Geskiedenis Podcasts

Tobias Churton

Tobias Churton

TOBIAS CHURTON, 'n wêreldgesag oor gnostiese spiritualiteit, is die voorste geleerde van Brittanje op die gebied van Westerse esoterisme. Hy het 'n meestersgraad in teologie aan die Brasenose College in Oxford, en is in 2005 aangestel as ere -genoot en fakulteitsdosent in Westerse esoterisme aan die Exeter University in 2005. Tobias is ook 'n filmmaker, digter, komponis en skrywer van baie boeke, waaronder The Gnostics, The Golden Builders, Occult Paris, The Babylon Gene en bekroonde biografieë van William Blake, Aleister Crowley, Elias Ashmole en G.I. Gurdjieff.

Bo -prent: (c) Mark Bennett 2018

Besoek: https://tobiaschurton.com

Nuutste boek

Geen dekade in die moderne geskiedenis het meer omstredenheid en tweespalt veroorsaak as die onstuimige 1960's nie. Vir sommige was die 60's 'n era van vrye liefde, dwelms en sosiale revolusie. Vir ander was die Sestigers 'n goddelose verwerping van alles wat goed en heilig was. Tobias Churton begin 'n diepgaande soektog na die geestelike betekenis agter die massiewe sosiale omwentelinge van die 1960's, en wys 'n kaleidoskopiese lens op godsdienstige en esoteriese geskiedenis, nywerheid, wetenskap, filosofie, kuns en sosiale revolusie om die betekenis agter al hierdie uiteenlopende bewegings te identifiseer .


    TOBIAS CHURTON



    Gebore in Sutton Coldfield uit 'n ou Cheshire -gesin, in 1960, het Tobias Churton twee jaar in Australië van 1966 tot 1968 deurgebring en teruggekeer om sy vyfde skool, Lichfield Cathedral School, by te woon. Drie skole later wen hy 'n uitstalling aan die Brasenose College, Oxford, waar hy teologie studeer. Hy was verplig om 'n beroep aan die priesterskap uit te ruil vir die laer vooruitsig op 'n loopbaan in televisie, en hy het die eerste keer in die openbaar kennis geneem met die 1987 Channel 4 -produksie, GNOSTIEK. Die vier-delige drama-dokumentêr het Saterdagaande tydens spitstyd uitgegaan. Dit het die New York TV Festival Gold Award gewen vir die beste godsdienstige reekse. Churton se Channel 4/Weidenfeld & Nicolson -boek wat die reeks vergesel het, was 'n topverkoper.

    Lank voor Dan Brown 'n hou met Die Da Vinci -kode, Het Tobias Churton 'n gewilde gehoor bekend gestel aan die outentieke wêreld van esoteriese raaisels. In die woorde van die Nederlandse geleerde, Gilles Quispel, sou die TV -reeks 'die gedagtes van miljoene verander'. Churton het die feite aangebied, nie die fantasie nie. Die Sweedse teoloog Jan-Arvid Hellström het Churton as 'n "godsdienstige genie" beskou, terwyl die biblioteek in Amsterdam en die nyweraar Joost Ritman entoesiasties die verskyning van 'n nuwe "skryfster" begroet het.

    Die sukses van Die gnostici het Tobias toegelaat om sy kragte te konsentreer op sy eerste liefde: skryf. Na jare van omvangryke lees, mistieke ervaring en kreatiewe strewe, het Churton baie te sê gehad.

    Opneem "'N SPELLING BINNE" album met die sanger Merovée Churton

    Nadat hy sy vier-en-twintigste boekopdrag voltooi het, word Tobias Churton vandag internasionaal erken vir sy insiggewende boeke oor esoteriese, geestelike geskiedenis, kuns en filosofie. Toeganklik en wetenskaplik spreek Churton se werke gelowiges en twyfelaars aan en het dit merkwaardig geestelike ervarings by sommige lesers gestimuleer. Hy het die aantrekkingskrag van die sogenaamde 'esoteriese' spiritualiteit suksesvol uitgebrei. Churton se warm styl en diepte van kennis het duisende lesers in die proses vermaak. Tobias is ook 'n filmmaker, dosent, digter en musikant. Hy het onlangs sy georkestreerde partituur vir sy voornemende dramatiese projek aangeteken, William Blake: Love is on Fire!, terwyl sy musiekblyspel oor Nancy Cunard en Henry Crowder, JY, EK EN Gister, wat saam met die kunstenaar en liedjieskrywer John Myatt geskryf is, is in 2011 by groot lof in die Lichfield Garrick-teater opgevoer. Hy het ses albums met oorspronklike musiek gekomponeer en opgeneem.


