from the dead.” (Luke 16:31)
A brave SOUL steps forth, and speaks: —
“WASH me thoroughly from mine iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.” (Psalms, 51:2)
Utters the STUDENT
“This is the gate of Iao,
Let the Zadakim (the Just, the INITIATED, THE PRIESTS) enter through it.” (Psalm, 118:19, 20)
THE SOLAR PRIEST/PRIESTESS:
“Many shall be purified and made CLEAN and tried.” (Daniel, 7:10)
“Al (El) is terrible in the great SOD (assembly, MYSTERIES) of the Kedeshim (the priests, the holy, the INITIATED).” (Psalm, 89:8)
“And his Sōd (arcanum, MYSTERIES) are for the Isarim (the GOOD, the Initiated).” (Proverbs, 3:32)
“We have together made sweet the SOD (Mysteries);
In the house of the Alahim we have walked with the THRONG.” (Psalm, 55:14)
Foreseeing the BLESSINGS of the ELYSIAN FIELDS, then meets, the INITIATED, the end of the holy drama; final apocalypse (INITIATORY PURIFICATION), ἐποπτεία, epopteia. Then, the Chorus lapses into silence.
“INITIATED into the most blessed of all MYSTERIES,
being ourselves PURE (Chaste).”—Plato, Phaedrus.
“Constantly perfecting himself in perfect MYSTERIES, a man alone becomes truly perfect” says Plato (Phaedrus).
LIBERATOR-GODS, BEAST SLAYERS AND GODS OF INTELLIGENCE
THE PHILOSOPHY AND MORAL CODES OF Apollonius, Pliny, Tacitus, Cassius Dio, Marcus Aurelius, Plutarch, Epictetus, Galen, Lucian, Valentinus, Pythagoras, Plato, Zeno, Seneca, and so many other names of the Occident all point to the “true religion,” the old religion. This is the ‘Religion of the MYSTERIES,’ a global phenomenon in ancient history.
Those taught in the mode or way of the MYSTERIES it is said, follow the path of Justice. There are also MYSTERIES of the DARKNESS (ערום, of Hades), relating to DEATH (MUTH, Pluto), the DEATH-God.
The theme is rather consistent: the procession of life carries on, and the aspirant, or disciple is carried through the sorrows of the nether-world, and if he passes out of ‘SIN’ (TYPHON), he is carried into RESURRECTION after death into a new life and then immortality. This is the success or prize of the MYSTERY DRAMA. Only the purified attain new life and unite with the manifested God (called the ‘Son of Man’). This concept should be understood in the way the Upanishads uses Anatman. Aristophanes calls this manifested God or potency “the SAVIOUR of Hades.”
Continuing on the theme, it is as follows. Humanity has both good and evil elements within and must therefore be chastised or purified. Aristophanes poetically states in his comedy drama, that the DEW of DEUS will be poured from on high for the BLESSED.
The truly CHASTE before the SILENCE (Night, Nyx) make mad the soul below (lower-self) and ascends from Hades now transfigured into the IMMORTAL DIONYSIOS SON (the Mind, the WISDOM) OF DEUS, — with the drama coming to the RESURRECTION. He (the epopteia) is the LIFE, and SON (Daughter) of CERES (Mother-God, the VIRGIN) and child of the LIFE(Light)-PRODUCER. The BABE (representing the initiate) has now become a radiant-DAIMON of Deus, resurrected. This is the drama and the result of spiritual alchemy.
The situations of “damsels in distress” were plot devices, that afforded the would-be hero-initiate the chance at proving their last worth, such as in the stories of both Herakles and Jesus (Iesous). The maiden the character is sometimes to retrieve represents the soul itself; and upon saving or retrieving her (or it), he or she transforms and is reborn as soter, or soteria — the crowned Sun-Initiate or Sun-Hierophant, and conqueror of Python.
“The mind in each of us is a god.”
