AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT
I’ve spent a great deal of time painting out mysticism to be some sort of Bizarro World view due to how difficult it is for our minds to grasp. Mystics apply a sort of backwards logic similar to Alice through the looking glass that doesn’t exactly translate into words. That being said, I assure you that mystics have only deepened their understanding by raising their level of consciousness. Perspective is everything and once we find meaning to our lives even the stars can literally be seen aligning in our favor. Yes. Even Astrology can be seen as chronicling shifts in human consciousness. Am I completely on board with this concept? Absolutely not, but I do believe the discipline holds a few interesting ideas none-the-less.
Each age can be representative of chakras, or subtle energy centers within the body. These energy centers were noted by alchemists and assigned symbols representative of celestial bodies. This practice was a throwback to Hermeticism and the idea of “as above, so below;” whereas these planets actually represent shifts of human consciousness written in the stars. The Prophet Isaiah is believed to have been speaking of exactly this when he wrote: “The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD, and He will delight in the fear of the Lord.” (NAB- Isaiah 11:2–3) Are shifts in our consciousness literally written in the stars or are all these teachings merely allegories to spiritual practice? Your speculation is just as valid as mine in that regard.
When I first read about this concept I became incredibly anxious almost to a point where it could be said to cloud my judgement. Much like the poster hanging inside of Moulders office in the X-Files ‘I WANT TO BELIEVE.’ After all, weren’t we moving into the age of Aquarius as I stepped into my adult life. Teeming with teenage angst I remember a sense of foreboding overtaking me at the turn of the millenia. At this time in my life I was undoubtedly reading over various conspiracy theories while Busta Rhymes ‘Extinction Level Event’ blared on cassette. (ATTN. MILLENNIALS: cassette- a sealed plastic unit containing a length of audiotape, videotape, film, etc. wound on a pair of spools, for insertion into a recorder or playback device.) This alleged age of reason was certainly going to be dominated by some ultra-secretive organizations brainwashing of our good God-fearing citizens. Of course, this is a very naive view but I was also only 17 at the beginning of the 2000’s. Nearly twenty years of study and research later and I have a completely different way of seeing this new age.
The age of enlightenment has a much better ring to it if we accept it at face value. Acceptance has a very liberal feel to it, almost tolerant even. Let us consider for a moment that it might be possible organizations such as the Schreiner’s and Freemasons, or Rosicrucians and the like have been keeping certain mystical traditions alive throughout the ages. Let us consider then that some views have been held in secret while public opinion moves through dark periods of development. Maybe the present is a point in our conscious growth where different views of history can be released publically without fear of the individuals releasing said information being burned at the stake for heresy. Maybe the conspiracy theorists are right and I’ve just slowly been indoctrinated through books by Van Daniken on ancient astronaut theory and eastern spiritualism.
Either way, this all as one, all encompassing view of spirituality seems to be the general paradigm of the age. We don’t typically tend to see a darkside to knowledge. No. The only thing we seem to reject is traditionalism that infringes on our rights to enjoy ourselves without guilt. One of the biggest forms of resistance I am personally met with is that there are no Biblical references to shifts in consciousness or that we Christians don’t get to have a seat at the table while the “intellectuals” discuss spiritual awakening. We are just as much aware of the dualistic nature of humanity as anyone else and have quite a lot to contribute to the conversation on how we can overcome it even if our methodology differs.
AND GOD SAID
There is, without a doubt, a huge amount of conscious development shrouded in the book of Genesis alone. The first 3 chapters can be seen as chronicling the first 3 epochs of human consciousness. There are multiple layers of spiritual laws laid out alongside the creation story itself.
“In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth and the earth was without form or shape, with darkness over the abyss and a mighty wind sweeping over the waters…” (NAB- Genesis 1:1-2)
The heavenly bodies have been referred to time and time again in multiple creation stories. These planets aforementioned as the 7 luminaries have been referred to as the 7 spirits of Ra and even the gods of Olympus. The Biblical reference is a very short use of ELOHIM which is the plural form of God. What astrology has always suggested is the idea that the cycles of the stars represents shifts in these epochs and human thinking. One could literally do as my lawyer once suggested to me and read the Bible with this in mind and never be able to view it the same way EVER again.
“When God created…” introduces a Divine desire to create order from primordial chaos. How does God bring this about? By uttering a word (the logos). However, Hebrew is a tricky language. This bit of syntax doesn’t exactly translate well and until modern discoveries of other near eastern cosmogonies we couldn’t even confirm whether it was ‘when’ or ‘then’ being used. It’s hard enough to wrap our head around how a creative ACT can affect a creative STATE to begin with but this slight shift in syntax made it all the more confusing. I would like to interject how difficult it is to attempt understanding god without tackling the Trinity in the first place.
“Darkness over the abyss…” Here it is. After Gods creative activity, or spoken word- this primordial abyss- known as the Artisan, covers the “Earth that was without form or shape.” We have to dig a bit deeper to unearth this story properly but it comes together nicely.
“For she is the breath of the might of God and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty.” (NAB- Wisdom 7:25) As we can see here, the ancient hebrew texts are naming Woman Wisdom as, not only the active force of God’s creation, but also deeming Her as the third part of the Trinity. The term mighty wind is literally translated into ‘the Spirit, or breath,’ the ruah of God.
The gnostics loved dedicating this position to Jesus Christ, but I agree with the early apostles and feel this is misleading. This concept comes from the Roman understanding of the sun god whom they called Apollo. His crown was a symbol of Gods presence transforming our spirit. The 7 rays being a western understanding of the 7 chakras. I say it’s misleading because the creative force which connects us to the Divine is the Holy Spirit of the Trinity, with the Son- not the sun deity- being a living example of Gods grace and love as the WORD became FLESH. This means the entire power of the Holy Spirit lived within Jesus Christ while He was on the earth. The gnostic argument is the same one the ancient Egyptians had with Isis.
“Then God said: Let there be light…” We continue with the creation of the Universe spinning from the great Cosmic Mind of God into all we see before us. Which brings us to ourselves.
“God created mankind in His image…” (NAB- Gen. 1:27) In our vanity we like to translate this into meaning God looks like we do and is some sort of carbon based bipedal lifeform. Then again, we also like to believe that we are the center of the multiverse and all the stars align to tell us mundane details of our daily lives. I feel we’ve been missing a key point here. What if it means likeness of mind? If our consciousness- that eternal part of us- springs from the mind of God it would stand to reason that we vaguely resemble our Creator; our consciousness being formed in Gods likeness.
Finally, in verse 31, we close the first chapter of Genesis with the words “God LOOKED at everything,” masterfully painting this concept of God as the supreme observer of the cosmos. If we can conceive the truth and grasp how interconnected our spiritual self is with the Divine, then it’s easy to see how our emotionalized thoughts spoken though prayer hold power.
All I’m saying is we can actually grasp the Observer Principle at work in the Bible. Not everything has to be so divided. I personally feel that this standoffish dualism we encounter in so many debates is a hindrance to deepening our understanding.
Everyone asks the really big questions. Everyone.