Saturday, December 29, 2007
JESUS IS THE BROTHER OF LUCIFER ?
The question has been raised by the Freepers, and answered by the Fairmormons
Do angels have brothers? Are humans and angels related? Are angels and God related?
"JOESPH SMITH AND KABBALAH: THE OCCULT CONNECTION" - PART 3
From the article:
Whatever one concludes about the varied hints of scattered early associations with Hermeticism, Joseph Smith had well-documented connections with one of the tradition's major legacies, Masonry....It is unlikely that Smith would have so fully involved himself and his church with the Masonic tradition if he had ot sensed therein some intrinsic compatibility with his own religion-making vision....Rite de Perfection, which in several degrees was influenced by Kabbalah. Kabbalah's importance in Masonic lore is also witnessed by Martinez de Pasqually and his late-eighteenth century Kabbalistic-Masonic restoration of ancient priesthood in the Order of Les Elus Cohen. Much of this Kabbalistic influence upon Masonry may have come from Rosicrucianism...infused as it was with alchemical and Kabbalistic symbolism. But some additional influence might be attributed to esoteric sources like the Frankist movement. The Frankist--followers of Jacob Frank, and successors to the Kabbalistically inclined Sabbatean heresy--had become active in Central European Masonic organizations in the late eighteenth century....
...the Scottish Rite developed by Pike was an evolution of the eighteenth-century French Masonic
John C. Bennett, one of the more eigmatic figures in Mormon history, was the indisputable impetus to Masonry's introduction in Nauvoo....
At about this time the practice of "spiritual wifery" or plural marriage was also introduced. Bennett made several exaggerated claims in his later exposes about libertine sexual practices, claiming the women of Nauvoo were inducted into three ritual orders based on the sexual favors expected of them. Such claims are not tenable, but nonetheless recent historians have noted the apparent association of the Relief Society with Masonry. And Bennett's more slanderous claims aside, it is a fact that the female leaders of the Relief Society in Nauvoo were at one time all wives of Joseph Smith....
During Joseph's final years in Nauvoo...his connection with Kabbalah becomes more concrete. In the spring of 1841 there apparently arrived in Nauvoo an extraordinary library of Kabbalistic writings belonging to a European Jew and convert to Mormonism who evidently new [sic] Kabbalah and its principal written works. This man, Alexander Neibaur, would soon become the prophet's friend and companion....
When and how Neibaur first came in contact with Kabbalah remains a mystery, though a careful evaluation of his history and personal travels offers a few hints. Given his father's position, his childhood in western Poland, his studies in Berlin and his subsequent conversion to Christianity, some contact with a reservoir of Kabbalistic knowledge among Sabbatean or Frankist Jews should be considered....That he not only knew something of Kabbalah, but apparently possessed a collection of original Jewish Kabbalistic works in Nauvoo, is however documented in material almost totally overlooked by Mormon historians.
Owens moves on to discuss the evidence of Kabbalah in the "King Follett Discourse":
On Sunday afternoon, 7 April 1844, Joseph Smith stood before a crowd estimated at 10,000 and delivered his greatest sermon, the King Follett Discourse....Zohar for help in supporting his introduction of these radical doctrinal assertions.
Van Hale, in his analysis of the discourse's doctrinal impact, notes four declarations made by Joseph Smith which have had an extraordinary and lasting impact on Mormon doctrine: men can become gods; there exist many Gods; the gods exist one above another innumerably; and God was once as man now is. Interestingly, these were all concepts that could, by various exegetical approaches, be found in the Hermetic-Kabbalistic tradition. But even more astoundingly, it appears Joseph actually turned to the
At this point Owens presents a complicated reinterpretation of the first words of Genesis called the Bereshith bara Elohim that I will not go into. If you are interested in the details, refer to the article.
Joseph wove Hebrew into several of his discourses during the final year of his life. In these late Nauvoo discourses, however, he interpreted the Hebrew not as a linguist but as a Kabbalist--a reflection of his own predilections and of the fortuitous aid of his tutor, Alexander Neibaur.146 But in conclusion, we need to step back from this discussion of words and see that behind them resides a unique vision, a vision characteristic of the occult Hermetic-Kabbalistic tradition. Harold Bloom called the King Follett Discourse "one of the truly remarkable sermons ever preached in America." It is also a remarkable evidence of the prophet's visionary ties to the archaic legacy of Jewish Gnosticism and to the single most influential force in the evolution of Christian occultism: the Kabbalah....
