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Re: [Gnosticism2] Re: Messalians

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  • Terje Bergersen
    Hi Magus ... I would not mind, although I wish it was better organized and edited.. but it does not matter, we process information as we would. I am just niw
    Message 1 of 10 , Oct 1, 2003
      Hi Magus

      > Wow! I couldn't have asked for better information than what you have
      > presented here. I knew the experts at this group could help me
      > separate the wheat from the chaff, when it comes to information on
      > the Gnostics, but I did not realize that a member of the Holy Order
      > of Theurgists group was among them. Would you mind if I posted this
      > information there also?

      I would not mind, although I wish it was better organized and edited.. but
      it does not matter, we process information as we would.
      I am just niw trying to get together a reply with that
      Messalian-Alchemists excerpt..

      Pax Pleromae

      --
      Terje Dahl Bergersen
      terje@...
      http://terje.bergersen.net/
    • Magusadeptus
      Hello Terje Bergersen, ... edited.. but ... Thanks, consider it posted. I m looking forward to your thoughts on the Messalians and the art of alchemy.
      Message 2 of 10 , Oct 1, 2003
        Hello Terje Bergersen,


        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Terje Bergersen" <terje@b...>
        wrote:
        > Hi Magus

        >
        >[ I would not mind, although I wish it was better organized and
        edited.. but
        > it does not matter, we process information as we would.
        > I am just niw trying to get together a reply with that
        > Messalian-Alchemists excerpt..]


        Thanks, consider it posted. I'm looking forward to your thoughts on
        the Messalians and the art of alchemy.

        Sincerely,
        Magusadeptus
      • Terje Bergersen
        ... With regards to the excerpt: Are the means by which Alchemy is designated a sacred art qualified and explained in the book? Is it established, with
        Message 3 of 10 , Oct 2, 2003
          Magusadeptus wrote:
          > Perhaps this will help clarify. Here is the source that prompted my
          > question about the Messalians:
          >
          > " The occultation of ancient alchemy's theoretical component can be
          > partially explained by religious considerations. Alchemy, a sacred
          > art
          > in the Hellenistic East, employed the metal-tinting recipes as part of
          > a redemptive ritual. Thus it competed with the new redemptive god of
          > the Christians, who suppressed the alchemical texts. Despite
          > persecution
          > certain heretical Christian sects, particularly the Gnostics,
          > continued to
          > secretly practice the Sacred Art. It has recently been suggested that
          > the alchemical-technological recipes may have passed surreptitiously
          > into the West with Cathar missionaries. The Cathars, in turn, learned
          > the
          > recipes from the Messalians, a medieval Gnostic sect that is known to
          > have practiced the Sacred Art and to have preserved secret books from
          > antiquity. Other recipes may have come with migrating craftsmen who
          > had been in contact with one or another of these heretical sectsÂ…"
          > page 32, Science And The Secrets Of Nature, Books of Secrets in
          > Medieval
          > and Early Modern Culture, William Eamon, Princeton University Press.


          With regards to the excerpt:

          Are the means by which Alchemy is designated a "sacred art" qualified and
          explained in the book?
          Is it established, with textual (and I don`t mean a citation from another
          book of this kind.. ) evidence and groundwork,
          that Alchemy -as a sacred art- originates and is employed -to those ends-
          in Hellenistic antiquity?
          That question is quite interesting, if it is qualified,"proved" or proved
          probable, and given foundation - it is worth the chapter or the half -
          which is the usual contigent in books like these..

