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Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Shadow of the Serpent



   The secret of religion, mythology, legends, and fairy tales lays hidden in the experience of higher consciousness. Even though the mystical experience is well known in Eastern civilization,it has barely penetrated the Western psyche. For thousands of years, India and ancient Egypt have held a belief in the primal power of life called 'Kundalini' or 'The Serpent Power.' It is Shakti, life force lying dormant at the base of the spine. Depending on individuals spiritual growth, kundalini awakens and ascends up the spine in a spiral path expanding one's consciousness. An extraordinary inner world is encountered, climaxing in a priceless mystical experience, leaving one with a sense of immortality. Within the yogic literature of India, this experience is called Self-realization or Samadhi.

Dr. Richard Maurice Bucke (1837–1902) a Canadian doctor named this state cosmic-consciousness, while the Buddhists understood it as Nirvana. The great mystics such as Ramakrishna, Gopi KrishnaSri Aurobindo, and St. Theresa among others, wrote about this experience and the incredible bliss after merging with the divine presence. The Christians symbolize the experience with the metaphor of entering the “Kingdom of Heaven."

A Kundalini awakening usually happens after many lifetimes of effort, predicated on a person’s spiritual growth, karma and maturity of the nervous system. While no one knows exactly the specific reason why Kundalini awakens from its dormant state, it can transform an individual in a matter of months or years, from a normal person into a genius, spiritual adept Blessed with health and long life.

The transformation closely mimics a growing child's metabolism-in that one has to eat more often easily digestible foods and sleep more often, which is why the transformation may be called being born again. Adopting a pattern of eating frequent small meals and sleeping extra hours is imperative as it allows the nervous system and brain to adjust to the increased intensity of Prana streaming upward. This higher level can become a permanent state of consciousness. 

Eastern teachings openly acknowledge a potent form of the bio-energy-prana resides in sexual essences and human cells. By the process of sublimation, outward flowing reproductive fluids may be converted into a subtle essence or (Soma- “food of the Gods”)- to feed inner brain centers (pineal gland). There are also other forms of pranic energy: billions of cells within the body transmute bio-energy and the lungs convert our breath oxygen) into a form of energy the body can absorb.l

The mystical experience is beyond human understanding at this time, it is somewhere between Gods' mind and the human heart. Traditionally expressed in cryptic symbols and mythology, which hides the experiences timeless nature, the human race is evolving towards this experience in a somewhat haphazard fashion,  Due in part by misunderstanding the biological factors responsible for the religious feelings.

A reassessment of Eastern philosophy is necessary in order to place monotheism in its proper context. Biblical criticism may give a clearer picture of how Christianity originated. but it will never reveal the esoteric secrets hidden in the  Greek, Roman and Persian and Indian civilizations. Its own texts, or apart from the rest of ancient world mythology can interpret no religion. There must be a common system of symbols will accurately interpret all the myths and religious texts worldwide to be considered true. 

For example, the often used phrase, “Virgin Born’ is a metaphor pertaining to the upward flow of sexual energy (Urdhava-retas). Many mysterious epithets, such as born again, reborn, twice-born and resurrected allude to psychological transformation caused by a kundalini awakening. Each symbol, metaphor or motif is a piece of the puzzle when pieced together, reinforce the central mythic theme of an intense transmutation of consciousness. One can conclude from Yogic and Taoist practices, along with writing about mystical experiences, this entails a biological metamorphosis affects the brain, hormones and nervous system.  




The context of Christian Scriptures


It was the Classical Greek period, from the 5th and 4th centuries BC, that set the cultural and philosophical foundation for the Roman Empire which subsequently influence the modern western civilization. Hellenic ideology flowed directly into the Roman era, with the Greek gods morphing into a Roman equivalent. Zeus became the Roman God Jove (Jupiter). Many intellectual interactions between the four civilizations of India, Greece, Rome, and Egypt led to a synthetic mixture of spiritual concepts.

The Roman Empire never came close to the spiritual heights of Greece, their greatest building the Colosseum was built for the brutal entertainment of the gladiator games. While the Greeks Parthenon was dedicated to Virgin Athena, were thousands gathered from around Europe to be initiated into the mysteries. Even Greece fell to the corruption of power and hubris of the thirty tyrants than to the hungry desires of Alexander of Macedonia.