As Bloom noted, in Kabbalah and perhaps in Smith's practice "the function of sanctified human sexual intercourse essentially is theurgical....
It would be foolish at this late date to maintain that any single tradition engendered Joseph Smith's religious vision. Joseph was an American original--and we need not fear him being cast as a Masonic pundit, folk magician, Rosicrucian mystic, medieval Kabbalist, or ancient Gnostic. Nonetheless, we must recognize that something in the nature of the prophet, some element of his own intrinsic vision, did resonate with the occult traditions of the Western spiritual quest. Into the spirit and matter of his religious legacy, he wove these sympathies. Joseph carried his silver talisman, inscribed with the sigil of Jupiter and Hebrew letters cast in a magic square, upon his person to his death. He called Masonry a remnant of true priesthood, and over a thousand of his men in Nauvoo, including nearly every then current or future priesthood leader of his nascent church, went through the three separate steps of ritual initiation leading to the degree of Master Mason.
Dr. William J. Hamblin, of the Maxwell Institute in Provo, has reviewed Owen's article. I found the cached version easier to load. In his review he notes that
The Mormon History Association recently awarded Lance S. Owens's "Joseph Smith and Kabbalah: The Occult Connection" its Best Article Award for 1995. With such an imprimatur the article deserves a closer critical evaluation than it has apparently heretofore received.
The refutation is longer than the article and goes into a good bit of technical detail. I was not convinced. Much of it concerns a question as to whether Joseph Smith could read Arabic. However, if there was a Hebrew translation of the material in question, and if Neibur could read Hebrew, this is not relevant. He does address the bedrock fact that it was a mystical experience that provided the source of Joseph Smith's religion but claims "kabbalists' own descriptions of their mystical experiences are fundamentally dissimilar to Joseph's descriptions of his prophetic experiences." There are a wide variety of experiences obtainable through Kabbalism. Has Hamblin compared all of them with Smith's experience. If not, how could Hamblin be sure that Smith did not use one of them? Smith did not concoct Mormonism out of his own experience or speculation. It was given to him by a disembodied spirit.
While arguing that Smith is mistaken in claiming that his quoted passage of the Zohar is from the opening paragraphs, Hamblin does admit it is found on pages 93 and 94 of a 376-page translation, so Smith apparently does quote the Zohar, though he either got his citation wrong or was using a different translation.
In another argument Hamblin states:
That the faithful shall be even as Christ and the Father certainly implies human deification, and thereby plurality of gods. Are we to assume that theZohar influenced the writing of the Book of Mormon? How do the alleged kabbalistic influences on Joseph in 1844 explain Doctrine and Covenants 76:57-58? "And [those in the Celestial Kingdom] are priests of the Most High, after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of Enoch, which was after the order of the Only Begotten Son. Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God." This passage was revealed in February 1832, several years before Joseph began studying Hebrew, and a decade before his alleged studies in the Zohar. Why is the concept of the plurality of Gods found in 1832, if it derives from the Zohar?
That would rather appear to claim that Mormonism does in fact claim that humans become gods. Hamblin claims Owen's source is biblical--Psalm 82:6, John 10:34-35. A Christian does not believe in the plurality of the Gods, so Scripture can hardly be the source. It could be possible that the angel Maroni was the source. If so, a subsequent discovery of the material in the Zohar would serve to confirm a claim that Smith dabbled in the occult.
Hamblin offers another curious claim regarding Scripture:
ADM/Adam in Hebrew simply meansman or human. It is generally not a proper name in the Bible.
A picture of the Mormon Temple garments.
A Phoenix Masonry website offers an article by S. H. Goodwin titled "Mormonism and Masonry" where, on page 34, there is a picture of the west facade of the Nauvoo Temple showing the inverted pentagrams near the top. These are shown in more detail on page 51 where the sunstone on the Nauvoo Lodge is also shown.
A GayMormon website delves deeper into the occult symbolism on the Salt Lake City temple.
Picture of the restored Nauvoo Temple showing the sunstones.
