Saturday, November 12, 2011

Secret Matthew Gospel

Is the canonical Gospel of Matthew a genuine reproduction of Matthew's original autograph? Apparently not.

In SOD - Son of Man,
page 46, Samuel F. Dunlap, quotes Jerome:
Writing to the Bishops Chromatius and Heliodorus, he complains [Jerome] that "a difficult work is enjoined, since this translation has been commanded me by your Felicities, which St. Matthew himself, the Apostle and Evangelist, DID NOT WISH TO BE OPENLY WRITTEN. For if it had not been SECRET, he (Matthew) would have added to the evangel that which he gave forth was his; but he made up this book sealed up in the Hebrew characters, which he put forth even in such a way that the book, written in Hebrew letters and by the hand of himself, might be possessed by the men most religious, who also, in the course of time, received it from those who preceded them. But this very book they never gave to any one to be transcribed, and its text they related some one way and some another.

This in turn is quoted in Isis Unveiled by H. P. Blavatsky, volume 2, chapter 4.

From this quote it is difficult to believe that Jerome was not in possession of the authentic Matthew - Chaldee language, Hebrew letters.
I did track down the original source of the above quote.
It comes from the preface to a "Pseudo-Matthew". Now whether or not the the Gospel is "pseudo" or not may be a matter of opinion; and whether Jerome's letter is real or not might also be a matter of conjecture. By the same token, we might question whether certain documents have been deemed spurious purely because they don't fit in with the status quo.

From the Wiki on the Gospel of the Nazarenes:
higher criticism argues that the canonical Gospel of Matthew is not a literal reproduction of Matthew's original autograph, but was rather the production of an unknown redactor, composed in Greek posthumous to Matthew. This aligns with Jerome's assessment, in which he stated, "Matthew, also called Levi, apostle and aforetime publican, composed a gospel of Christ at first published in Judea in Hebrew for the sake of those of the circumcision who believed, but this was afterwards translated into Greek, though by what author is uncertain."(Jerome, Lives of Illustrious Men, Chapter 3) 
Also on the above wikipedia entry, is a list of variances between the Canonical Matthew and the extant reconstructed text of Gospel of the Nazarenes.

So what proof do we have that Jerome didn't write the introductory letter that appears in the Gospel of the Pseudo Matthew?

 More about this Gospel:
"A narrative of the flight into Egypt is adorned with poetic wonders. The dragons, lions, and other wild beasts of the desert adore the infant Jesus. At His word the palm-trees bow their heads that the Holy Family may pluck their fruit. The idols of Egypt are shattered when the Divine Child enters the land. The "Gospel of the Nativity of Mary" is a recast of the Pseudo-Matthew, but reaches only to the birth of Jesus. It is extant in a Latin manuscript of the tenth century."

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Swan Initiation

There is an expression "swan song" which means death or dying. This expression comes from the thought (Middle Ages) that swans sung before they died. It is a clue to the Swan level of initiation.

In the writings of Basil Valentinus, the Swan represents the third level of initiation - Raven and Peacock being first and second. In this level Inspiration as the Divine Word, the harmony of the Spheres, sounds forth.
"In the third degree he meets death and must sing the Swan's song. He then dies to everything earthly."
- Notes from Walter Stein's The Ninth Century

The next stage, is often shown as The White Swan. Now the alchemist begins to experience the inner world as being light filled - the initial inner brightness which is often erroneously mistaken for true illumination. This is merely a first conscious encounter with the etheric world, and in comparison with physical sense experience is for many souls so overpowering as to be pictured as bright white light. The alchemical tradition recognised this and symbolised this stage as the White Swan. The swan is a bird which is rarely seen in flight, but rather swimming upon lake or river, gracefully moving on the surface of water- in soul terms, on the soul's surface, its etheric interface with the physical.

-Adam McLean, The Birds in Alchemy

More on the Swan as the Aum, taken from:
The Voice of the Silence by H. P. Blavatsky

I found this interesting, that the parts of the bird were "parts" of the AUM. I wonder if this was pictured in meditation?:

"Kala Hamsa, the "Bird" or Swan. Says the Nada-Bindu Upanishad (Rig Veda) -

"The syllable A is considered to be its (the bird Hamsa's) right wing, U, its left, M, its tail, and the Ardha-matra (half metre) is said to be its head."

"Some Sanskrit mystics locate seven planes of being, the seven spiritual lokas or worlds within the body of Kala Hamsa, the Swan out of Time and Space, convertible into the Swan in Time, when it becomes Brahma instead of Brahma (neuter).
A Yogi who bestrides the Hamsa [Swan] (thus contemplates on Aum) is not affected by Karmic influences or crores of sins."
Through contemplation on the AUM the student passes from the world of images to the world of God - the Archetypes.

From the Contents Rudolf Steiner's of Esoteric Classes

Esoteric Lessons Part III: Berlin, 12-21-'04

AUM, I acknowledge myself or I am: A. 

I acknowledge mankind or man is: U. 

I acknowledge the Godhead or God is: M. (Or I acknowledge life: M)

Feel responsible for every thought, feeling and action. Every moment that we experience in this way brings us forward a little. What would I be without other human beings? Helpless. Streets are paved by others. When I get up in the morning people have already worked for me. My karma is connected with that of other men. I may have been an accomplice to a murderer because I didn't improve him in a previous life. One man's gain is someone else's loss. Teachers taught me. People worked for me from the moment I was born. So do good for all mankind.