 History 101-Judea Conquered

Alexander conquered the territory of Judea, succeeded by the Seleucid Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who successfully invaded the kingdom of Egypt. Jerusalem was conquered and its' sacred objects removed from the temple, which included the slaughtering of many Jews. Antiochus imposed a tax and established a fortress in Jerusalem then attempted to forcibly Hellenize the Jewish nation by forbidding circumcision, Jewish law and the sacrifices in the temple, resulting in a Jewish revolt against Seleucid rule.

In the Old Testament, (Maccabees) it’s written that Matthias called upon people loyal to the traditions of Israel to oppose the invaders. In 165 B.C. the Jewish fighters succeeded and the Temple was consecrated. Allowing the ritual sacrifices could begin again. The festival of Hanukkah is instituted by Judas Maccabeus and his brothers to celebrate this event (1 Macc. iv. 59). Afterward, Judas sought an alliance with the Roman Republic to remove the Greek influence. (1)

The biblical “Jehovah” demanded strict obedience, which clashed with the polytheistic values associated with Rome, leading to a series of wars and revolts against the Roman Empire. The three main wars were the Jewish–Roman War (66–73 CE) and Bar Kokhba revolt (132–135 CE) including the Kitos War (115–117). The Jewish–Roman wars had a gigantic impact on the Jews, exiling them from the Eastern Mediterranean and turning the Jews into a persecuted minority. The central worship site of Second Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by Titus' troops. After centuries of war and dispersal, the Jewish faith developed into a complex series of adaptations that were portrayed in the coming of the King/God/Messiah who would judge the worlds’ nations and place Jerusalem as the center of a world religion. It is from this psychological context that the bible was written.

Before proceeding into John chapter three I want to add that I personally don’t believe the biblical stories were literal events in history, though the accounts of the Jewish wars were historical. The scriptures consisting of the old and new testament are equivalent to other Greek and Roman mythical writing which delineate their religious beliefs in an allegorical form, using symbols and motifs that universal and widely used for ages. Each culture had its own particular style of presenting a sacred history, which inevitably reflected their racial history and psychological profile.


 The new testament is a collection of sacred texts extending over many centuries based the forgotten knowledge of Kundalini. It was written by the Greeks from a perspective antagonistic to the Jewish law leading to a conclusion it was pieced together due to political reasons and developed over centuries of rewriting, resulting in its present form. 

It has been traditionally accepted that the New Testament was written by the Jewish Disciples and apostles of Christ, except for the Gentile Luke, but from my view the philosophical perspective, the new testament is based on a pagan, Gnostic and esoteric perspective. Early Jewish beliefs crystallized into a strict literal Christian doctrine enabling the Roman Empire to keep the competing religious groups from spreading turmoil as it solidified Rome’s political power.

The biblical scriptures have a completely different meaning in regards to the well-known phrase "Born Again." when compared to the ancient myths. For example from the new testament of John: Chapter 3, verse 1- 21 King James Version it was written;

1...There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:

2...The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 

Nicodemus, a Pharisee and Jewish leader, and a member of the Sanhedrin was intelligent and educated enough to hold a conversation with Jesus. He should be knowledgeable of the Torah and with Greek and Roman religious thought. Most of the biblical characters were created to promote the writers' philosophical point of view, thus Nicodemus is a leading character who reflects the attitudes of the Jewish religious elite, while Jesus appeared as a personification of Kundalini's power to transform.  Other individuals such as Pontius Pilate were actual historical personages interwoven into the storyline that injected a touch of reality.

Nicodemus approaches Jesus at night, indicating a negative attitude existed toward Jesus in the Jewish community. They had already heard of his miracles and teachings. Nicodemus's first words are respectful addressing him  'Rabbi, we know thou art a teacher come from God’. The plural "We" indicates Nicodemus is talking for the Sanhedrin which indicates he is a spokesman for Jewish thought in general.

Jesus comes right to the heart of Christian thought by stating;

3...Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God

4...Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

Nicodemus, now an old man had lived all his life under Jewish law, faces the implication that the totality of the Jewish religion and their traditional observances were insufficient to satisfy Jesus’ doctrine of Re-birth. A complete refutation of the Old Testament which entitled the Jews as the chosen people to their collective salvation and promised land. So it would come as no surprise when he answers sarcastically by asking how an old man can re-enter his mother’s womb in order to be born a second time. A response that indicates both an antagonistic attitude and a literal interpretation, especially if you add a negative inflection to the tone of his voice.

