The female Archons, sickened by the turning of the wheel of the zodiac to which they were bound, aborted the embryos they carried as a result of their unions in Darkness. The abortions fell to earth and became demons which began to devour the plants and procreate, thereby producing the five types of animal life. Through the changing of the seasons and the cycle of life, the process of the redemption of the Light had been initiated.
The Prince of Darkness beheld the beginning of the process of Redemption, and feared the final loss of the particles of Light. In order to bind the Particles of Light to itself more closely, Darkness conceived of an Averse Creation. The Light collected by the two demons by devouring the other demons was passed on to their two children as the Soul, and the two children were named Adam and Eve. Imprisoned along with the Soul of Light in the demon-born bodies of the first human pair is the Dark Spirit, Az, composed of lust and greed, who was placed there by Darkness to ensure that the Light would continue to remain imprisoned in matter.
In a counter-maneuver, the Third Envoy called forth Yiso Ziva, "Jesus the Radiant" or "the Shining" to awaken Adam and enlighten him with respect to the divine origin of the Soul, and its imprisonment in the body. Jesus the Radiant took on material form, crucifying himself on the cross of matter, to confront Adam. Enlightened, Adam resolved upon chastity, renouncing the prolongation of suffering which was procreation.
Eve, however, was seduced by a demon, and bore to the demon two children, Cain and Abel. The continued bondage of a portion of the Light was thus assured, and its ultimate redemption was considered the responsibility of Humankind. The Mind of Light caused Adam and Eve to unite one time to bring forth the first such prophet, whose name was Seth.
With the Gnosis comes the will to redemption, and the Gnosis enables the Soul to withstand evil by clothing it in the five virtues of Love, Faith or Law , Perfection, Patience and Wisdom. Religion is the weapon of the Gnosis in striving to keep the Soul awake and resolute against the attacks of Darkness which cause forgetfulness. When the individual dies, the body descends to Darkness. The Soul, if awakened, ascends the Column of Light to the moon, thence to the sun, and thence to the New Aeon. If asleep, the soul is reincarnated on earth. The Last Day, the end of the World, will occur when the deliverance of the Light is nearly complete, and the World, being deprived of most of its Light, is in a degenerate state of materialism.
The Last Day will be signaled by a great war, followed by the second coming of Jesus. Jesus will separate the remaining awakened souls from those remaining asleep, then withdraw himself with the last awakened souls to the New Aeon. Bearer of Brightness and Supporter will abandon their posts, and the great mechanism of the World, now useless, will collapse upon itself in a great fire which will burn for years, liberating the last remaining particles of Light from matter. Darkness will collapse into a lifeless clod, which will be cast into the pit that was once its realm, and the pit will be sealed with an enormous stone.
Having been deprived of the Light upon which it had become dependent, it will be powerless to ever again attack the Realm of Light. Finally, the New Aeon will be united with the Realm of Light, and the restoration of the Light will be complete. The Manichaean Church had the task of caring for the Light that remained in the world, protecting it from injury, and attempting to purify it and lead it on to the path of deliverance.
The means of accomplishing this task was strict ascetism, the reduction of all relations of life to a minimum. In practice, such rigid ascetism can only be accomplished by a few; thus, the Manichaean community was divided into two distinct groups: the Electi, or "Perfect," who adhered to a rigid ascetism and who formed the real core of the Church, and the Auditores, or "Hearers," who gathered around the Elect to hear their teachings and to obtain merit by serving them.
Women could become Elect but not officers. These Seals required them to abstain totally from meat and wine, lying and hypocrisy, work, sexual intercourse, ill-treatment of animals and plants, pollution of water, and the owning of personal property. They were allowed one vegetarian meal per day, and were required to fast every Monday and for two successive days five times each year.