    Tobias Churton

    Tobias Churton (gebore 1960) is 'n Britse geleerde in Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry, Gnosticism, [1] en ander esoteriese bewegings. Hy is dosent aan die Universiteit van Exeter en skrywer van Gnostiese filosofie, The Magus of Freemasonry en Freemasonry en talle ander werke oor esoterisme. [2]

    Churton het verskeie televisieprogramme gemaak, waaronder Gnostici, 'n 4-delige dramadokumentêre reeks wat gemaak is vir Channel 4 (UK) deur Border TV (tesame met 'n gepaardgaande boek) wat in 1987 uitgesaai is en in 1990 herhaal is. [3] [4] Churton se studies bevat kritiek op die persepsies van heresioloë oor die rol van vroue in hierdie 'onortodokse' Christelike bewegings. [5]

    Churton se biografie van Aleister Crowley is vrygestel in 2011. Daarna het hy nog vier biografiese bundels oor Crowley gepubliseer - Die Dier in Berlyn, Aleister Crowley in Amerika,, Aleister Crowley in Indië en Aleister Crowley in Engeland: The Return of the Great Beast. Laasgenoemde biografie moet op 7 Desember 2021 amptelik vrygestel word.


    Die Esoteriese boekresensie

    Onsigbare: Die ware geskiedenis van die Rosekruisers
    deur Tobias Churton
    gepubliseer Lewis Masonic
    HB, 444pp, £ 19,99
    hersien deur David Rankine

    As u al van die werke van Tobias Churton gelees het, soos The Gnostics of Freemasonry – the Reality, sal u weet dat hy die gewoonte het om moeilike onderwerpe aan die orde te stel en dit dan toeganklik te maak deur middel van goeie geleerdheid en skerp duidelike verduidelikende styl. Met Invisibles bly hy getrou en bied 'n omvattende oorsig van die geskiedenis en ontwikkeling van Rosicrucianism, een van die belangrikste dele van die geestelike tapisserie wat deur die ontwikkeling van die Westerse samelewing in die afgelope eeue geskep is. Net soos met sy ander boeke, gebruik Churton sy gewoonte om fassinerende inligtingpaaie af te dwing, net om dit voor die leser terug te bring om die punte uit 'n heel ander hoek te illustreer! Hy verskaf ook die inligting op 'n manier waarmee die leser hul eie gevolgtrekkings kan maak, 'n seldsame en nuttige eienskap in 'n werk soos hierdie.
    Hierdie boek kan beskryf word as die verborge of onsigbare geskiedenis van die geestelike ontwikkeling van wetenskap en filantropie gedurende die afgelope vier eeue. Dit is verdeel in twee dele, Origins and Development, wat albei die leser bekendstel aan 'n hele reeks historiese figure, sommige beter bekend en meer bekend as ander. Selfs met die meer bekende syfers, is daar nog steeds besonderhede en brokkies wat 'n paar verrassings oplewer wat wag om op die onverwagte verstand te spring en 'n her-evaluering van idees te veroorsaak.
    Churton het 'n boek gemaak wat oor 'n tydperk gelees moet word, aangesien elke hoofstuk vol idees is wat tyd nodig het om volledig ondersoek te word en saad soos 'n sterk boom te neem. As daar iets is, is daar in sommige hoofstukke amper te veel inligting, daarom is my aanbeveling om tyd te neem oor hierdie boek. Soos 'n goeie wyn, het dit die voordeel van volwassenheid, en kan dit die beste geniet word deur slukkies en nie deur te sluk nie!
    Dus, tot die kern van die boek, is alles wat u sou verwag, ingesluit in hierdie werk, van Fama Fraternitas en Christian Rosenkreuz tot Rose-Croix en Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia. Die Europese essensie van Rosicrucianism word ondersoek deur sy ligte, van wie daar baie is. Vir my is miskien die beste kwaliteit van hierdie belangrike boek dat dit daarin slaag om die geestelike wese na vore te bring wat die geskiedenis van Rosicrucianisme deurdring, 'n belangrike prestasie waarvoor Churton gelukgewens moet word. Hierdie boek is 'n uitstekende en waardige studie wat die moeite werd is om gelees te word deur almal met die minste belangstelling in spiritualiteit, geskiedenis of inderdaad die pad van die filosoof se steen na persoonlike transformasie.