The website of the Institute for Religious Research describing "Occultic and Masonic Influence in Early Mormonism"
Bill Schnoebelen's comparison between Mormonism and occult groups including Satanism.
Wikipedia's colorful history of John C. Bennett, close associate of Joseph Smith, including spiritual wifery.
FROM THE EMAILBOX
Spirit & Life®
"The words I spoke to you are spirit and life." (Jn 6:63)
Human Life International e-Newsletter
Volume 01, Number 98 | Friday, December 28, 2007
Note: Human Life International wishes each and every one of our Spirit and Life readers a truly blessed Christmas season full of grace and mercy.
This week's feature writer is Mr. Joseph Meaney, HLI Director of International Coordination, who has visited more than 50 countries of the world in a decade of service to the cause of life. He writes today on a terrible modern version of the Massacre of the Innocents.
King Herod Revisited
The Church gives us this disturbing feast of the martyrdom of the innocent children of Bethlehem and its surrounding region, only three days after Christmas. Pro-lifers naturally connect the feast day with the modern-day massacre of the pre-born innocents. One aspect of the account that is seldom mentioned in modern parallels, however, is the selective nature of the killing. Out of fear of a rival king, Herod ordered the deaths of baby boys just as in earlier times Pharaoh told the midwives to kill all Hebrew sons at birth to ensure their continued enslavement in Egypt.
The pagan Roman writer Macrobius says that Caesar Augustus, on receiving news of the massacre of boys under the age of two and the killing of Herod's own son, exclaimed "I'd rather be Herod's sow than Herod's son." History records that Herod the Great did not spare his own family in the many murders he ordered. Three of his sons were executed, and the last one, Antipater, was killed only after his father received permission to do so from the emperor Augustus shortly before the birth of Christ. The most horrifying fact in abortion is that the baby is condemned to death by his or her own parents. When the Bible seeks to express the infinite love of God for us, it uses the analogy of a mother's tender love. What culture can survive when children are not protected by their own parents?
Today, thanks to prenatal testing and ultrasounds, parents often discover the sex of the child they are expecting. Worldwide this has led to the phenomenon experts refer to as sex-selection abortion. Since the 1970s a significant component within the larger abortion holocaust is the over 50 million girls "missing" at birth in China, a further 10 million in India, and huge numbers more from other nations on all continents. How strange it is that precisely in the decades since the rise of radical feminism, our contemporary Herods eliminate girls rather than boys. Feminists do not shrink from criminal hypocrisy when they strive to block resolutions at the United Nations condemning sex-selection abortion!
History shows that the mighty and the educated are generally those behind great crimes. People who seek to dismiss the horror of sex-selection abortion do not realize that it is a growing trend and mistakenly believe it only happens among the uneducated. They are then confounded by the evidence that birthrates are most skewed in favor of boys in the richest provinces of India and China and among the most literate and educated classes. Even several nations in Europe are implicated in the killing of baby girls.
Vox in Rama audita est: ploratus et ululatus multus; Rachel plorans filios suos, et noluit consolari, quia non sunt. A voice was heard in Rama, weeping and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be comforted, because they are no more. (Mt 2:18) "Because they are no more" follows immediately upon the slaughter of the Innocents in the Gospel of Matthew and reflects the immense grief the death of a baby causes. They were the inspiration for Project Rachel, the life-transforming apostolate of post-abortion healing that started in the USA and spread worldwide. The Divine Mercy of God experienced in this ministry offers the hope post-abortive mothers need to find peace and the courage to be "Silent No More."
To overcome the grief of losing a child we must follow the Way, the Truth and the Life. The tyrant's wrath was impotent against the Christ Child and ultimately even against his infant victims who were taken up to Heaven. Despite the reign of modern Herods and the current massacre of innocents, we are sustained in our faith, hope and love during this Christmas season as we pray for the rapid return of Christ the King.
Copyright 2007 - Human Life International
Permission granted for unlimited use. Credit required.
Friday, December 28, 2007
"JOSEPH SMITH AND KABBALAH: THE OCCULT CONNECTION"
It has been mentioned in comments boxes that Mormonism and Masonry are similar. Lance S. Owens takes it one step further in his article by the above title.
The article has received recognition in Mormon circles. It was originally published in "Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought", Vol. 27, No. 3, Fall 1994.