          Of course, Alchemy is a very specific topic to many readers of this list,
          while it is a general and tenuous one to many others...
          I get the impression that the simple definition used for "alchemy" here
          has to do with the doctrines concerning "refinement", which is to say -
          "perfection" - I have this quiet suspicion that very many, too many to
          list, in fact, of the religious and philosophical remnants of our past and
          passing civilizations (our culture is turning into static..beyond that
          threshold lays oblivion), traditions,movements,groups..religions - in some
          way employ intelligence,immagination,intuition and a collective and
          individual effort towards one or another kind of such "refinement".
          To demonstrate the idea behind such "refinement" (which incidentally is
          also just a barely workable metaphor) you could employ mental images,
          examples which is not the thing itself, or entirely representative as such
          - but which gives you an impression of what is at stake and if not the
          processes themselves, at least the fact of some kind of process being
          involved; one such would be the very primitive concern of what it takes to
          purify a metal - or distill something - or indeed, "produce gold". That`s
          everyday usage of the term "alchemy" - hard work and concentration to
          which is added a bit of genius, and a pinch of brimstone - produced
          brilliance, pure gold..

          The nature of the formula as claimed by the Messalian heretics (according
          to Theodoret among others) could remind one somewhat of the overblown and
          optimistic evaluations of certain
          philosophers,authors,artistes,socioanthropologists,psychologists and
          others.. concerning the effect of the "Psychedelic"; by "cleansing the
          doors of perception" - in the case of the messalians by way of "fire
          baptism" and ascetic and devotionary discipline - in the case of Huxley
          and other Psychedelic pioneers - by ingesting, "under the right set and
          setting", a substance - a true vision or appreciation of reality, not the
          collective and dull reality, but an expanded, "higher" reality - which to
          the Messalians included angels,spirits,gods and so forth .The "effect" of
          the discipline as cited by Theodoret almost suggest a shamanic direction..
          which isnt too uncommon among pietists - consider the trances and
          ecstasies of the early Quakers, the Shakers, the noncomformist communalist
          sects of the Taborians and their russian brethren the Dukhobors etc. all
          sharing a lifestyle and perspective which includes the ideal of
          "perfection" and the acquisition of the vision of heaven,angels etc.
          through ascetic discipline and contemplative prayer.

          All this is well and good, if it can be established that the doctrinal
          platform of for instance the Messalians or the Cathars - include an
          understanding of human divinity or consciousness of the divine,being
          increased by effort and technique; I`ll admit that we may very well
          combine two words -sacred- and -art-, but do we with those ingredients get
          Alchemy?

          I suspect the author of that book of really sincerely and perhaps even
          intensively studying what Titus Burkhardt had to say about Alchemy being
          an Sacred Art..but I also suspect,being a suspicious bastard.. that he
          runs off with it, reversing the relationships, so *any* "Sacred Art", as
          qualified by ourselves, becomes "Alchemy", and uses the two so much
          interchangeably. This is typical of so-called "popular occultists" and
          thats where I spot that assertion which includes or employs a "total
          unknown", which if partially "known" - like through the articles
          I cited in my last post, also is controversial.

          The cited authors casual accusation that Christianity, in general , of
          trying to obliterate a "science" or initiatory tradition, that really did
          not please me or impress me either ; considering that the Alchemical
          tradition were sustained in particularly two areas, one western and one
          eastern, and these were chiefly Christian and Islamic; The religious
          imagry/ideas that the author obliquely refers to in the excerpt -
          originates from these two, to which is added an almost necessary
          "Platonic" perspective on the relationship between a manifest,solid and
          muteable/manipulative/elastic constitution of matter/physicality - and a
          spiritual world of forms,"ideals",patterns and "powers" which
          inform,"sustains" and penetrates into the physical and sensual domains in
          which man, The Quintessence, finds himself immersed. This dependence of
          the Christian philosophers who employed themselves with or of Alchemy in
          one variety or another, upon Platonism,especially neo-platonism, is very
          much in evidence. From what we can gather it is highly probable that
          Thomas of Aquinas, a Docteur and Sainte of the Catholic Church, authored
          the Aurora Consurgens,
          which is a very curious document which, read by modern or probably
          contemporary eyes..However, if we inspect the Messalians and their
          Orthodox (Eastern Orthodox) counterparts
          in late antiquity, we find little evidence of that inspiration, nor
          dependence. We find the suggestion that matter is corrupt through sin, sin
          having brought about the presence of
          evil spirits within material containers and forms,in particular - human
          bodies; if these selfsame bodies are exorcised and purified, and kept in a
          state of "perfection", wherein
          the individual makes no bidding for his fate and desires nothing, being
          impassionate about anything but doing the will of God, they become vessels
          of light and of the Holy Spirit.
          This is quite comparable to the speculations and approach of the medieval
          Homines Intelligae, or the "Brethren and Sistren of the Free Spirit" -
          Their evaluation of the "base"
          stage of humanity, the state of being for the majority of humankind, and
          its foundation; sin - is similar to that of the Messalians, while it is
          quite different from the Cathars, because the latter, while divided
          between Traducianism (wherein the same psychological or "psychic"
          substance or persona is spread thin through the
          generations originating in Adam (and sometimes in Adam and Eve)) and the
          belief of the pre-existence of each individual soul as angels fallen or
          trapped into the condition
          of incarnation,human bodies - who employs the idea of a metaphysical
          cause: the fall of higher intelligences into Mutiny against God and the
          "First Creation" (which appears
          to me to be so dependant on Origenes Peri Archon (On First Principles)
          that they are practically "Origenists") but most dramatically: the flawed,
          rebellious, "wicked" creation
          of the physical universe, or at least the earth and its inhabitants
          physical forms. A "Biblical Demiurge" theme.