They were dedicated to contemplation, study and the translation of religious writings the Manichaeans had developed their own script , and were enjoined to pray, by the singing of hymns facing the sun or moon, seven times each day. By adherence to this strict regimen, the Elect expected to achieve deliverance for their Souls at death. Such a life could obviously not be led without external support, which was provided by the Hearers.
The guilt incurred by the Hearers in performing the work necessary to support the Elect was absolved by the Elect, but nevertheless resulted in a delay of the deliverance of the Souls of the Hearers by a period of one or more incarnations. The Hearers were expected only to live by ten commandments: 1.
Four prayers per day were prescribed for the Hearers. They were expected to fast every Sunday. Once each year, for 30 days, they were expected to eat only one meal per day along with the Elect. He later advocated the wholesale burning of all their books, regardless of their beauty. The restrictions on ownership of personal property, although applicable to the individual Elect, did not extend to the Manichaean community as such.
The accumulation of communal property was permitted, and many communities accumulated considerable wealth through money lending. The Manichaeans rejected the Eucharist and most of the Christian sacraments, replacing them with their own ceremonies of prayer, recitation and reading of scriptures, music, singing, fasting and feasting, and weekly confession.
The central ritual of the community was the Table-- the daily common meal-- in which the Hearers would ritually serve, and the Elect would ritually consume, such foods as were to considered to possess a high content of Light, such as cucumbers, melons, wheat bread and fruit juice.
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The Light would be absorbed into the bodies of the Elect, there to be retained until their deaths, when it would be delivered up the Column of Light with their souls. The Light contained within animals was considered to be too closely bound to matter for liberation through digestion. The Bema was a commemoration of Mani's death, and was the culmination of the 30 day fast enjoined on the Hearers. Manichaeism ultimately failed in Europe and the Middle East by its inability to compete with Islam and Christianity.
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The rival faiths offered much easier paths to understand and to follow, were far more ruthless in their campaigns of conversion, and, unlike Manichaeism, threatened an afterlife of eternal torture for unbelievers. Perhaps even more significantly, both Muslims and Christians were allowed to become wealthy; which assured the support of the nobility and the merchant class.
Manichaeism continued to flourish in the barren plains of Central Asia, where it became centered at the city of Turfan in what is now northwest China. It even became the state religion of the short-lived Uighur Empire, until it was wiped out in the 13th century e. Even after its official demise in Europe in the 6th century e. The most important of these sects were the Bogomils of Bulgaria and the Cathars or Albigenses of the Languedoc region of Southern France. While these later sects were "Manichaean" only in the sense that they shared certain concepts and practices with the old followers of Mani, they were, nevertheless, as vigorously persecuted by the political-religious power structure as were the Manichaeans.
The Cathars were highly successful from about e. The Cathars were probably highly influential in the development of the traditions of the Holy Graal, and may also have influenced the Knights Templar. Some scholars believe that what we know today as the Hebrew Qabala was codified in the spiritual melting-pot of Southern France and Spain during these times. During the 40 years of this infamous horror, many thousands of men, women and children were brutally slaughtered and their cities pillaged; and the Languedoc was reduced to rubble and barbarism.
Originally published in Red Flame No. Morfill Oxford, Its author or final editor was a Hellenistic Jew, and the place of its composition was Egypt. Written at such a date, and in Egypt, it was not to be expected that it exercised a direct influence on the writers of the New Testament. On the other hand, it occasionally exhibits striking parallelisms in diction and thought, and some of the dark passages of the latter are all but inexplicable without its aid. Although the very knowledge that such a book ever existed was lost for probably twelve hundred years, it nevertheless was much used both by Christian and and heretic in the early centuries.
While the pseudepigraphic writings have been extensively used to illustrate the New Testament, they have not as yet perhaps entirely come into their own as sources for Mohammedan tradition. The parallels between Koran and Hadith, and the Slavonic group of pseudepigraphic writings are many and striking. In the following study we shall use the text given in Dr.
Charles' "Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament," and use the same labels A and B to define the two recensions. Let us commence with Enoch himself. In Koran Sura Post-Koranic Muslim writers, however, will have it that he was Enoch.