ὁ νοῦς γὰρ ἡμῶν ἐστιν ἐν ἑκάστῳ θεός. (Euripides)
Marcus Tertullius Cicero said that “the contemplation of celestial things will make man both speak and think more sublimely and magnificently when he descends to human affairs.” Francis Bacon once wrote, “I would advise all in general that they would take into serious consideration the true and genuine ends of knowledge; that they seek it not either for pleasure or contention, or contempt of others, or for profit, or for fame, or for honour and promotion, or such-like adulterate or inferior ends; but for merit and emolument of life, that they may regulate and perfect the same in charity” (Advancement of Learning, preface, 1674 edition), which characterizes the PERFECTIBILISM so inherent in the Mysteries.
This love of education is inherent in all its votaries and initiates.
The classical Greek and Roman philosophers and theurgists give us ample clues as to what underlies the initiate’s training and what is the concept behind the Liberator-God, who is seen as savior of the initiated. Think of this liberator as a single man-god like Jesus Christ is considered, and the idea is lost.
However, think of the liberator-god more like a part in the process of a complex yet connected chain reaction. It is a principle the initiates unfold from within themselves, though we say, they “come unto it” or it comes unto them, like a specter. The liberator is not separate from the initiate, and never was. The liberator is the basis of our being.
Since antiquity, mystic schools and initiated philosophers have taught that there is a principle they call the redeemer, the crown, the liberator, the KURIOS (Lord of Light, or the SPIRIT), etc., through which ‘the mind comes onto the Mind of ALL.’ It is not Jesus. It is the root of nature itself. This redeemer god or liberator of souls, the KURIOS (Lord of Light, or the SPIRIT) is characterized throughout mythology and historical cultures as Adoni (Bacchus), Hermes (Mercury), Mithras, Bel, Herakles, Prometheus, Thoth, Krishna, and it goes further.
Jesus may be counted among these myths of liberator-deities as a literary semi-god, born from DEUS and Mary. Like other initiates, in his story, Jesus is this humiliated man made to suffer, like other ancient “Sons” of JOVE. As with Hermes, Herakles, Krishna, etc., they are stories about extraordinary beings with knowledge and strength, which men call god-like.
Quicquid est illud, quod sentit, quod sapit, quod vult, quod viget, cæleste et divinum est, ob eamque rem æternum sit necesse est.—Cicero. “Whatever that be which thinks, which understands, which wills, which acts, it is something celestial and divine, and upon that account must necessarily be eternal” says Cicero.
The ability of the mind to perceive this greater Mind, or to come onto it indicates something deeply psychological and metaphysical humans can attain. The system of graduation, or initiation was a system, that aided human development along various lines, even dangerous trials; and to pass in secrecy and in its pristine philosophic condition, knowledge about man’s nature.
The Pythagoreans who taught of it held, that Deity is a Divine Unity, and is the Universal Mind diffused through all things. It is paramount INTELLIGENCE or the WISDOM effused from Father Time, or the Unknown Cause that produced all the manifested Great Gods. According to Damascius’s commentary in Parmenides (the last of the scholarchs of the School in Athens), there is an intellectual order of the gods.
Being objects of intelligence to others, and possessing themselves intellection, their order are the works of the Father, and of one intelligible Intellect. In the Ancient Fragments, we are taught that this INTELLIGENCE intelligible to intellectual natures was effused like the Armed Minerva (Athena, the INTELLIGENCE of God) from the head of Jupiter.
Plato in Cratylus says of Athena, to “Speak of her as the INTELLIGENCE of God.” Athena, the divine INTELLIGENCE is ‘the great Jove, the SPIRIT,’ says Plutarch in Isis and Osiris. She, Athena is the GOD–mind, the theurgists and Platonists explain. Plutarch teaches in Quaestiones Convivales, ATHENA is the FEMALE Wisdom, as Adonis (Bacchus, the Divine Mind) is the Nutritive Spirit and Generative-Principle, i.e., generators in vegetation of cosmic life. Bel and Oannes (the fish-god, or mer-man) were worshiped similarly in Babylon, Palestine, and Phoenicia.