          With the Cathars we have an "ascension theme"; they seek liberation as the
          end of all ascetic and contemplative disciplines used on their path; the
          ritual of the Consolamentum are a formal seal
          which signify towards the exterior authorities (the "powers" or "archons")
          that they formally belong to the Church of God and endeavoured to give
          Caesar what is Caesar`s :
          their bodies, their birthright, their properties and so forth; as such,
          the body is not claimed from the possession of evil spirits, but in a very
          real sense consigned and given up to the world.
          With the Messalians we have chiefly a "perfection theme"; they seek a
          glorified deification of man as a physical creature, the role of the
          "elite" in a Manichaean and Cathar (here they are
          similar) setting is to "show the way", the role of the "elite" with the
          Messalians is kingship,domination and leadership - a theocracy - the body
          is claimed from the possession of evil
          spirits, purified, perfected and ..according to Epiphanius, allowed
          certain licenses which would theologically now befall the perfected soul,
          while in a state of imperfection, any pleasure
          would be considered the privilege of the devil, which of course had to be
          denied him. In addition, the perfected would expect to receive all gifts
          and abilities ascribed traditionally to such
          a condition and to the "gifts of the holy spirit".

          This difference of opinion upon the theme of Soma is quite significant,
          from the early 2nd century
          dissent and disagreement, even among those which historians treat as
          "Orthodox", have encrouched the question of the physicality or somatical
          nature of Jesus/Christ,
          the somatic or spiritual nature of Jesus resurrection and ascent (and
          death, as shown in the Docetic variant) as put against the expected
          physical or somatical "eternal abode/life"
          of the elect or the true christians, their possible resurrection, and
          "journey to heaven" - whether there is a temporal "rest" which some are
          consigned to, an eternal physical hell
          or an eternal physical paradise.. even if the anatomy of God the Father is
          a complete and actual physical and material analogue to the human, since
          the human is considered
          "the image of God". Of course, they would not use those struggling and
          failing terms; agreement over terminology took up quite a lot of the time
          as well, and even marching out
          as party or rebellious to one or another doctrinal Council, it doesnt
          appear that everyone got the same idea of what had been agreed upon.. The
          Messalians heresy would be
          declared as such, treated as such and very strongly argued against *after
          the disappearance of the heresy*, when the same ideas,practices and
          attitudes were discovered
          and treated in other movements...In the late middle ages. At that time -
          the more sophisticated and literate followers of such, *would* have an
          idea about Alchemy and other arts,
          and would adapt either their theology to its imagry,ideas and terminology
          - or vice versa. The "perfection theme" remains in a more socialized
          fringe than the "ascension theme"-
          the strongest "ascension theme" religion or movement, which is not
          violently fought and polemized against by the west - is actually
          non-Christian and non-western in origin and expression;
          It`s Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism. The "perfection theme" in various kinds,
          also including the somatic view of the Messalians - you can find all over,
          but not particularized or put
          into a dogmatic body as such; Christian Science, New Thought, various
          trends of occultism including the so-called New Age - and yes, here we
          *do* find it conglomerated
          and synthetized with a symbology adapted from Alchemy.