As for the exaltation, some commentators understand this to refer to the honor of the prophetic office, and his familiarity with God; but others suppose that his translation is meant, for they say that he was taken up by God into heaven at the age of three hundred and fifty, having first suffered death; and been restored to life; and that he is now alive in one of the seven heaven, or in Paradise.
While in the above tradition Enoch was taken up at the age of three hundred and fifty years, the book of the Secrets of Enoch agrees with Gen. The idea that he revisited the earth, and then again went either to Paradise or to one of the heavens, agrees with Slavonic Enoch. Traditionally it is said that books were sent down to prophets before Mohammed Cf.
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Koran 2. Enoch has the books of the former prophets The books written by Enoch himself are referred to in a number of passages. Idris appears in Moslem legend as initiated in science and arts, and was also credited with being the first astronomer and chronologist, and with being skilled in medicine. This agrees with Slavonic Enoch in that he is shown the mysteries concerning the heavenly bodies and their times, and in the fact that there is a great deal of chronological matter in this book.
Chapter four introduces the angels rulings the stars; chapter eleven the course of the sun and moon; chapter twenty-four the mystery of creation; chapter Finally we note that his association with arts is confirmed by the introduction of recension A, which commences with: "There was a wise man, a great artificer. The traditions which link Enoch with astronomy, and which look towards a solar myth in the background, may have partly arisen by deriving the name Enoch from chanack, to initiate, and from his three hundred and sixty-five years corresponding to the days of the solar year.
Did Jesus Go to Hell After He Died?
Moreover the emphasis in Slavonic Enoch on the sun's course would have no little influence on the Mohammedan tradition, if we grant that they are indeed indebted to this work. In Moslem tradition Enoch was the first to use pens. With this compare Slavonic Enoch Two other points of contact with regard to Enoch himself may be noticed in passing: the Moslems claim that the angel of death visited Enoch in the form of a man, while the Slavonic work tells of two angelic beings in the form of men; furthermore, the Islamic belief that Enoch went through Hell is again in accordance with the Jewish Pseudepigraph.
What has been cited above may appear inconclusive as a proof that Mohammed personally knew and used the earlier writing, but it makes it tolerably certain that this book has had no little influence upon the tradition of Islam as a whole. Other arguments and parallels make the cumulative argument stronger.
A slight variation here and there between the two sets of authorities is inconsequential, in view of the general carelessness of Moslem writers, and their notoriety for inexact citation. The belief in seven heavens appears in Sura 41 and Sura 65, which agrees with our B text: the A text of the Secrets The four rivers of Paradise occur in Sura and Sura Heaven as a garden of fruitful trees, as in Sura 2.
Traces of direct imitation of Enoch are to be found in the fact that both Enoch and the "prophet" make a tour of the heavens. The Moslem version appears in Koran Again Gabriel encounters both Mohammed and Enoch Cf.
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Sura 2, "Whoever is an enemy of Gabriel: for he hath caused the Koran to descend on thy heart, etc. He also saw Gabriel another time by the lote tree, beyond which there is no passing; near it is the garden of eternal abode. This tree, say the commentators, stands in the seventh heaven, on the right hand of the throne of God; and this is the uttermost bound beyond which the angels themselves must not pass: or, according to others, beyond which no creature's knowledge can extend.
The parallel here is in the idea expressed in Slavonic Enoch The well known eschatological theme of the casting of Satan out of Paradise figures both in the Koran and the Jewish apocryphal writing. Compare Koran, Sura 7, "Get thee down from Paradise - give me respite till the day of resurrection," with Slavonic Enoch The figure of the balance is less decisive, by reason of its wide circulation. Thoth guards the scales in a papyrus from an Egyptian tomb of the Eighteenth Egyptian Dynasty while Rashnu presides over the scales at the bridge of destiny, in old Persian teaching.