- Pastoral Letter on the Feast of the Transfiguration
2 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and
led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was
transfigured before them, 3and his clothes became dazzling white, such
as no one on earth could bleach them. 4And there appeared to them
Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. 5Then Peter said to
Jesus, `Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three
dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.' 6 He did
not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7 Then a cloud
overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, `This is my
Son, the Beloved; listen to him!' 8 Suddenly when they looked around,
they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.
9 As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no
one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen
from the dead. 10 So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning
what this rising from the dead could mean.
The Feast of the Transfiguration is one of the 12 great festivals of
the Gnostic Center Calendar and in many ways is the feast that speaks
most directly to us as gnostics. This feast has been a significant
feast to mystics throughout the ages, as it is a powerful
demonstration of the presence of the divine light within the man
Jesus, and within all of us.
It is helpful to review the gospel accounts, but to review them with
the gnostic perspective. We are not merely reading about something
that may have happened in Palestine 2000 years ago--this is something
that we, having the same spirit of Christ, are supposed to replicate
in some way.
It is significant to note that Jesus led the three disciples up to a
"high mountain"--tradition tells us this is Mt. Tabor. This shows us
that to experience the Transfiguration of Christ, to participate even
in the revelation of the Uncreated Fire within, requires labor,
effort, and a sense of ascending to somewhere "higher." There is a
lot of talk about gnosticism today, but it important that we not let
all of this talk distract us from the work at hand. The ascension of
Mt. Tabor requires work, real work--there are no shortcuts up the
mountain. Intellectual study of "gnosticism" is helpful; but it is
the work that clears away the false constructs of the demiurge and
releases that Divine within that leads to gnosis.
Another important fact of this account is that only three of the
twelve disciples were chose to witness this Transfiguration, and that
the gospel says they were "by themselves." This does not speak of any
kind of elitism; rather, it indicates that the experience is open to
those who are willing to spend some time separated from the day's
normal activities to pursue the revelation of the Uncreated Light.
Everyone has different circumstances, but unless we get away to that
high mountain, it is dificult to view the Transfiguration.
Another very important aspect in the Transfiguration is that when the
Jesus unveils the light within, next to Him appear Moses and Elijah.
Jesus, as the revealer of Light and Liberty, loosed the bondage of the
old religious fundamentalism, which is always a creation of the
Demiurge, intended to enslave and blind the children of Christ and
Sophia. Moses and Elijah appear to
And then there are those who miss the point entirely. Peter, who the
Roman Catholic Church claims as its first Pope, has no clue as to the
significance of what he has witnessed. Rather than asking, "How do I
also attain to this experience?" he says "Rabbi, it is good for us to
be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and
one for Elijah." Rather than seeking to also reveal the light within,
he wanted to construct religious structures to honor figures from the
Herein is the spirit of the Demiurge's false religions revealed.
Demonstrations of the Uncreated Light should lead us to inquire "What
can I do to experience this?" False religions say that this
experience is beyond us and the best we can do is build a church
building to commemorate what someone else experienced.
There are many churches across the world named "Holy Transfiguration."
Our role as gnostics, is not to build structures and edifices around
someone else's experience, but to release the inner light within, and
then to work to free our sisters and brothers from the bondage of the
For us, then the Feast of Transfiguration is a revelation of what is
possible for all of us. But it is also a revelation of how far we
have to go and how much work lays of ahead of us. There is much to do
and much to undo. Let us begin anew the ascent of Mt. Tabor!
May the light and grace of the Transfigured Christ and of his Divine
Consort Sophia obtain for each of us a share in that divine light
which is our holy birthright.
+Br. Thomas Dayananda
+Sr. Mary Athena