The first part of the article describes the nature of Kabbalah. Owens takes the position that it is "the tradition of the original knowledge Adam received from God" and "the secret of God's revelation to Adam." He claims that
In the thirteenth century, the oral legacy of this Jewish gnosis increasingly took written form and several Kabbalistic manuscripts began to circulate, first in Spain and southern France and then throughout Europe and the Mediterranean. By far the most important text emerging in this period was the Zohar...
Further he tells us:
Kabbalah used the term "tradition" in a radically deconstructed sense. The tradition it guarded was not a dogmatic or theosophical legacy, but a pathway to prophetic consciousness. The teachins of Kabbalah were not dogmatic assertions, but maps intended to lead a dedicated and worthy student to experiential cognition. Unlike the rabbinical tradition which placed the prophets in a past age and closed the canon of revelation, Kabbalah asserted that the only valid interpretation of scripture came when the individual passed beyond words and returned to the original vision. Though such a visionary experience was shared in full measure only by a vital elite among Kabbalists, it nonetheless was the sustaining heart of Kabbalah. In the inner sanctum of his contemplation the adept Kabbalist found--so he claimed--no less than the vision granted the ancient prophets; with them he became one. To speak pseudoepigraphically with their voice was a natural expression of the experience.
Owens uses a figure of the Tree of Life and offers explains the man-woman duality:
Not only was the Divine plural in Kabbalistic theosophy, but in its first subtle emanation from unknowable unity God had taken on a dual form as Male and Female; a supernal Father and Mother, Hokhmah and Binah, were God's first emanated forms. Kabbalists used frankly sexual metaphors to explain how the creative intercourse of Hokhmah and Binah generated further creation. Indeed, sexual motifs and imagery permeate Kabbalistic theosophy, and the Divine mystery of sexual conjunction--a hierosgamos or sacred wedding--captured Kabbalistic imagination. Marital sexual intercourse became for the Kabbalist the highest mystery of human action mirroring the Divine: an ecstatic sacramental evocation of creative union, an image of God's masculine and feminine duality brought again to unity. Of interest to Mormonism, among several groups of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Kabbalists, polygamous and variant sexual relationships sometimes served as social expressions of these sacral mysteries.
After discussing Adam Kadmon, "the first primordial or archetypal Man", and the "uncreated divine spark", he moves on to Christian Kabbalism, where he cites Frances Yates, and discusses Pico della Mirandola, the de Medicis, Agrippa, and Hermeticism.
He tells us that "The process of creation has taken place on two planes, one above and one below----The lower occurrence corresponds to the higher." It is a typical review of occultism.
In Part 2 he moves into Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry, calling them "A Legacy of Occult Societies". Here the reader finds the Order of the Elus Cohen, Martinex de Pasqually, Louis Claude St. Martin and Emanuel Swedenborg, just to name a few. Here he tells us
From this fertile bed sprang numerous occult fraternities and societies: socities Kabbalistic, alchemical, magical, and Masonic. And though they generally used a Christian vocabulary, the intentions they fostered could appear antithetical to orthodox Christianity.
Near the end of part 2 he moves into a discussion of "Joseph Smith, Hermeticism, and Kabbalah". Here we are told
D. Michael Quinn extensively details evidences of Joseph's early contact with Hermeticism, though he emphasizes the folk magical aspect. He offers the Smith family's carefully preserved magical parchments and dagger, and the talisman Joseph carried on his person. One recognizes the prominent use of Hebrew on both the parchments and talisman, although the reason for this has not been put in clear context by Mormon historians: the Hebrew came from Kabbalah. As Quinn documents, knowledge necessary for the preparation of the Smith family magical implements could have been obtained from books of magic available in this time and region, and such materials might have been acquired specifically to aid magical activities associated with treasure seeking. Preparation for and proper performance of a magical ritual--including production of a ceremonial dagger or parchment--was, however, a lengthy and complicated venture demanding knowledge of an arcane vocabulary. The vast host of angels and spirits addressed in diffeent magical rituals had specific names (again drawn from Kabbalah), elaborate magical signs, and varied functions within the natural and celestial hierarchies. From this complexity, magic lore made it clear that there were definite existential dangers in getting the details wrong. It thus seems likely that in addition to information gleaned from books, family members would have augmented their knowledge by associations with individuals experienced in ceremonial magic and the occult arts. In this company Joseph Smith might have first been exposed to a person versed in the deep breadth of Hermeticism.