Another possible explanation for Nicodemus’ question is that he doesn't grasp the magnitude or meaning of 'Born-Again' and asks if Jesus was talking about reincarnation. The ancient Egyptians, Hindus, Celts and Greek philosophers such as Plato and Pythagoras believed in reincarnation, a very well-known and universal doctrine in ancient civilization. Instead of the word reincarnation, the Greek word called it "Metempsychosis". Pythagoras taught that man continued to be born on earth until the soul became purified enough to end its' cycle of births or its' reincarnation cycle. 

Nicodemus asked Christ if a man can re-enter his mother's womb, it was either a retort to show his ignorance of the doctrine of reincarnation or to emphasize a total lack of knowledge pertaining to the concept of a Kundalini awakening, either way, the text implies the original Gnostic doctrines were superior to Jewish religious doctrines.

The Christian apologists have attempted to explain Nicodemus’ retort, saying it was based on the misinterpretation of the Greek word ‘anothen,’ which can mean “from above “ or “again’’ depending on its linguistic context. Christian apologists think that Nicodemus took the word literally to mean “born again” rather than from “born from above’’.They say Nicodemus’ faulty Greek led to a misinterpretation. Instead of grasping the spiritual dimension of the wording “from above”, Nicodemus was simply taking the phrase literally. Even some Christian scholars agree that Nicodemus is portrayed as a somewhat illiterate teacher at best or sarcastically ignorant at the worst.

It would be highly unlikely any such person as Nicodemus would be depicted as too ignorant to grasp the basic teaching of Christianity unless the entire dialogue hid a spiritual truth. It’s likely the authors (Jewish disciples and the Roman Emperors) were trying to express Jewish ignorance of the pagan concept of Kundalini.

5...Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

6...That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

7...Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

Jesus emphasizes the absolute necessity of being born again, defined as a spiritual regeneration when compared to an actual physical birth or reincarnation. Both types of births are contrasted to show the difference. “Born again” leads to the kingdom of heaven and everlasting life, a regular birth through the flesh is entirely different from the experience.“ born again” describes the purifying nature of the Serpent/fire and its transformative effects. The “spirit or holy spirit is a poetic term suitable for that age over two thousand years ago but refers to the power of kundalini.

Swami Vivekananda stated:"Whenever there is any manifestation of what is ordinarily called supernatural power or wisdom, there must have been a little (control over the) current of Kundalini which found its way into the Sushumna. Only, in the vast majority of such cases of supernaturalism, they ignorantly stumble on some practice which set free, (and made them conscious of) a minute portion, (of the control) of the coiled up Kundalini."

 From the eastern point of view of Swami Vivekananda,  unless one experiences the increased current of ascending prana, there is no manifestation of any type of spiritual experience, which is directly analogous to Christ’s admonition to be “Born Again," through raising the serpent. Christ uses the word "except" to underline the necessity and exclusive nature of the rebirth as the only possible path to everlasting life, or in other words, exactly what Vivekananda has stated.consciousness. Many of the mythical Gods are personifications of the serpent power, such as Goddess Kundalini, Krishna, Athena, and Isis. Indra and Zeus all had some part of their life story linked to the serpent power and subsequent regeneration of the body and mind, with both good and evil aspects of the serpent interwoven into the narratives. The classical philosophers in Greece and Egypt connected the serpent with immortality, as death always followed by rebirth.


Baptism by Fire and Water 

Water and fire are commonly associated with purification. The Holy Spirit is symbolic of internal fire, in eastern philosophy it is the God Agni, a consciousness-force that creates internal heat and increased metabolic activity. For example, the Holy Spirit appeared as tongues of fire over Christ's disciples on Pentecost as a symbol of their heightened awareness. Baptism with “water” refers to a natural flow of intensified Prana flowing upward. The ceremony of baptism and was therefore repeated outwardly to express what an awakening could accomplish inwardly. These two aspects of transformation, Spirit (fire) and water (reversing its flow) can be understood as elements that are purified and combined in the body to produce a new enlightened 

Taken in total, Christ's dialogue with Nicodemus shows that Jesus is attempting to teach Nicodemus about Kundalini-in order to compare the secrets of this rare spiritual transformation with old Jewish teachings.  

8...The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Christ’s tries to explain to Nicodemus the difference between the mystical experience, serpent power, and reincarnation. Verse 8 speaks of the unpredictable nature of the transformation, it may occur at any time depending on physical and karmic factors. Jesus tries to explain “born of the spirit" is not a controllable event, it can occur at any time for reasons far beyond our limited knowledge. The number of individuals who have become enlightened is very small compared to the general population of billions. Knowledge of when and exactly why a Kundalini awakening occurs is still relatively mysterious and unexplored. 
9...Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?

10...Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?