          Pax Pleromae


          --
          Terje Dahl Bergersen
          terje@...
          http://terje.bergersen.net/
        • Magusadeptus
          Hello Terje Bergensen, ... qualified and ... another ... ends- ... proved ... half - ... designated Books of Secrets in antiquity and medieval periods and as
          Message 4 of 10 , Oct 4, 2003
            Hello Terje Bergensen,


            --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Terje Bergersen" <terje@b...>
            wrote:
            >


            >
            >
            > With regards to the excerpt:
            >
            >[ Are the means by which Alchemy is designated a "sacred art"
            qualified and
            > explained in the book?
            > Is it established, with textual (and I don`t mean a citation from
            another
            > book of this kind.. ) evidence and groundwork,
            > that Alchemy -as a sacred art- originates and is employed -to those
            ends-
            > in Hellenistic antiquity?
            > That question is quite interesting, if it is qualified,"proved" or
            proved
            > probable, and given foundation - it is worth the chapter or the
            half -
            > which is the usual contigent in books like these..]
            >
            > The primary focus of Eamon's book are the recipe and formula books
            designated
            Books of Secrets in antiquity and medieval periods and as such
            pertain to
            the practical side of alchemy as opposed to the philosophical side.
            I do not think that Eamon is wrong in referring to alchemy as a
            Sacred Art, as it is in accord with not only other scholarly books
            that I have read on the subject, but actual texts that are attributed
            to late antiquity.
            The literary tradition behind the recipe books dates back to
            Hellenistic times and has its roots in the alchemical tradition.
            Three of the earliest recipe books are Egyptian papyri known as the
            Leyden X, Stockholm papyrus and Papyrus Ebers.
            Three other alchemical manuscripts to which scholars attribute the
            originals to the Hellenistic period are the `The Precepts of Hermes
            Trismegistus', ` Zosimus, On Completion' and `Book of Comarius,
            Philosopher and High Priest Who Was Teaching Cleopatra the Divine,
            the Sacred Art of the Philosopher's Stone'. Sacred Art actually
            appears in the title of the latter, while Zosimus' work refers to
            alchemy as the Divine Art.





            [Of course, Alchemy is a very specific topic to many readers of this
            list,
            > while it is a general and tenuous one to many others...
            > I get the impression that the simple definition used for "alchemy"
            here
            > has to do with the doctrines concerning "refinement", which is to
            say -
            > "perfection" - I have this quiet suspicion that very many, too many
            to
            > list, in fact, of the religious and philosophical remnants of our
            past and
            > passing civilizations (our culture is turning into static..beyond
            that
            > threshold lays oblivion), traditions,movements,groups..religions -
            in some
            > way employ intelligence,immagination,intuition and a collective and
            > individual effort towards one or another kind of such "refinement".
            > To demonstrate the idea behind such "refinement" (which
            incidentally is
            > also just a barely workable metaphor) you could employ mental
            images,
            > examples which is not the thing itself, or entirely representative
            as such
            > - but which gives you an impression of what is at stake and if not
            the
            > processes themselves, at least the fact of some kind of process
            being
            > involved; one such would be the very primitive concern of what it
            takes to
            > purify a metal - or distill something - or indeed, "produce gold".
            That`s
            > everyday usage of the term "alchemy" - hard work and concentration
            to
            > which is added a bit of genius, and a pinch of brimstone - produced
            > brilliance, pure gold..
            >
            > The nature of the formula as claimed by the Messalian heretics
            (according
            > to Theodoret among others) could remind one somewhat of the
            overblown and
            > optimistic evaluations of certain
            > philosophers,authors,artistes,socioanthropologists,psychologists and
            > others.. concerning the effect of the "Psychedelic"; by "cleansing
            the
            > doors of perception" - in the case of the messalians by way of "fire
            > baptism" and ascetic and devotionary discipline - in the case of
            Huxley
            > and other Psychedelic pioneers - by ingesting, "under the right set
            and
            > setting", a substance - a true vision or appreciation of reality,
            not the
            > collective and dull reality, but an expanded, "higher" reality -
            which to
            > the Messalians included angels,spirits,gods and so
            forth .The "effect" of
            > the discipline as cited by Theodoret almost suggest a shamanic
            direction..
            > which isnt too uncommon among pietists - consider the trances and
            > ecstasies of the early Quakers, the Shakers, the noncomformist
            communalist
            > sects of the Taborians and their russian brethren the Dukhobors
            etc. all
            > sharing a lifestyle and perspective which includes the ideal of
            > "perfection" and the acquisition of the vision of heaven,angels etc.
            > through ascetic discipline and contemplative prayer.]
            >