One individual fits this description: the "occult mentor" identified by Quinn, Dr. Luman Walter(s). Reputed to be a physician and magician (the two were sometimes closely associated in that age), Walter is known to have been in Joseph's and his family's circle of acquaintances prior to 1827. He was also a distant cousin of Joseph's future wife, Emma Hale.87 As Quinn notes, "Brigham Young described the unnamed New York magician as having travel extensively through Europe to obtain `profound learning,'" and others identified Walter as "a physician who studied Mesmerism in Europe before meeting Joseph Smith."88 Walter family records and legend called him "clairvoyant."89 If these statements are generally accurate, Walter had considerable knowledge of Hermetic traditions. During this period in Europe (and to a lesser degree in America) a physician with interests in Mesmer, magic, clairvoyance, and "profound learning" moved in a milieu nurtured by the legacies of Hermeticism. By definition, such a physician stood in a tradition dominated by the medical and esoteric writings of Paracelsus, steeped in alchemy, and associated closely with Rosicrucian philosophy.90 As an individual also interested in hidden treasures, Walter might have taken particular note of Paracelsus' admonition on Kabbalah's import...
...a work recently published by Mormon author Joe Sampson is interesting.101 Sampson evaluated Joseph Smith's writings, including the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, and noted a pattern of word and concept usage in several verses which reproduces both the common English names and the general hierarchical structure of the Kabbalistic Tree of Sefiroth.102 While Sampson carries his argument beyond what a less intuitive student might discern, several of his examples deserve consideration. And though this Kabbalistic pattern in Smith's revelatory writings may be accidental, it also could suggest some earlier exposure at least to the concept of the Tree of Sefiroth. Sampson extends his thesis by suggesting that Smith's translation of the Book of Abraham from the Egyptian papyrus was a Kabbalistic work in the classic sense. Though Sampson's development of this argument is itself cryptically Kabbalistic, his theme again deserves scrutiny. Kabbalah was, as he notes, the tradition of prophetic interpretation. It encouraged a creative rereading of sacred texts in the quest for a return to the primary vision which was the single source of knowledge and scripture. In nature (if not in content) Smith's translation of the Book of Mormon, his retranslation of Genesis, and his interpretation of the Book of Abraham papyruses all can be seen as expressions of the primary interpretive vision Kabbalah mandated from prophetic consciousness. Whether this was a reflection of Joseph's contact with Kabbalah, or just of Joseph, remains an open question.103 But beyond doubt, this interpretive activity fits within the evolved Hermetic-Kabbalistic vision of a true prophet's work.
He is speculating, of course. Yet when I remember that Joseph Smith claimed to have gotten his material from a visionary experience with the angel Maroni, and when I consider the role played by angels in Kabbalah, I am inclined to take Owens more seriously.
That brings me to the third part of the article which I will save for later.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
PULLMAN INTERVIEW IN THE GUARDIAN
From an article dated Dec. 10, 2003:
If all that didn't fuel a chap's vanity, Pullman has also been labelled anti-God because his good guys take on God. This, though, is to misread His Dark Materials, which tells the story of Lyra. In his trilogy, Lyra re-enacts the story of the original Eve. He takes, I say, the Jewish view of Eve. Namely, that what happened in the Garden of Eden was the beginning of the world as we know it (the story appears in Bereishit, the beginning of the Five Books of Moses, for that reason), and not the great Fall, or end of all good, which is the Christian version. "Exactly right," says Pullman.
GOING TO THE SOURCE
In a comments box below, a commenter named "Craig" suggested going to Mormon documents to get the truth of what they believe.