This INTELLIGENCE, Philo of Alexandria teaches, was both male and female, i.e., possessing the double fecundity of the two poles, or sexes. In China it was the Yin and Yang of DAO. The INTELLIGENCE of The God is an idea in each national-cult, and in the doctrines taught in ancient WISDOM-Schools. With Moses, it was represented by the Nehushtan (Asclepius, the healer-god), or the Brazen Serpent, who is APOLLO (Bel, or Adon), the Male Serpent. Likewise, “Minerva is the Female Serpent,” says Plutarch in Isis and Osiris. Together, they make the Mysteries of the CYCLE of Time, symbolized by the ouroboros (a serpent biting its tail). It is from Oulum (i.e., boundless Duration), or as in the myth of Uranus and Jove, that Divine WISDOM proceeds into the manifested World. All things are born from Kronos (Time) and Venus (Substance), teaches the initiate Plutarch, in his Isis and Osiris. “The Wisdom the Daughter of God is also male and father,” says Philo Judaeus, with the mystic union of the two sexes representing the primal principle. The divine Hermaphrodite or Hermathena is Dionysus, for the Woman or lunar (crescent) symbol was in a sense, of the body of Dionysus, and was known in Phrygia as the great mother of the gods.
Bacchus, or Dionysus went by another name, IAO (the GOD of LIFE). Bacchus is not a mere God of earthly Wine. Bacchus is the God perceived beyond the “Seven CIRCLES” (or ZONES) called the MYSTIC Heptomad, that raises up souls to the invisible world called ELYSIUM. Aristophanes in The Frogs (Batrachoi) calls Iacche, or Bacchus (the Wisdom-god) the “Phosphoric Star of the nightly rite, freeing the Blessed from pain.” Bacchus, Dionysus, or IAO is known as the liberator of souls the mystae (an initiate in the Eleusinian mysteries) are expected to come through, and be lifted to the Upper Parts at the Pure Abode above (i.e., in the Aether).
The religious philosophy of the Magi was the Wisdom of the Orient. The worship of the “God of Heaven” was embodied in the state-religions of the East in Greece, Rome, Persia, China, and Jerusalem. The Gods of the national-cults, and its MYSTERIES were built on the worship of dual-principles, representing in its fullness a Divine Unity, as in Heaven and Earth. In this can be found a pattern of two principles, spirit and matter, male and female, sun and moon, Deus and Hera, heaven and earth, evening-star and dawn-star, good and evil, &c.
It is revealed again in Bere’shith with Adam and Eve, or Epigeios and Eua, Adonis and Venus (Proserpine), according to Aeschylus of Eleusis in The Seven against Thebes (Hepta epi Thebas). Venus is in search for her beloved, and the Lovers mourn for each other, as mortals mourn for the Spirit of their God.
To know (to perceive) the Spirit requires a great abundance of energy and natural concentration, which is not conducted under ordinary human mental conditions, yet it is the mind and intelligence it is taught, that we must use to help unfold our hidden faculties and spiritual vision.
The idea is that DEITY is the substance and generative-principle of Life. The Sun was considered its medium, even its place of habitation in some explanations, and the planets much like its receptacles.
According to the Pythagorean and Presocratic philosopher, Philolaus, the Sun, our Central Star is but a mirror of the hidden Fire of Life, which is also latent in us. The FIRE, Damascius (last of the Neoplatonists) teaches us, is in the intellect; and Proclus tells us in Parmenides, that the intellect of the Father governs all things by intellect.
Then, it makes perfect sense what Cicero and Blavatsky make the link between electricity in cerebration of the brain, this mysterious intellectual fire, the concept of cosmic electricity, and a distinct Vital Force in MATTER. Hence, the concept of a “divine spark.” “Sun-god” is in one sense, a reference to a hidden divine principle in nature, and a SAVIOR (David Fideler’s Jesus Christ, Sun of God: Ancient Cosmology and Early Christian Symbolism explains this). Saved from what? The illusion of MATTER. It is not an allegory. It is the illusions of MATTER Man is saved, or liberated from, and these degrees that are being described as the psyche is undergoing this process is not about physical diplomas at your local lodge.