            To my knowledge Psychedelics are not mentioned in Eamon's book.



            > [All this is well and good, if it can be established that the
            doctrinal
            > platform of for instance the Messalians or the Cathars - include an
            > understanding of human divinity or consciousness of the divine,being
            > increased by effort and technique; I`ll admit that we may very well
            > combine two words -sacred- and -art-, but do we with those
            ingredients get
            > Alchemy?
            >
            > I suspect the author of that book of really sincerely and perhaps
            even
            > intensively studying what Titus Burkhardt had to say about Alchemy
            being
            > an Sacred Art..but I also suspect,being a suspicious bastard.. that
            he
            > runs off with it, reversing the relationships, so *any* "Sacred
            Art", as
            > qualified by ourselves, becomes "Alchemy", and uses the two so much
            > interchangeably. This is typical of so-called "popular occultists"
            and
            > thats where I spot that assertion which includes or employs
            a "total
            > unknown", which if partially "known" - like through the articles
            > I cited in my last post, also is controversial.]

            Eamon also writes:
            "We are obviously concerned here with a cultural climate in which the
            distinction between gold making and gold faking was not as obvious as
            it is to us. As Joseph Needham observed, the distinction between
            aurification (counterfeiting gold and aurifaction
            (transmuting "ignoble" metals into gold) is not technological but
            cultural: it depends upon what you think you are doing. Indeed the
            alchemists real aim had little to do with either the making or
            counterfeiting of gold. His goal was a religious one: to project upon
            matter the mystical drama of the passion, death and resurrection of
            the god of the mystery cult. In the sudden appearance of alchemical
            texts at the beginning of the Christian era we witness the
            convergence of two esoteric traditions, one learned and the other
            popular, one representing the revealed wisdom of the East and the
            other by the craft tradition, the guardian of trade secretsÂ…" -page
            31, Science And The Secrets of Nature, William Eamon.

            >
            > [The cited authors casual accusation that Christianity, in
            general , of
            > trying to obliterate a "science" or initiatory tradition, that
            really did
            > not please me or impress me either ; considering that the Alchemical
            > tradition were sustained in particularly two areas, one western and
            one
            > eastern, and these were chiefly Christian and Islamic; The religious
            > imagry/ideas that the author obliquely refers to in the excerpt -
            > originates from these two, to which is added an almost necessary
            > "Platonic" perspective on the relationship between a manifest,solid
            and
            > muteable/manipulative/elastic constitution of matter/physicality -
            and a
            > spiritual world of forms,"ideals",patterns and "powers" which
            > inform,"sustains" and penetrates into the physical and sensual
            domains in
            > which man, The Quintessence, finds himself immersed. This
            dependence of
            > the Christian philosophers who employed themselves with or of
            Alchemy in
            > one variety or another, upon Platonism,especially neo-platonism, is
            very
            > much in evidence. From what we can gather it is highly probable that
            > Thomas of Aquinas, a Docteur and Sainte of the Catholic Church,
            authored
            > the Aurora Consurgens,
            > which is a very curious document which, read by modern or probably
            > contemporary eyes..]