Brigham Young University is a Mormon school. Within BYU is the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Relgious Scholarship. At their website is "The Doctrine of Exaltation, or Becoming a God". Within the article is the following:
Ultimately, those couples who are exalted become gods: omniscient beings with the capacity to organize matter into new universes, provide intelligence with spirit bodies and thus have spirit children, and offer these spirit children the possibility of exaltation.82
We must seek earnestly to obey every covenant that we make in the temple. The Lord has said that if we are true and faithful, we will pass by the angels to our exaltation. We will become gods.83
Those who receive exaltation in the celestial kingdom through faith in Jesus Christ will receive special blessings. . . . They will become gods. . . . They will have their righteous family members with them and will be able to have spirit children also. These spirit children will have the same relationship to them as we do to our Heavenly Father. They will be an eternal family. . . . They will have everything that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have—all power, glory, dominion, and knowledge.84
Every man who reigns in celestial glory is a God to his dominions.85
Thus, exalted couples, when they become gods, imitate and continue what was done for them by their own loving Heavenly Parents.
The ultimate source of the teaching that man can become a god and rule his own kingdom as the God we believe in rules ours is contained in the "King Follett Discourse", the last sermon given by Joseph Smith before he was martyred. You can read it here, including:
Here, then, is eternal life--to know the only wise and true God. And you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves--to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done--by going from a small degree to another, from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you are able to sit in glory as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power.
And I want you to know that in the last days, while certain individuals are proclaiming his name, God is not trifling with you or me; it is the first principle of consolation. How consoling to the mourner when he is called to part with a husband, wife, father, mother, child, or dear relative, to know that although the earthly tabernacle shall be dissolved that dear one shall rise in immortal glory, not to sorrow, suffer, or die any more but shall be God's heirs and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. What is it? It is to inherit the same glory, the same power, and the same exaltation until you ascend the throne of eternal power the same as those who are gone before. What did Jesus do? Why, I do the things I saw my Father do when worlds came rolling into existence. I saw my Father work out his kingdom with fear and trembling, and I must do the same; and when I get my kingdom I shall present it to my Father so that he obtains kingdom upon kingdom, and it will exalt his glory. And so Jesus treads in his tracks to inherit what God did before. It is plain beyond disputation.
INHABITING OTHER WORLDS
I'd like to return to "The Existence of Other Worlds" by Baruch Crowley from The Jewish Magazine which I blogged yesterday. In reading through the article one passage jumped off the page. Allow me to first explain why.
Many years ago a family member married a woman who was raised in the Mormon faith. Curiosity led me to research what Mormons believe. The most striking aspect of that faith is its belief that after death the righteous Mormon will inhabit and rule other planets. In Crowley's article is a passage that addresses essentially the same thing, but he is talking about Judaism, not Mormonism. He writes:
...the Oral Tradition states that each and every trueTzaddik
(supremely righteous person) will eventually become the governor of a planet in outer space. This interplanetary scenario is all set to occur in the post-Messianic age, following a general resurrection from the dead. According to the Talmud, the quote in the Book of Isaiah, (40:3) "They shall rise like the eagle", refers to the righteous being able to take off and fly into outer space.
Rabbi Horowitz was of the opinion that many planets are inhabited and that just as sea creatures differ from land creatures, because of their different environments, so too will natives of other worlds differ from human beings.
The last thing I would expect to find within Judaism is a Mormon doctrine, yet there it is. In an effort to verify that this is, in fact, a Mormon doctrine, I found MormonInfo.org. This is a Christian apologetics website. It compares Christianity and Mormonism. There you can read:
Worthy Mormons may become gods to create, rule over and receive worship from their own worlds some day. They will do this exclusively as the god or the team of gods for that world or that set of worlds (like the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are for this world or this set of worlds), and thus the God of this world will not perform those functions there.
An ex-Mormon puts it this way:
1 - God was once a man who lived on another planet
This is the most important teaching of Mormonism. Nothing else comes close to it. We believe that God was once a mortal man on another planet who progressed by living in obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel he had on his world, then he died. He became a resurrected man and evolved to become a god. He is still married now (some early leaders say he is a polygamist) and created this world. We worship only the one true god, which is really one god among millions or billions or more. We believe that we will follow in God's footsteps by becoming perfect and we too will become Gods and Goddesses creating spirit children and peopling other worlds. The Mormon TV commercials showing family togetherness is the foundation for life in the next world - as a family - as gods.
Reference: Journal of Discourses Vol. 6 Page 4, 1844. Joseph Smith speaking:
"...you have to learn to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you, - namely, by going from one small degree to another..."
Reference: Journal of Discourses Vol. 6 Page 275, 1852. Brighan Young speaking:
"After men have got their exaltations and their crowns - have become Gods..."