The emblem of the Resurrection of Nature and of Christ, or “the Son identical with his Father” and God’s Sophia (Wisdom-Intelligence) belongs to no one doctrinal religion, or creed. The true Christos, or KURIOS was not a fleshly man, or an entity hanging over the heads of men like fiends and bats watching over them. This is a deeply mystery of abstract metaphysics, than a matter of theological dispute and power struggles of priesthoods. In antiquity, though it was meant through the Sun, the widespread misunderstanding was that the physical Sun was considered the “highest God.”
As Helena Blavatsky explains, along with evidences of a Pre-Christian Christ concept:
“It can be demonstrated, on the authority of the most learned Kabalists of our day that the Zohar, and almost all the Kabalistic works, have passed through Christian hands. Hence, that they cannot be considered any longer as universal, but have become simply sectarian. This is well shown by Pico della Mirandola’s thesis upon the proposition that “no Science yields greater proof of the divinity of Christ than magic and the Kabalah.” This is true of the divinity of the Logos, or of the Christos of the Gnostics; because that Christos remains the same WORD of the ever-unmanifested Deity, whether we call it Parabrahm or Ain Suph—by whatever name he himself is called—Krishna, Buddha, or Ormazd. But this Christos is neither the Christ of the Churches, nor yet the Jesus of the Gospels; it is only an impersonal Principle. Nevertheless the Latin Church made capital of this thesis; the result of which was, that as in the last century, so it is now in Europe and America. Almost every Kabalist is now a believer in a personal God, in the very teeth of the original impersonal Ain Suph, and is, moreover, a more or less heterodox, but still, a Christian.” (H.P. Blavatsky, The Kabalah and the Kabalists in the Last of the Nineteenth-Century, pp. 258-59)
The ALL-substance, the Hermeticists teach pervades Life, or matter (Eph. 4:6). It is Animate LIFE, INTELLIGENCE, and Divine Mind. Through the spiritual knowledge (gnosis) of this LIFE, souls are liberated.
The LIGHT-god is the Life of man, the Christos of gnosis, the WISDOM-god of oracular Christianism, hid within The God, which connectedly contains all things, that subsist upon its fire, like a child to their Mother and Father.
In the festivals of the Orgia, the Bacchantes were crowned with pine-tree, or branches of oak, similar to the Son of Man and Suffering, humiliatingly crowned with thorns. Of the Orgia, it was part of a Holy Day in some cities from Greece to Lebanon. Those taught in the Bacchian Mysteries who are dead in Bacchus the FIRST-BORN are said to become caught up into the ELYSIAN FIELDS;— to receive the MANES (Divine Mind) of Apollo. In other words, they acquire the wisdom of the gods through the MIND of Minds.
Such original yet variant concepts of Christos are not difficult to find. Christos is not different from the Persian and Roman Mithras, or Oannes (the mer-man), and other LIGHT-gods, Liberators, VIVIFIERS, and Mediators. This is because, the liberator-god of souls in ancient mythology is a common god-concept, and in fact Christos and Buddha are the same power. Hercules was too the Redeemer, the Saviour of Hades, hence a “Sun-god,” and we find Sun symbolism in Early Christianity. Concerning gods of resurrection and liberation, Sol-Mercury, or rather in this case, Mercury (Hermes) received his caduceus (wand, or staff) from Apollo, and this rod is a symbol of resurrection, with its two serpents and two wings.
“By DEUS, the SAVIOUR” —
A man be saved, says Aiakos (Aristophanes, The Frogs, 691.), and that SAVIOR is also called Zeus in The Frogs (Batrakhoi), 1355.
In the Eleusinian Mysteries, Ceres and Persephone were called SAVIOR goddesses. Do not become confused by the idea that their philosophy is polytheistic, like the mistake Western scholars made with classical Indian Philosophy early on. She is Deus, the Beholder and Savior. The High God of Phoenicia was taught to be the FATHER of Asclepius, the healer-god, and Asclepius is SON of GOD (Jove), carrying the solar emblem rod.