            It is true that for a period the Church did not ban alchemy, but
            that is not to say that it supported it either. In 1317 Pope John
            XXII issued a Papul bull condemning the art. It is also true that
            various heretical sects were known to have practiced the art.
            For example, Nestorians and the Monophysites were aquainted with
            alchemical doctrines and carried these through Syria and Persia.
            "The immediate cause was the expulsion of the learned sect of the
            Nestorians from Constantinople in A.D. 431. They formed an active
            school of Greek learning at Edessa in the north of Syria. Thence they
            were expelled by the Greek Emporer in 489. They then moved to Nisibis
            in Mesopotamia and soon after A.D. 500 finally settled a Jundai-
            Shapur, the great Persian medical school, some distance north of
            Basra. The Nestorians long retained a knowledge of Greek and soon
            began to translate Greek works into Syriac. In the next century the
            Monophyisite Christians wer also expelled from Constantinople and
            migrated to Syria and Persia. Some, at least of the Greek works of
            alchemy were translated by them in Syriac." Page 68, The Alchemists,
            F. Sherwood Taylor
            I have read elsewhere that the Ophites practiced alchemy but the
            source eludes me at the moment. Nevertheless, Seligmann in his
            History Of Magic and the Occult, mentions that the serpent Ouroboros
            was worshipped by several sects of the Ophites. This symbol not only
            appears on gnostic gem amulets but is also a prominent symbol in
            alchemical texts. In Arcana Mundi, in the section on alchemical
            texts, Luck gives an Ouroboros symbol accompanied with the words "One
            is all, and by it all, and if one does not contain all, all is
            nothing." Page 367 Arcana Mundi , Magic and Occult in the Greek and
            Roman Worlds , Georg Luck.

