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The Dead Sea Scrolls In English

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  • santmat_mystic ( James )
    The Dead Sea Scrolls In English By James Bean http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SpiritualAwakening Copyright August 2004 Writing in Greek sometime during the first
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 22 6:41 PM
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      The Dead Sea Scrolls In English

      By James Bean
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SpiritualAwakening

      Copyright August 2004

      Writing in Greek sometime during the first century AD, a Master who
      taught the Pythagorean practice of hearing "The Music of the
      Spheres", a Jewish mystic-philosopher by the name of Philo of
      Alexandria, wrote about two rather mysterious Hebrew monastic
      Orders: the Therapeutae [literally, "healers"], and the Essenes. He
      seemed to very much admire both groups, describing them in great
      detail. See, "Philo of Alexandria -- The Contemplative Life, The
      Giants, and Other Selections," published by Paulist Press. The
      Essenes had a contemplative, spiritual community near the Dead Sea
      in Israel -- a kind of "ashram" in the desert, while the
      Therapeutae's main monastery was based near the Mareotic Lake,
      adjacent to the Egyptian city of Alexandria. Though no known
      writings of the Therapeutae have been unearthed thus far, a number
      of books of the Essene Bible have been discovered, have now been
      translated and made available in English.

      It's my view that a new day has now dawned when it comes to the
      study of Jewish spirituality. We now have have access to the Dead
      Sea Scrolls (lost for 2,000 years). This ancient collection
      represents the library of an ancient spiritual community that once
      existed in the middle east and is starting to give up its secrets.
      For the discerning eye, it's possible to sift through these books
      and identify the ones that are brimming with mystic Wisdom --
      the "upanishads" and "sutras" of the West, if you will.

      In the 1940's and 50's many parts of this ancient Essene library were
      unearthed in several caves near Khirbet Qumran, located on the
      western shore of the Dead Sea. It's likely that Qumran was the
      location of the main Essene community in Israel. These scrolls,
      written in Hebrew and Aramaic, represent the surviving scriptures of
      their library -- manuscripts that date from about 200 years BC to 70
      AD, when the community was abandoned after being attacked and
      occupied by Roman soldiers.

      There's a growing consensus that Jesus, John -- actually, probably
      the leaders of several Jewish, Gnostic and Christian movements,
      derived many of their beliefs and practices from the Essenes. The
      scholar Florentino Garcia:

      I do not think it an exaggeration to say
      that before the Qumran discoveries, the
      figure of Jesus Christ appeared like a
      magnificent and exotic fruit. Now we
      can see the tree, which has very
      different fruits, but a common sap
      which each branch transforms in its own
      way. And it is precisely the Qumran texts
      which, like no other text, allow us to
      understand the roots of the tree and its
      different branches. ("The People of the
      Dead Sea Scrolls," E.J. Brill Books)

      The Dead Sea Scrolls have revolutionized our understanding of what
      can only be described as a proto-Gnostic spiritual movement that once
      existed within Judaism. Though I'm not attracted to every single
      idea found in the Scrolls, what does interest me greatly are the
      spiritual or mystical realities that were embraced at Qumran. Their
      paradigm or faith was apparently quite open to many spiritual
      possibilities. Some sections of the scrolls describe initiates as
      having visions of the God of Light and the various heavens, several
      different heavens in fact according to the Book of Enoch and other
      Essene scriptures. They also communicated with angels and other
      heavenly Beings of Light. In addition to prayer, solitude and
      meditation exercises playing a major role, it is said that music and
      chant transported Essene worshippers into otherworldly states. From
      the available descriptions, their worship brought something of
      heaven down to earth. In, "The Dead Sea Scrolls -- A New
      Translation", a Hebrew scholar describes Qumran Sabbath worship or
      chant as "almost mantric." He also says: "In the original Hebrew,
      the syllables and long, drawn-out phrases tumble over one another in
      an almost hypnotic cadence."

      Spiritual Gems and Mystic Visions From the Scrolls -- The Light
      Motif of the Essenes

      The People of the Scrolls thought of themselves as "Children of
      the Light" or "Initiates of the Dawn", conceived of God as a Being
      of Light, believed they were in communion with angels and other
      heavenly Beings of Light, and wrote down many descriptions of
      visions of heavenly realms.