In verse 9 and 10 Jesus asks Nicodemus, a well-known teacher, why he doesn't know of "these things referring back to the idea of born-again, a transformative process religious Pharisees should have been quite aware of, as this transformative motif is one of the basic spiritual themes in all of the world’s ancient religions.

If the first teacher to present a born-again concept is Jesus, why would he even ask Nicodemus about his lack of knowledge?

Jesus’ surprise reaction implies the "born-again" concept had been common knowledge within the nearby cultures of that time but had not penetrated into the Jewish philosophy. This passage indicates a writer who wanted to compare  Pagan philosophy of Kundalini with Jewish religious law to show the later, inferior.

Jesus would not be amazed at Nicodemus' unfamiliarity if he was the originator of the doctrine. The conversation assumes that Nicodemus should be well versed in the “Born-Again” doctrine, but how could he if Jesus is presenting the doctrine for the very first time. This dilemma is reinforced in verse eighteen by Jesus’ insistence that salvation and everlasting life can only be obtained by believing in him as the “Son of God”. How could a Jewish Pharisee be aware that only a belief in “Jesus” and being “Born Again’’ as the only way to salvation, as it was never mentioned or taught in Jewish law. The only way this paradoxical conversation can be rectified is in interpreting Jesus” as a spokesman for the concept of Kundalini - who is part real enlightened master and literary myth, just as it was presented in all the other ancient myths.

Within biblical literature, the Serpent is analogous with Satan or the devil, except in a few passages, while in all other ancient religious cultures its’ associated with immortality and the knowledge of good and evil, health and regeneration. The Jewish Torah and Old Testament do not mention the process of rebirth, the texts were written with the prospect of establishing a theistic kingdom on earth due to their political wars and losses. Kundalini lay undiscovered in Jewish philosophy, leaving the whole Jewish nation unaware of the consequences of disobeying a strict evolutionary law. The scripture presents this as Jesus’ incredulously questioning Nicodemus, who was a Pharisee and teacher of Jewish law, to prove this point: Jewish religion was deficient when compared to the new Christianity.

11...Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen, and ye receive not our witness. 

 First, what does Jesus mean by the word "We" in verse eleven, it sounds as if he is referring to an unknown sect that had previously existed in which he was a partial player. Then Christ speaks of “what we do know” implying some sort of philosophical doctrine of rebirth that was intensively studied and understood by more than one person.

12...If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? 

13...And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. 

 Nicodemus doesn't understand any part of the teaching, not it’s biological “earthy” impact or its “heavenly” spiritual ability to raise consciousness. 

What is said about ascending to heaven is a reference to the serpent power ascending upward into the brain, transforming one's consciousness then returning "down from heaven". The Ouroboros (snake biting its own tail) is the esoteric symbol pertaining to this cycle in which Kundalini ascends the spine then returns down the front of the body in a transformative circuit that regenerates of the initiate

The final and most definite proof that this entire chapter points to the Serpent powers transformative power is in verses 14 and 15; 

14... And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so, must the Son of man be lifted up 

15... That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 

The “Son of Man” must obtain eternal life by imitating Moses who “lifted up the Serpent" passages imagery is clearly referring to the ascension of Kundalini which can heal diseases. Another important noteworthy result is coming face to face with one’s own deathless soul-enthralling the mind with a deep sense of immortality or in other words eternal life”.

The biblical Serpent is synonymous with Satan or Lucifer, a fallen angel who has rebelled against God. This verse makes no sense whatsoever if we assume the Christian interpretation; it would mean that Jesus Christ as the "Son of Man" and God required the Serpent (Satan) to be lifted up as a prerequisite for eternal life. This thought leads one to presume the ‘Serpent’’ is just as necessary to reach immortality as a belief in Jesus. 

The Christian scholars interpret verses John 14-15  in relationship to Christ’s resurrection as a symbol of Gods sacrifice for man, but this still does not explain why the serpent appears. Scriptural passages in John chapter three never mentions death or resurrection; in fact, Jesus emphasizes the need to be “Born Again” in this life as it was explained to Nicodemus, not after death.

The most reasonable way to truly interpret the verses is by understanding Kundalini was the foundation of ancient religion and has the power to transform consciousness.

16 ...For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17...For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18...He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

The verses are in essence a continuation of the old Testaments monotheistic mindset. It lays down the condemnation to all unbelievers who do not accept in the Son of man which reflects on the psychological profile of tribal god Jehovah.