            [However, if we inspect the Messalians and their
            > Orthodox (Eastern Orthodox) counterparts
            > in late antiquity, we find little evidence of that inspiration, nor
            > dependence. We find the suggestion that matter is corrupt through
            sin, sin
            > having brought about the presence of
            > evil spirits within material containers and forms,in particular -
            human
            > bodies; if these selfsame bodies are exorcised and purified, and
            kept in a
            > state of "perfection", wherein
            > the individual makes no bidding for his fate and desires nothing,
            being
            > impassionate about anything but doing the will of God, they become
            vessels
            > of light and of the Holy Spirit.
            > This is quite comparable to the speculations and approach of the
            medieval
            > Homines Intelligae, or the "Brethren and Sistren of the Free
            Spirit" -
            > Their evaluation of the "base"
            > stage of humanity, the state of being for the majority of
            humankind, and
            > its foundation; sin - is similar to that of the Messalians, while
            it is
            > quite different from the Cathars, because the latter, while divided
            > between Traducianism (wherein the same psychological or "psychic"
            > substance or persona is spread thin through the
            > generations originating in Adam (and sometimes in Adam and Eve))
            and the
            > belief of the pre-existence of each individual soul as angels
            fallen or
            > trapped into the condition
            > of incarnation,human bodies - who employs the idea of a metaphysical
            > cause: the fall of higher intelligences into Mutiny against God and
            the
            > "First Creation" (which appears
            > to me to be so dependant on Origenes Peri Archon (On First
            Principles)
            > that they are practically "Origenists") but most dramatically: the
            flawed,
            > rebellious, "wicked" creation
            > of the physical universe, or at least the earth and its inhabitants
            > physical forms. A "Biblical Demiurge" theme.
            >
            > With the Cathars we have an "ascension theme"; they seek liberation
            as the
            > end of all ascetic and contemplative disciplines used on their
            path; the
            > ritual of the Consolamentum are a formal seal
            > which signify towards the exterior authorities (the "powers"
            or "archons")
            > that they formally belong to the Church of God and endeavoured to
            give
            > Caesar what is Caesar`s :
            > their bodies, their birthright, their properties and so forth; as
            such,
            > the body is not claimed from the possession of evil spirits, but in
            a very
            > real sense consigned and given up to the world.
            > With the Messalians we have chiefly a "perfection theme"; they seek
            a
            > glorified deification of man as a physical creature, the role of the
            > "elite" in a Manichaean and Cathar (here they are
            > similar) setting is to "show the way", the role of the "elite" with
            the
            > Messalians is kingship,domination and leadership - a theocracy -
            the body
            > is claimed from the possession of evil
            > spirits, purified, perfected and ..according to Epiphanius, allowed
            > certain licenses which would theologically now befall the perfected
            soul,
            > while in a state of imperfection, any pleasure
            > would be considered the privilege of the devil, which of course had
            to be
            > denied him. In addition, the perfected would expect to receive all
            gifts
            > and abilities ascribed traditionally to such
            > a condition and to the "gifts of the holy spirit".
            >
            > This difference of opinion upon the theme of Soma is quite
            significant,
            > from the early 2nd century
            > dissent and disagreement, even among those which historians treat as
            > "Orthodox", have encrouched the question of the physicality or
            somatical
            > nature of Jesus/Christ,
            > the somatic or spiritual nature of Jesus resurrection and ascent
            (and
            > death, as shown in the Docetic variant) as put against the expected
            > physical or somatical "eternal abode/life"
            > of the elect or the true christians, their possible resurrection,
            and
            > "journey to heaven" - whether there is a temporal "rest" which some
            are
            > consigned to, an eternal physical hell
            > or an eternal physical paradise.. even if the anatomy of God the
            Father is
            > a complete and actual physical and material analogue to the human,
            since
            > the human is considered
            > "the image of God". Of course, they would not use those struggling
            and
            > failing terms; agreement over terminology took up quite a lot of
            the time
            > as well, and even marching out
            > as party or rebellious to one or another doctrinal Council, it
            doesnt
            > appear that everyone got the same idea of what had been agreed
            upon.. The
            > Messalians heresy would be
            > declared as such, treated as such and very strongly argued against
            *after
            > the disappearance of the heresy*, when the same ideas,practices and
            > attitudes were discovered
            > and treated in other movements...In the late middle ages. At that
            time -
            > the more sophisticated and literate followers of such, *would* have
            an
            > idea about Alchemy and other arts,
            > and would adapt either their theology to its imagry,ideas and
            terminology
            > - or vice versa. The "perfection theme" remains in a more socialized
            > fringe than the "ascension theme"-
            > the strongest "ascension theme" religion or movement, which is not
            > violently fought and polemized against by the west - is actually
            > non-Christian and non-western in origin and expression;
            > It`s Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism. The "perfection theme" in various
            kinds,
            > also including the somatic view of the Messalians - you can find
            all over,
            > but not particularized or put
            > into a dogmatic body as such; Christian Science, New Thought,
            various
            > trends of occultism including the so-called New Age - and yes, here
            we
            > *do* find it conglomerated
            > and synthetized with a symbology adapted from Alchemy.]
            >
            > The circulation of alchemical texts along sectarian groups does not
            necessarily dictate that the same religious doctrines are transmitted
            as well. Alchemy has since it inception had two sides one practical,
            the other religious. One sectarian group may interpret the religious
            side differently from the next. I suspect that a lot of what passes
            as alchemical doctrine may in fact be practical formula disguised as
            such. Imagine how chemical formulas would read if the elements on an
            elemental chart were substituted for words from the Bible. H2O might
            read as Holy Holy Omega. To the untrained eye this would appear as an
            incantation, but the Elect it is the formula for water. Ancient
            alchemists did not have the elemental chart, but they did couch their
            formulas in cryptic language equally as enigmatic.
            >
            >

            Sincerely,
            Magusadeptus
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