    RIELPOLITIK

    “ …Gnose beteken vir my persoonlik om 'n geskenk te ontvang - 'n geskenk wat sekere verantwoordelikhede meebring. Dit is nogal 'n swaar ding om verlig te word - of verlig te word! Daar is baie wat ons dra wat ons verhinder om op te groei en te groei in goddelike kennis. Vir my beteken gnosis 'n liefde vir die waarheid, 'n sensitiwiteit vir die magiese aspekte van die lewe, en bowenal 'n permanente stryd met materiële bewussyn ”

    Gnostici, Rosicrucians & ampamp Alchemy, 'n onderhoud met Tobias Churton

    Tobias Churton is een van die lewendigste en lewendigste ondersoekers van vandag na die ondergrondse stroom van die Westerse tradisie, bekend as Gnostisisme. Hy het eers in die sewentigerjare geïnteresseerd geraak in die Gnostics terwyl hy 'n graad in teologie aan die Universiteit van Oxford gelees het.

    Kort nadat hy vertrek het, het hy belanggestel om hierdie idees vir televisie te ondersoek. 'Ek het in my kop gedink dat daar nog nooit 'n godsdienstige televisie was nie - slegs programme oor godsdiens,' onthou hy later. 'Ek het 'n artikel daaroor geskryf waarin 'n nuwe soort televisie vir hierdie mees verwaarloosde gebied aanbeveel word, iets op die televisie, 'n soort program wat die aard van die godsdienstige ervaring sou beïnvloed en dit nie bloot waarneem nie. ” Churton kry sy geleentheid in die middel van die 1980's, toe hy 'n reeks oor die Gnostics vir Britse televisie vervaardig. Om sy reeks te vergesel, skryf hy sy eerste boek, Die gnostici, 'n geskiedenis van hierdie ontwykende esoteriese beweging van die vroeë Christendom tot moderne manifestasies in figure soos Giordano Bruno en William Blake, en selfs in Mary Shelley se Frankenstein.

    In die jare sedertdien het Churton sy waardering vir die Westerse esoteriese tradisies nagestreef en verdiep. Hy was die stigterredakteur van Vrymesselary Vandag tydskrif, en het die afgelope jaar twee nuwe boeke uitgegee. Die Goue Bouers: Alchemiste, Rooikruisers en die Eerste Vrymesselaars ondersoek die agtergrond van metselwerk uit sy antecedente in die alchemiese en hermetiese tradisies van die oudheid deur sy moderne manifestasies. Sy nuutste boek, Gnostiese filosofie: van antieke Persië tot moderne tye, werp 'n nog wyer net, wat die gnostiese erfenis herlei van sy wortels in die Zoroastrianisme, Mithraïsme en die Essenen tot die twintigste -eeuse magus Aleister Crowley en manifestasies van gnosis in popkultuur. Churton maak tans sy tuiste in Brittanje - Richard Smoley

    Hoe sou jy gnosis presies beskryf? Wat beteken dit vir jou?

    Hoe sou ek gnosis beskryf? Ek wil gnosis beskryf as die ervaring van kennis of intimiteit met wat ons God noem. God, sê die Bybel vir ons, wil bekend wees. Die woord 'gnostikus' - een wat gnosis ervaar het - is die eerste keer as 'n bynaam gebruik deur diegene wat die hele idee teëgestaan ​​het of gedink het dat dit te veel is vir mense om op te eis.

    Op 'n manier is dit regtig die grootste wang om te sê dat 'n mens ervaring van God gehad het! Johannes se Evangelie sê byvoorbeeld dat "niemand ooit God gesien het nie." Hospitale vir geestesongesteldes is vol mense wat aanspraak maak op die buitengewoonste intimiteit met magte buite hulself. In die Gnostiese tradisie is gesonde verstand of gemoedsrus die vrug van gnosis. En 'gesonde verstand' beteken om skoon of 'heel' te word, en daar moet 'n morele sowel as 'n fisiese en sielkundige dimensie oorweeg word. Daar kan aangevoer word dat 'n mens in Christus moet deelneem om God te ken. Maar daar was duidelik gnosis buite die Christelike tradisie. God wil dus duidelik deur almal geken word!

    Gnosis beteken vir my persoonlik om 'n geskenk te ontvang - 'n geskenk wat sekere verantwoordelikhede meebring. Dit is nogal 'n swaar ding om verlig te word - of verlig te word! Daar is baie wat ons dra wat ons verhinder om op te groei en te groei in goddelike kennis. Vir my beteken gnosis 'n liefde vir die waarheid, 'n sensitiwiteit vir die magiese aspekte van die lewe, en bowenal 'n permanente stryd met materiële bewussyn. Mense sal eerder sien dat iemand verbrand word as dat hul eie geld verbrand word. Dit, sou ons sê, is net natuurlik. Politici is vaardig om ons op hierdie vlak aan te spreek. Om gnosties te wees, behels 'n ongewone houding teenoor die natuurlike orde. Die blote mens in ons word wel onder die loep geneem - die lig wys die skaduwees en die duisternis in ons, as u wil. Niemand hou natuurlik daarvan om 'opgedaag' te word nie, daarom vervolg ons die ligbringers en verberg ons agter beelde van wie ons dink ons ​​is. Gnosis is lig en, as ek dit mag sê, "my las is lig."