In an article at Catholic Answers, Fr. Brian Harrison discusses "The Wacky World of Joseph Smith And the un-Christianity of Mormon Theology":
Some Catholics are aware of the demonic dimension of reality and of the extensive, well-documented evidence of strange preternatural phenomena that sometimes occur in connection with dabbling in the occult. They will not need to insist that the whole phenomenon must necessarily be explained in entirely "natural" terms.
The Scriptures predict the arrival of false prophets with deceptive "signs and wonders," and testify to Satan’s ability to disguise himself as an "angel of light" (2 Cor. 11). If there were indeed some extraordinary phenomena—visions, voices, automatic writing or whatever—this could help to explain the early growth of the Mormon Church. Such phenomena, coupled with the success of the movement and the adulation of ever-growing crowds of converts, may well have led Smith to believe increasingly in his own divine mission, regardless of his duplicity. Such self-deception seems to be a fairly common psychological phenomenon amongst cult leaders. ...
Although Mormons commonly talk about "God" in a way that might create an impression of the unique Being of orthodox Christianity, they believe in the existence of many "Gods" ruling the many worlds scattered throughout the universe. ...
by their own admission, Mormons worship a being who is not necessarily the Supreme Being; he is merely our local deity. ...
the Latter-Day Saints’ polytheistic gospel proclaims a whole race or "species" of divine beings of which "Heavenly Father" is only one member. ...
Joseph Smith declared, "I will preach on the plurality of Gods... .
Our Father in heaven is married to at least one female deity, and together they procreated all the billions of human beings as "spirit children."
If we accept the Mormon gospel and live virtuously, we shall not only rise again physically along with all mankind but will keep on developing until we ourselves are Gods.
And if that isn't enough to send up red flags for Catholics, Fr. Harrison adds:
Respected LDS theological opinion surmises that Jesus himself married Mary Magdalene, Martha, and possibly others and naturally appeared first to "his own dear wives" after the Resurrection (Whalen, p. 123).
THE CONVERSION OF TONY BLAIR
When someone expresses interest in the Catholic faith and inquires about joining the Church, he is directed to sign up for 8 months of RCIA during which he will be instructed in Catholic beliefs. If at the end of the classes he still wishes to become Catholic, he will be baptised if he has not already been, and confirmed at the Easter Vigil together with any other potential converts who study along with him.
But if the interested party happens to have been the Prime Minister of England, all of the RCIA business apparently is waived and the candidate is received in a private ceremony, causing me to wonder if there is some sort of elite inner circle that we Catholics in the pew are not privy to.
The decision by Tony Blair to convert to Catholicism has sparked a row over his government's policies during his term in office as prime minister of the UK.
Mr Blair was welcomed into the Roman Catholic church on Friday night by the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor -- leader of the Roman Catholics in England and Wales.
I have argued many times that Roman Catholicism has no inner core of elite. This article now has me wondering if I and the majority of pew sitters are being deceived?
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
THE WORLD OF JEWISH COMMENTARY
Statements about the beliefs of Judaism are very frequently preceded by the name of the Rabbi who said it. This commentary of the Rabbis is the foundation on which belief rests along with the Torah and Talmud, and the Oral Law. Yet it doesn't take long to discover that all Rabbis are hardly in agreement as to what these sources mean.
Recently I came across an article at the website of the Jewish Magazine in which I found an article titled "The Existence of Other Worlds" by Baruch Crowley. Crowley gives the typical Rabinnic citations for the beliefs he offers, but what beliefs they are!
To begin he quotes Hebrew Scripture as the basis of his claims:
...in Hebrew Scripture and within the mystical or metaphysical tradition known asKabbalah, there are numerous references to worlds other than our own, with life on them, both corporeal and incorporeal. ...
In the Book of Judges...(5:23), "Curse Meroz, said the angel of the Lord, curse bitterly its inhabitants; because they did not come to the help of the Lord against the mighty men."
The Douay Rheims reads: "Curse ye the land of Meroz, said the angel of the Lord: curse the inhabitants thereof, because they came not to the help of the Lord, to help his most valiant men."