The Power of Sol (the invisible Sol), whom the ancients teach is the Highest God, lives in MAN, and this TORCH is the God of Resurrection in the mythology of the MYSTERIES. Proserpine like Eve (Eua) in the mythology eats from a fruit, or in Proserpine’s case, the pomegranate in the Nether world. Jove had promised Proserpine RESTORATION if she would not eat it. The Sun and SAVIOR-God’s heads are adorned with a crown, whether myrtle or thorns, but the formula is the same SACRED STORY.
In the case of the Jesus character once again, a particular SUFFERING has become the SACRED STORY. This suffering is known to every man on “the Way,” and they are not believed, mocked, killed, and humiliated. This sacred story invokes emotionalism among people, partially because of the suffering of ordinary people, and also because of guilt under the threat of hell-fire, or estrangement from the God and Church.
However, the particular SUFFERING of Jesus in his story reflects the SACRED STORY of every hotar, initiate or adept in human history. Their life is the initiation, and they walk in an actual sense, the Zodiacal Path. It was one of the objects of the MYSTERIES to churn out accomplished men, soldiers, educated philosophers, luminaries of the times, HIEROPHANTS, like Jesus, Siddhartha, Apollonius of Tyana, and so forth.
The flame Helios (or Apollo) carries in his carven statues is the TORCH of life (the torch of the Olympian, the fire of the liberator-god). Herakles is made to struggle in his fight with TYPHON, but is awakened by the scent of the TORCH. Herakles as a hero, like Jesus in his story, both dearest to DEUS (intentionally using Deus to highlight the similarity to Greek Olympian mythology), had to struggle to become restored. This power is the DUNAMIS within Man, i.e., Christos, which has to be born within man. The Christos of the Gnostics is equivalent to the Upaniṣadic concept of ātman, and anātman in Buddhist metaphysics.
There’s a Pre-Christian Christ, and this will be explained, along with the Dunamis. Both correspond together with Atma-Buddhi in Theosophy. An ancient Gnosticism existed, and evidence points to a Pre-Christian Christ (See Neil Godfrey’s blog, Vridar, Pre-Christian Christ Gnosticism: 1 and 2; Evidence for a Pre-Christian Christianity; and The Pre-Christian Jewish Logos).
This Power was incomparable, infinite, above, unbegotten (first-born god), immovable, invisible fire, and the source of all CHANGE. It becomes active DUNAMIS (Will and Intelligence as a combined Power) when mind merges with it. Christos is the POWER above the latent DUNAMIS, and it is below, meaning “within man.” The latent power is termed Buddhi in the Sanskrit parlance of Theosophists. Christos is the ‘Logos in Space, and on earth’ according to Valentinus and Simon, i.e., transcendent and immanent. As is said of Thoth, “as above, so below.” Buddhi is “a passive and latent principle, the spiritual vehicle of Atman, inseparable from the manifested Universal Soul. It is only in union and in conjunction with Self-consciousness that Buddhi becomes the Higher Self and the divine, discriminating Soul.” (Helena P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2., pg. 231 fn.).
Buddhi is called the “potential power” of the Logos, according to the heresy of Simon (see the Refutatio, Book 6), but it precedes the Simonian theosophy. This teaching is heresy to the Church, according to Hippolytus of Rome in the Refutations.
This DUNAMIS is generated through contemplative prayer, which is the source of STRENGTH (God’s STRENGTH) or Will-power against the Dragon, or ego. Damascius, the Syrian taught, that Deity is the power of a strength that is lucid. Lucid!
Resurrection of the DEAD is central in the story of the MYSTERIES, and the ideas of resurrection and the “twice-born” (not a state of emotionalism) are noteworthy. Such a student has touched the higher principle, bonding to it for some duration, as explained by Iamblichus, Porphyry and others. The greater the proximity to “the crown” (Christos literally), the less a man’s connection to the terrestrial plane. This initiate says to a stunned crowd, “I am from the world Above (i.e., the Upper Abode),” like the young Zoroastrian is taught, that we are of celestial origin.