    Is dit moontlik om gnosis self te ervaar?

    Ek glo duidelik dat dit moontlik is om gnosis vir jouself te ervaar. Mens kon dit skaars vir ander mense beleef! Maar die ervaring verander, en u weet miskien nie altyd dat u gnosis ondervind nie. Dit is nie 'n enkele staat nie. Dit is nie dieselfde as 'instant satori' nie. Die heelal self is 'n projeksie van gnosis, indien beperk. Ek moet sê dat as 'n mens geen ervaring van gnosis het nie, jy amper nie kan sê dat jy werklik gelewe het nie.

    Kan u 'n bietjie verduidelik oor die Gnostiese antieke skole en wat met hulle gebeur het?

    Daar was baie Gnostiese skole in die laat oudheid, sover ons kan weet, rondom 'n spesifieke leraar of die selfverklaarde volgelinge van so 'n onderwyser. Hulle het visioene, drome, uitsprake, standpunte en bevele van volgelinge gehad. Sommige was waarskynlik charlatans en sommige 'die regte ding', soos 'n mens sou verwag.

    Die ortodokse Christelike leermeesters wat dit hul taak gemaak het om die gnostiese beweging in die kerk te verneder en te vernietig, was altyd geneig om die onderwyser te isoleer. Die noem van name was 'n groot deel van die anti-gnostiese propaganda. Danksy hul pogings het ons 'n paar dowwe rekords van mans soos Basilides, Carpocrates, Marcus, Marcion, Valentinus, Simon Magus, Dositheos. Die ortodokse verskonings Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Epiphanius en Tertullianus het dit byvoorbeeld hul taak gemaak om hierdie gnostiese leraars voor te stel as demente kwaksalwers wat hul volgelinge gelei het tot wat Irenaeus - in ongeveer 180 nC - 'n afgrond van waansin en godslastering genoem het. ' Ek weet nie hoe ernstig 'n mens hul aanbieding van die getuienis kan neem nie. Dit is 'n bietjie soos om vir George Bush te vra of hy Sergeant Pepper se Lonely Hearts Club Band verkies bo Revolver!

    Die Gnostici verteenwoordig 'n soort teenkultuur en stel hulle daarom bloot aan vervolging en bespotting. U kan u nie voorstel dat gnostici in pakke en bande ronddwaal met aktetas wat oor eiendomswaardes praat nie! Sommige het skynbaar in katakombe en privaat plekke ontmoet. Daar was gnostici in die eerste kloosters van Saint Pachom ooit in die Thebaid van Egipte. Dit kan inderdaad aangevoer word dat die eerste kloosterbeweging hoofsaaklik geïnspireer is deur die begeerte om 'n plek te kry om weg te kom van die wêreld en God te ervaar, dit wil sê: 'n gnostiese inspirasie. Dit is duidelik dat die kloosters nog altyd 'n spesiale rol gespeel het in die bevordering van outentieke geestelike lewe, indien gewoonlik in die geheim. Die mure het ore.

    Ongelukkig het die Britse en Duitse Hervormings, toe hulle die kloosters aangeval het in die naam van die protestantse neiging, die baba geneig om met die badwater uit te gooi, sodat die posisie van die Gnostic van vandag 'n verwantskap het met die van die vroeë Christelike gnostici. Waar gaan ons heen ?, vra hulle dalk. San Francisco het natuurlik nie vir almal gewerk nie!

    Soos ons uit die verhaal van die Nag Hammadi -biblioteek weet, was die gnostici selfs in die woestynkloosters nie veilig nie. Amptelike besoeke het die gewraakte literatuur uit die weg geruim en dit tot die vlamme veroordeel. Binnekort sou die gewraakte gnostici dieselfde lot tegemoet gaan. Die kerk het in die 4de eeu nC by die staat aangesluit en die ware Gnosis is verban. Net een goeie rede om godsdiens uit die politiek te hou!

    Hoe het hierdie Gnostiese nalatenskap oorleef na die einde van die ou Gnostiese skole? Watter erfenis het hulle aan ons beskawing gegee?