      Most scholars think that the following psalm was composed by the
      founder of the Qumran community, an enlightened Master known only
      as: "The Teacher of Righteousness:"

      "Yet, lo, on such a creature of clay has Thou shed Thy Grace....
      Over mere dust hast Thou wafted Thy Holy Spirit, and hast so molded
      that clay that it can converse with angels and be in communion
      with Beings Celestial." ("The Dead Sea Scriptures," Anchor Books)

      The following quotes come from the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice, a
      collection of visions found amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls. Fragments
      of this otherworldly document have also been found at Masada, and
      some copies of it are also in the possession of a monastic school of
      spirituality on Mount Athos in Greece. Living glimpses of heaven
      from antiquity:

      "In the midst of what looks like glorious scarlet and colors of
      utterly Holy Spiritual Light, the spirits take up their holy stand
      in the presence of the king -- splendidly colored spirits
      surrounded by the appearance of whiteness. This latter glorious
      spiritual substance is like golden handiwork, shimmering in the
      Light."

      Sacred Names are chanted during heavenly journeys: "Yet again will
      he bless all who wait for Him with seven wondrous words, that His
      compassionate loving-kindness might return to them. Then in the Name
      of His holiness all the chief princes will bless in unison the God
      of divine Beings with all their sevenfold appointed words of
      blessing."

      During their mystic ascents through numerous heavens and exalted
      spiritual regions above, souls are also able to hear glorious
      heavenly Music:

      "Souls rejoice among the Holy Ones through wondrous Melodies,
      in everlasting joy." ("The Dead Sea Scrolls -- A New Translation")

      Prayers to the God of Light from the Psalm-Scroll of the Essenes

      You set your Word
      in this ear of dust
      and write truths on my heart.
      You end my wandering
      to bring me into concordance with You
      that I may stand, unshaken,
      before You
      in the Glow of Perfect Light
      forever,
      where no darkness is
      forever,
      where unsearchable peace is
      forever.
      For me, a creature of dust.

      From the Fount of His Knowledge has my Light shot forth;
      upon His wonders has my eye gazed.

      Your Holy Spirit
      illuminates the dark places of the heart
      of your servant
      with Light like the sun.
      ("The Other Bible", Edited by Willis Barnstone, Harper Collins)

      The "Master", Living Guru of the Community

      The leader of Qumran was often referred to by his followers as "the
      Master," and was considered to be a Prophet of the God of Knowledge
      (Gnosis). He was responsible for the spiritual consciousness of the
      community. Apparently for them, as with other mystical Orders of the
      ages, having a holy book written by people who lived centuries
      earlier was not enough! There needed to be a Living Embodiment of
      spirituality, a living spiritual director or guru to guide living
      students into advanced stages of spiritual Truth and enlightenment.

      "The Master shall teach the Children of Light to live according to
      the Book of the Community Rule, that they may seek God with a
      whole heart and soul." ("The Dead Sea Scrolls In English," Penguin
      Classics)

      The Scrolls Are Not Hidden or Censored, They Are Sitting On the
      Shelf Of Your Local Bookstore

      As you can tell from the various translations I'm quoting from in
      this article, the Dead Sea Scrolls are not censored or hidden away
      as a few "conspiracy writers" have tried to suggest. Rather, several
      translations of the Scrolls have been available for decades. One of
      my favorite: "The Dead Sea Scrolls -- A New Translation," Edited by
      Michael Wise, more recently published by Harper Collins, is by far
      the most comprehensive translation of the scrolls published in
      English to date, containing the 131 books of the Essene Bible that
      have been recovered so far.

      The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has returned to us many
      previously lost biblical texts of the House of Zadok, the Levitical
      priesthood that once was in charge of worship in Israel before Roman
      occupation, also the oldest manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible ever
      found. These documents from the ancient world have helped to make it
      possible to understand the spiritual climate out of which various
      forms of Jewish and Christian Gnosticism evolved. These scrolls
      reveal a rich, highly developed spiritual tradition that once
      existed in the West.

      May A Spiritual Life of Wholeness, Healing, Peace and Unending Light
      Be Yours

      This is from the Community Rulebook of the Dead Sea Scriptures:
      "And as for the experience of all who walk in this spirit, it shall
      be healing, great peace in a long life, and fruitfulness, together
      with every everlasting blessing and eternal joy in life without
      end, a crown of glory and a garment of majesty in Unending Light."
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