Like the Gnostic Sophia (Divine Wisdom), Minerva or PALLAS the female Apollo was considered the first-born of the FATHER. Minerva is Apollo (Bel, the Younger), the Logos in Platonism, and the Logos in the Gospel of John. When there is a MALE and FEMALE balance in the mythos, this alludes to SPIRIT and MATTER. The SOLAR-god in myths travel to the “Infernal World” to retrieve their lost maiden, which is the Soul, and becomes regenerated or resurrected ‘by the aid of WISDOM (MINERVA), and Jove.’
Marjorie M. Tyberg stated once, that this leads the way to “conscious rebirth in self-built vestures of ever increasing power and purity.” All are Chrestian, whom strive in this path of PURIFICATION, and this was known in the ancient Greek mysticism, and among others, that devised services and rituals around the teletai (mystery-rites). The NEOPHYTE had to become twice-born (born-again) to become an oracle.
The oracular origin of the term in the early Gnostic form of Christ is easily findable:
“It was used in the fifth century B.C. by Æschylus, Herodotus, and others. The Manteumata pythochresta, or the “oracles delivered by a Pythian god” “through a pythoness, are mentioned by the former (Choeph.901). Chréstian is not only “the seat of an oracle”, but an offering to, or for, the oracle.
Chréstés is one who explains oracles, “a prophet and soothsayer”, and Chrésterios one who serves an oracle or a god. The earliest Christian writer, Justin Martyr, in his first Apology calls his co-religionists Chréstians. It is only through ignorance that men call themselves Christians instead of Chréstians,” says Lactantius (lib. iv., cap. vii.). The terms Christ and Christians, spelt originally Chrést and Chréstians, were borrowed from the Temple vocabulary of the Pagans. Chréstos meant in that vocabulary a disciple on probation, a candidate for hierophantship. When he had attained to this through initiation, long trials, and suffering, and had been ‘‘anointed’’ (i.e., “rubbed with oil”, as were Initiates and even idols of the gods, as the last touch of ritualistic observance), his name was changed into Christos, the “purified”, in esoteric or mystery language. In mystic symbology, indeed, Christés, or Christos, meant that the “Way”, the Path, was already trodden and the goal reached ; when the fruits of the arduous labour, uniting the personality of evanescent clay with the indestructible INDIVIDUALITY, transformed it thereby into the immortal EGO. “At the end of the Way stands the Chréstes”, the Purifier, and the union once accomplished, the Chrestos, the “man of sorrow”, became Christos himself. Paul, the Initiate, knew this, and meant this precisely, when he is made to say, in bad translation: ‘‘I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you” (Gal. iv.19), the true rendering of which is . . . ‘‘until ye form the Christos within yourselves” But the profane who knew only that Chréstés was in some way connected with priest and prophet, and knew nothing about the hidden meaning of Christos, insisted, as did Lactantius and Justin Martyr, on being called Chréstians instead of Christians. Every good individual, therefore, may find Christ in his “inner man” as Paul expresses it (Ephes. iii. 16,17), whether he be Jew, Mussulman, Hindu, or Christian. Kenneth Mackenzie seemed to think that the word Chréstos was a synonym of Soter, “an appellation assigned to deities, great kings and heroes,” indicating ‘‘Saviour,’’—and he was right. For, as he adds: “It has been applied redundantly to Jesus Christ, whose name Jesus or Joshua bears the same interpretation. The name Jesus, in fact, is rather a title of honour than a name—the true name of the Soter of Christianity being Emmanuel, or God with us (Matt.i, 23.). Great divinities among all nations, who are represented as expiatory or self-sacrificing, have been designated by the same title.’’ (R. M. Cyclop.) The Asklepios (or Æsculapius) of the Greeks had the title of Soter.” (Helena Blavatsky, Theosophical Glossary, 1892)