    Goddank, die Gnostiese ervaring en uitdaging het pas die einde van die vlug van die Romeinse arend oorleef. Soos 'n mens sou verwag, het dit oorleef aan die rand van die ou Ryk - in Sirië, Irak, Bulgarye, Turkestan en Bosnië - moontlik Ierland. Selfs 'n rukkie in Mongolië en China. Die vlam is lewendig gehou deur 'n groot aantal militêre veldtogte, bloedbad en gewelddadige konflikte van konings, sultans, halfgode, halfgode, diktators en keisers. Dit is na die 7de eeu in die boesem van die Islamitiese Ryk gedra in die vorm van Hermetiese filosofie as inspirasie vir wetenskap en filosofie - deur God te ondersoek in sy werke en wonders. Die Sabiërs van Harran - wat nie Moslems was nie, maar Sabiërs en toegelaat deur die Koran - is hul rol buitengewoon belangrik om die vlam lewendig te hou.

    Die verskyning van Islamitiese mistiek-of liewer gnosis-onder die sogenaamde soefi's in die negende en tiende eeu was baie betekenisvol. Magie, filosofie, wetenskap, mistiek-in kort, menslike vooruitgang, is bevorder deur die verligte kringe van die Islamitiese wêreld-en dit speel altyd 'n soort skadu-bokswedstryd met die harde gesag wat so min omgee. vir persoonlike ervaring van die goddelike koninkryk, net soos die Roomse Kerk in die weste.

    Die uitwissing van die sogenaamde 'kathare' in Suid-Frankryk en Noord-Italië in die 13de eeu het getoon hoe ver die owerhede bereid was om te gaan in 'n poging om 'n geestelike bestaan ​​te vernietig wat nie deur die status quo beheer word nie-die steeds bestaande owerhede vind ons in elke eeu: die duidelike kragte van onsigbare geestelike opposisie, soos die gnostikus dit sien. Die gnostici was die lig vir die wêreld en die suurdeeg in die brood. 'N Wêreld sonder gnosis sou inderdaad 'n baie donker plek wees. Die gnostikus groet die son, die 'sigbare god'. Hy of sy sien die dagbreek eerste - in die tuin van die opstanding kan u eers sê.

    Sommige geleerdes stel voor dat die term "gnosties" te problematies is om waardevol te wees, en dat dit deur iets anders vervang moet word. Stem jy saam?

    Sommige geleerdes stel voor dat die term 'gnosties' te problematies is en moet vervang word. Wel, ek is jammer vir hulle. Gnosis self sal altyd problematies wees in hierdie wêreld. Die dag waarop dit gemaklik in 'n geleerde woordeboek pas, is die dag waarop dit nie meer krag het nie. Nee, 'Gnosticus' - soos 'Christen' - het as 'n bynaam begin, en soos al hierdie name moet dit met trots gedra word in 'n blinde wêreld. Ja, daar is probleme met definisie. In 1966 was daar 'n Colloquium van geleerdes op Messina wat bedoel was om die term 'gnostisisme' te definieer, maar dit kon die term nie terughou nie. Dus, sonder die voordeel van die Italiaanse son, kan ek dit nie vir u doen in hierdie onderhoud nie. Die onderwerp kan 'n boek vul. Daar is egter 'n ander aanslag wat ons kan volg. Dit wil sê, waarom moet dit gedefinieer word? Definisie - soos 'n sensus - lei tot beheer. Veel beter dat die Gnostiese tradisie die unieke kwaliteit van die weerstaande definisie dra! Daar bestaan ​​geen twyfel dat die kwessie deur die bedrywighede van die Christelike kerke wat die denke in die Weste oorheers in meer mate deurmekaar is as wat ons miskien besef.

    Toe ek byvoorbeeld 'n student aan die Universiteit van Oxford was, het dit my lank geneem om die volle implikasies daarvan te besef dat die teologiekursusse hoofsaaklik deur hul kerkleiers tot hul voordeel aangebied is. Dit sou weliswaar vreemd gewees het as hulle deur industriële chemici bestuur is! Maar die punt was dat 'Gnostisisme' byvoorbeeld oor 'n universele ervaring handel oor slegs die teenwoordigheid daarvan of ballingskap uit die ortodokse Christelike Kerk. Deur teologisering ontken dit die wortel van outentieke ervaring. Wat kan ons vertrou as ons nie ons diepste persoonlikste en absoluut outentieke ervaring kan vertrou nie? In elk geval sou dit beter gewees het, dink ek, terugskouend, om die hele gebied van gnostiese filosofie, godsdiens en so meer te bestudeer as 'n eie stroom wat noodwendig deurdring met al die sogenaamde 'groot godsdienste' van die wereld.