This exclusiveness can be found in the Pagan belief that certain gods are intercessors for man, such as the Pharaoh or Mithras. The Greeks understood the Logos as an emanation from God that would save mankind, just as the Greek god, Prometheus, interceded to save mankind from destruction by Zeus. 

The great difference though was Jewish exclusiveness crystallized into Christian demand for an absolute belief in Jesus Christ is the only path to salvation, while other religious cultures of the time accepted many paths and Gods. This Christian version of the pagan rebirth motif has continued with its exclusive attitude. At least the Kundalini paradigm can be proven with advanced research into the brain, body, and psychology.

The next verses 19-21 are in general a reproving of the low standard of awareness among society in rejecting the "light" which coincides with such a great number of their actions, from rejecting the wisdom in verses 14-15 of the serpent power raising the "son of man" to their hatred of the "light."

19...And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.

20... For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

21...But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

The light that is mentioned in the passages above refers to the inner illumination of the mystical experience. The passage uses poetic terms to explain the process, in which by following  moral and spiritual laws one can become enlightened and enter ''The Kingdom of Heaven.'' 

Conclusion


  

Humankind is still in a state of spiritual evolution,  unfolding under subtle laws far beyond our conception. Religions are inspired narratives that mine our psychological depths alluding to humanities hidden biological potential for higher consciousness. The narratives are meant to guide civilization to its destiny as a cosmic conscious race.  

After the fall of Greece and Rome, the true spiritual meaning became lost in the embers of dogma. Regardless of whether the ancient Gods existed or not, Mythology still continues to communicate through symbolism and parable, spiritual insights pertaining to mankind’s future as much as it’s past.

The new Christianity is really the old paganism dressed up in Jewish papers. A majority of New Testament sayings were directly taken from Greek and Gnostic sources and covered with the iconography of Old Testament, a rehashing of the effects of kundalini within the individualistic style of the narrators while keeping the Jewish attitude exclusivity.

Jesus is not "The Only God" but is a personification of Kundalini and its effects, which was a common way to create religions practice in ancient times. Just as many of the Greek gods, such as Zeus and Dionysus follow the same structure as Christ's life, in an effort to teach the general public about spiritual attainment.

The Gnostic belief in a spiritual Christ, as an eternal archetype, is similar to how the ancient sages viewed their mythic gods. In fact, the apostle Paul wrote more about a theoretical spiritual Christ than a flesh and blood human.

 An esoteric review of John chapter three points to the underlying symbol of the "Serpent" and motif of "Born-Again", which alludes to the eastern philosophy of enlightenment. The symbolic phrases Born-again, Reborn, Twice Born and Virgin born plus (Resurrected) are metaphorical phrases reflecting the physical and psychological effects of a spiritual awakening.

For example; Dionysus' epithet was twice-born (after being chopped up by the Titans) he was born again from the thigh of Zeus, thus in a sense resurrected from the dead. Osiris was also cut into fourteen pieces by his brother Set and then resurrected from the dead by Virgin Goddess Isis. Christ was crucified on the cross, indicating the death of the Ego and resurrection of a new personality with an expanded consciousness.

The Kundalini paradigm answers the main philosophical questions of religion and its dispute with the scientific method because it postulates biological effects that can be verified. Proof of higher consciousness will counteract the theory of an unintelligent universe as espoused by the Darwinian evolution. 

Our genetic destiny has been woven into every cell of the human body by an intelligent designer, that is (Kundalini Shakti). We are seeded, set and programmed to advance morally, intellectually and spiritually, those societies that fail to align their cultures to the knowledge that the brain is still evolving will have to face the younger generation’s wrath for stealing their future happiness.

Humanities survival now depends on knowledge of our inner landscape more than ever before, we have conquered the Earth with technologically   but not our inordinate passions for power.

 What will it take to shake this reticent demon out of its shell so that we can picture our true destiny instead of the plastic illusions of Hollywood? The media mind now grasps at every technical device as if it could fill ones empty heart, but leaves us defeated with empty promises, all the while suffering under the rule of political buffoons who would deify themselves as the “Divine Ruler of the Universe” given the right amount of bad publicity.

The old religious concepts are dead; they have to be “Born Again” under a renewed philosophy that blends mind and heart, bringing spiritual desires into material realities. We have to fight for more consciousness, and life itself, not some imaginary heaven after death but right now within ourselves.

Published 6/7/2013  copyright, Joseph Alexander

Edited 11/15/2015 @ 4/24/2016

References: King James Bible, John: Chapter 3 verse 1-21






























































































































































































































































































































































































































































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