    Een van die interessante dinge van die ortodokse kerk - as ons net die oorvloed van botsende liggame as 'n breë eenheid kan sien - is dat dit vind dat dit uiteindelik alles kan akkommodeer - alles, behalwe gnosis! Hiermee bedoel ek dat Darwin ten tye van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog min of meer deur die Church of England aanvaar is. Kerkleiers - beslis nie almal nie, weet ek - het akkommodeer by Hitler, Stalin en Mussolini en - laat ons eerlik wees, die Kerk het redelik vrede gemaak met die wêreld. Gnostiese tipes bevind hulle nie in so 'n gemaklike posisie ten opsigte van die wêreld soos dit is nie.

    Daar is baie mense wat op pad is na gnosis wat dit miskien nie besef nie, wat uit liefde vir God en vrees vir God - en vrees vir hulself en ander - hulself jare mors in baie onbevredigende kerklike byeenkomste wat - in die naam van God - eis hul opoffering en trou. Ek het altyd agtergekom dat dit die mees selfsugtige groepe is wat selfverwerping verkondig het.

    Maar om terug te keer na die punt, watter ander mak woord kan die verflenterde glorie en gehawende brood van die woorde Gnostic, Gnosis vervang - selfs die woord van die geleerdes 'Gnostisisme'? Mistiek is te mistig. Magick is bowdlerised en Disneyfied. Spiritualiteit - wel! Dit het vroeër betekenis gehad, nou beteken dit enigiets en waarskynlik niks. Dit is net 'n kwessie van tyd voordat motorvervaardigers 'n motor bedink wat aan u geestelike behoeftes voldoen! Ek weet regtig nie wat mense bedoel as hulle praat oor 'spiritualiteit' nie. Dit is so vaag dat dit nuttig is vir elke pseudo-godsdienstige charlataan en gulsige politikus ter wêreld! As u 'Gnostic' sê, moet u dit altyd verduidelik. En as u dit doen, is mense altyd gefassineer, of hulle dit nou erken of nie! So dit is wat ons het en ons moet die beste daarvan maak. Gnosis beteken kennis. Kry dit?

    Wat dink u van die huidige pogings om die gnostisisme te laat herleef? Watter waarde het hulle?

    U vra na onlangse pogings om die gnostiek te laat herleef. Dit is 'n moeilike vraag vir mense soos ek wat outentieke ervarings verkies met 'n paar regte geskiedenis. Dit is die geleerde en antikariër in my wat praat. My pad is nie jou pad nie.

    Ek glo nie 'gnostisisme' nie - die woord verwys werklik na die gnostiese groepe wat in die eerste vyf eeue van die bekende lewe van die Christelike kerk in konflik gekom het met Christelike ortodokse owerhede - kan of moet 'herleef'. Die pasiënt is nie dood nie - alhoewel die wêreld heel moontlik sou wees. 'Die dooies lewe nie', soos die Gnostiese evangelie dit sê, 'en die lewendes sal nie sterf nie.' Dit is my persoonlike gunsteling onder die vele groot gnostiese logia. Die dooies leef nie en die lewendes sal nie sterf nie. Hoe waar.

    Boonop is daar nog steeds 'n hele paar fantastiese Gnostiese strome wat sterk gaan - hoewel ten minste een daarvan ernstig vervolg word. Die Yezidi's van Noord -Irak, Wes -Iran, Georgiese Armenië - dit wil sê Transkaukasiese Koerdestaan ​​- het die ongelooflik inspirerendste tradisie. Daar is niks om mee te vergelyk in die hele wêreld nie. Dit is in 'n klas op sy eie. Die Yezidi's is wreed vervolg deur die maghebbers oor hulle omdat hulle nie as 'mense van 'n boek' beskou word soos omskryf nie - daar is weer daardie woord! - in die Koran. Hulle word al lank beskuldig van 'duiwelaanbidding', maar hierdie soort wreedheid kom algemeen onder onderdrukkers voor sedert Jesus daarvan beskuldig is dat hy 'n duiwels spreekbuis was al die jare gelede. Dit is die oudste truuk in die boek en werk omdat mense elke soort kwaad vrees - behalwe hul eie.

    Yezidi's word vandag in en om Mosul aangeval en vermoor en die beskerming van die polisie in Georgiese Armenië geweier. Dit is 'n feit.

    Die tweede tradisie waaraan ek gedink het, was die van die Mandaeërs van laer Irak, wat Johannes die Doper as 'n spesiale profeet beweer en, interessant, na 'Christus die Romein' verwys het. Wat 'Gnostics' betref, is hierdie mense ongetwyfeld die 'regte ding'.

    Toe ek die TV-reeks Gnostics in 1985-87 maak, het ons aan die Irakse ambassade in Londen geskryf, en hulle het geen kennis van die Mandaeërs ontken nie. Ek was bekommerd dat hulle onder die laaste ellendige Irakse regime uitgewis is, maar tot my vreugde sien ek nou dat hulle oorleef het - alhoewel hulle hulself steeds moet regverdig, omring deur die verskillende Islamitiese tradisies. Ek dink hulle kwalifiseer as Sabiërs in die Koran en word dus beskerm. Die wonderlike Yezidis, aan die ander kant, is 1300 jaar lank vervolg en het geen sodanige beskerming nie.

    'N Onafhanklike Koerdistan sou hierdie unieke en bewonderenswaardige mense waarskynlik 'n toekoms bied wat andersins in gevaar kan wees. Dit sou 'n baie goeie ding wees om uit die huidige gemors in Irak te kom. Die groot moondhede het die Midde -Ooste verwoes sedert die val van die Romeinse Ryk, dus kan 'n mens regmatig bevraagteken of die mal, slegte spel om die eiendom van die kwesbare te deel, in ons lewens sal eindig. Ons moet hoop, geloof en liefde hê. Spaar liefde vir die Yezidi's - al het die meeste mense waarskynlik nog nooit daarvan gehoor nie.

    Dit, om u vraag te beantwoord, sou 'n goeie manier wees om na die gnostiese tradisie om te sien - die tradisie, moet ek sê, van die outentieke gees van die mens, verslaaf aan en deur die wêreld. Die liefde vir geld is die wortel van alle kwaad. Die manier om Gnosis te laat herleef, moet deur Gnosis herleef word.

    Waarom is mense deesdae so geïnteresseerd in Gnostisisme?

    Ek dink mense is deesdae geïnteresseerd in gnostisisme omdat daar duidelik 'n geestelike leemte in die hart van ons kultuur is. Wetenskap en massaproduksie het baie gedoen vir die buitekant van die beker, maar die binnekant is leeg en kan nie versadig word deur dwelms, seks en rock 'n 'roll nie. Die beloofde bevryding is 'n kort genot gevolg deur 'n vinnige val. Grace kyk weg en die slagoffer moet, as hy of sy gelukkig is, binne kyk.

    Selfs in lande wat nie so groot is deur groot ondernemings soos ons nie-waar wasmasjiene, sentrale verwarming en persoonlike stereos en rekenaars baie welkom kan wees-is daar 'n goed gekommunikeerde klag wat met al die geld en die 'belofte van vryheid en vryheid vir almal ”is 'n groot bedreiging.

    Die bedreiging is vir die lewe van die hart en die delikate, onsigbare lewe - die duisend bande met God - wat mense eeue lank aan die lewe gehou het te midde van tallose gevare en ontberings. Ek wil nie hier romantiseer nie, maar 'n mens moet vra: 'Wie het die meeste hulp nodig?' Die Ooste of die Weste? Beide ly duidelik aan armoede - materiële armoede en geestelike armoede - en daar is natuurlik baie materiële armoede in die Weste en ongetwyfeld geestelike armoede in die Ooste. Maar kan ons nie mekaar help nie? En daardeur onsself help? Maar hoe doen ons dit?

    Jesus gee 'n idee: "Maak eers die binnekant van die beker skoon." Maak dit skoon? ons kan huil - die meeste van ons weet nie eers dat dit daar is nie! Waar is hierdie 'binnekant van die beker'? Waar is hierdie koninkryk van die hemele ('n koninkryk, let wel, nie 'n demokrasie nie!) Wat veronderstel is om "naby en binne" ons te wees? Die voorbeeld en die kompromislose verbintenis tot die geestelike werklikheid is so 'n sterk en kragtige rivier wat deur die gnostiese tradisie stroom, dat dit buitengewoon sou wees as ons beendroë wêreld nie 'n duik in sy lewegewende waters wou neem nie!

    Totdat ons onsself uitsorteer, kan ons slegs ons eie verwarring uitvoer.

    Kan u 'n bietjie sê oor die Westerse esoteriese tradisies as 'n geheel? Wat is hul situasie vandag? Wat het hulle om by te dra tot ons beskawing?

    U het my gevra om 'n bietjie te sê oor die Westerse esoteriese tradisies as 'n geheel en wat dit kan bydra tot ons beskawing. Die tweede deel van die vraag is eenvoudig. Wat hulle moet bydra, is beskawing. Wat is beskawing? Dit is duidelik nie krag en mag of die vermoë om verandering te dwing nie. Anders moet ons Attila the Hun en Chingiz Khan as leiers van die beskawing beskou! Beskawing kom eintlik neer op die vermoë van 'n verskeidenheid mense om in 'n stad te woon, hulself te organiseer en met mekaar aan die gang te kom sonder om in chaos te verval. Dit wat die lewe van die besige korf bevorder, kan beskryf word as 'n beskaafde invloed. Beskawing is dan nie 'n arbiter van die waarheid nie, maar van wat goed werk. Wyse manne en vroue neig egter tot die ou oortuiging dat niks so goed soos die waarheid werk nie, en dat 'n vrot tak - vrot van korrupsie - homself nie eers lank sal onderhou nie - let op die las van die beskawing. Die waarheid is goed.

    As ek dink aan die Westerse beskawing met al sy ongelykhede van vermoë en sosiale status, sy wye verskeidenheid rasse en godsdienstige tipes, sy blote digtheid van polsende menslike bestaan, sy kwesbaarheid vir natuurlike kragte, siektes, wanhoop, histerie, valse verwagting, verveling en so aan, ek kan nie help om te dink dat organisasies soos Vrymesselary en diskrete samelewings van persoonlike ontwikkeling belangrik is nie. Terwyl korrupte magte altyd ten doel het om binne die karkas te werk, moet die genesende middels ook binne die weefsel van die menslike korf werk - nie in vreeslike geheimhouding nie, maar met 'n beskeidenheid en liefde wat agterdog is oor roem, roem en sosiale aandag. Die koel briesie werk ongesiens goed. Dit is meerjarige wysheid. Ek dink die beste van die vrymesselaars-tradisie het 'n groot bydrae gelewer tot die begrip van verdraagsaamheid en die versperring van sosiale idealisme. Soms vind ons selfs 'n geestelike insig in sommige van die hardnekkigste verstandelike materiaal!

    Wat ook al goeie mans en vroue probeer bereik met hierdie slordige idioot genaamd man, die opregte besige by is altyd in stryd met ons biologiese en morele erfenis. Hierdie erfenis is sekerlik donker genoeg om sterk mans en vroue te laat huil en genoeg rede te gee om wanhoop of toevlug te neem by 'n siniese stoïsme van die tipe wat Gore Vidal byvoorbeeld met so 'n smaak en klas toon.

    Daar is baie te sê vir die hedendaagse Rosicrucian -samelewings om mense bekend te stel aan die wêreld van verbeeldingryke geestelike ontwikkeling. Baie vind byvoorbeeld insig in die wêrelde van die teosofie, thelema en antroposofie. Dit is alles goed en wel, sover dit gaan, maar die menslike samelewing kan bytend wees - selfs vernietigend.

    Mense is regtig nie baie gaaf nie - tensy hulle mekaar liefhet - en selfs dan ... wel! Die egskeidingsyfers met al hul hartseer verhale oor grimmigheid en hebsug getuig van die broosheid van ede wat op entoesiasme en 'n loteryoorwinning gebou is. Die Psalmdigter was eenvoudig realisties toe hy die woorde uiter: 'Niemand is regverdig nie. Nee, nie een nie. ” Om jouself in groepe te betrek, kan die kreatiewe en goddelike gees verstik. Maar alleenwees kan moeilik wees, en eensaamheid is, soos Jimi Hendrix gesing het, ''n trek. Miskien moet ons die konsep van die klooster op 'n aangepaste manier herleef - nie, mag ek beklemtoon nie, die hartseer alternatief, die 'gemeente'. Die hippies was hip vir alles behalwe hul eie verdorwenheid. Peter Coyote en die delwers sou my ongetwyfeld vertel dat ek nooit die regte hippies gesien het nie. Hy sou reg wees. Miskien was ek een van hulle - en hoe gereeld sien ons onsself?

    Ek veronderstel dat 'n mens in die lewe van 'n persoon, as jy jou hand in die hand van God steek - soveel as wat ons van Hom weet - vir leiding sal kom dat jy allerhande groepe en mense teëkom. Geen manier werk vir alle mense of vir alle geleenthede nie. Dit is hoe dit moet wees. Diegene wat absolute sekerhede benodig, sal bereid wees om enigiets te glo. Die Een is altyd teenwoordig, as dit nie gesien word nie.

    Ondervinding toon dat daar baie verborge are vir die kosmiese lewe van die mensdom is en ek is - vir een - bly - en het rede om bly te wees - dat dit bestaan. Gnosis is, soos ek vroeër gesê het, 'n geskenk. 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?

    My books The Golden Builders en 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 en 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 en 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 Vrymesselary Today. 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 Die Da Vinci -kode. 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? The answer is simple. 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 ketters – 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 almal 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 Genesis, from the book of Wysheid, en die Psalms 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?
    Who were they? 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 done?

    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.