Of this passage Crowley writes:
...what does this 'Meroz' reference really allude to? In his book Sefer HaBrit ('Book of the Covenant'), Rabbi Pinchas Eliyahu Horowitz, (18th century ) quotes as his authority a clear Talmud reference when he contends that Meroz is an inhabited planet somewhere in outer space. Furthermore, he states emphatically that G-d created an infinite number of worlds, of physical, spiritual and inter-dimensional nature. This view is upheld by the Ari'zal (Rabbi Yitzchak Luria), who also spoke of an 'infinite number of spiritual worlds'. All of this might even be taken to indicate that the preceding battle described in Judges may even have extended beyond the boundaries of our planet's surface, unless, of course, the first reference is merely astrological.
Rabbi Horowitz refers specifically to 18,000 physical planets -- which is also recorded in the Talmud -- and claims that the stars are really worlds of a kind each with a place of habitation. Again in the Talmud, there is a reference to something like 1018 stars in the observable universe, a figure that is very close to the accepted number that can now be seen. Commenting on the 18,000 worlds mentioned above, the Oral Tradition states that each and every true Tzaddik (supremely righteous person) will eventually become the governor of a planet in outer space. This interplanetary scenario is all set to occur in the post-Messianic age, following a general resurrection from the dead. According to the Talmud, the quote in the Book of Isaiah, (40:3) "They shall rise like the eagle", refers to the righteous being able to take off and fly into outer space.
Rabbi Horowitz was of the opinion that many planets are inhabited and that just as sea creatures differ from land creatures, because of their different environments, so too will natives of other worlds differ from human beings.
Does that make your jaw drop? Does it sound like the rantings of the New Agers? But just how far distant from this concept is the Catholic belief in heaven, purgatory, and hell? We, too, believe in other spiritual worlds which angels inhabit.
Crowley claims the Talmud's extraterrestrials are "strangely known in Kabbalistic literature as 'masters of intellegence and science.'" Catholics believe that angel intellegence is superior to human. To further blow your mind, it is a known fact that Thomas Edison was an occultist. So was Marie Curie. Were electricity and nuclear war a gift from fallen angels? But I'm digressing...back to Baruch Crowley's article...
He tells us:
Over and above the many instances of worlds in outer space noted in the Talmud, Zohar and elsewhere, there is, even more surprisingly, abundant reference to a hollow planet earth, with multi-layered worlds existing right beneath our feet. In fact, it's a case of, [ahem!]'as above, so below' [bolding mine - ct] -- echoing the Kabbalistic 'unified theory of knowledge'. Just as there are said to be 'seven Heavens', so too is it recorded that there are seven nether worlds, one above the other, each inhabited by its own species. Indeed, one notable source, the 17th century Kabbalistic classic, Hesed L'Avraham by Rabbi Avraham Azulai, tells us that there are as many as 365 different species of beings living under the earth's surface. These are said to be half human and half animal, perhaps something like the legendary centaur.
The Zohar tells us, for one example, of an amazing encounter by Rabbi Hiya and Rabbi Yosi with one of the residents of an underground realm called Arka, who are human-like but have two heads! The two sages apparently stumbled upon this alien individual when he came up from an underground cave. The venerable Rabbis Hiya and Yosi actually conversed with him, the subject of what must have been a most intriguing conversation being the strange being's desire to know all about conditions in our surface world.
Kabbalists believe that the underground worlds are also the domain of the so-called mazikim, the troublemakers or demons, and of a category of being known as the 'fallen angels'.
According to the Zohar, Adam, the original forefather of the human species, visited all of the subterranean worlds, and left progeny in each.
But there is something even more unexpected in this article.
In Otzar haHaim, Rabbi Yitzchak puts forward a very profound argument relating to the concept of Sabbatical cycles that contradicts the popular fundamentalist interpretation of the six days of creation and a six thousand year old earth.
Referring to an ancient Kabbalistic work, Sefer haTemunah, the work of the first century Rabbi Nehunya Ben haKanah, Rabbi Yitzchak works out a chronology using as his base calculation figure the 'divine year' taken from Psalms 90:4 (a 'divine day' equals 1000 earth years; a 'divine year' is thus 365,250 earth years) . The Talmud states that the world will exist for seven 7,000 year 'Sabbatical' or Shemita cycles, each one different than its predecessor. Moreover, it will become desolated during every seven-thousandth year. Rabbi Yitzchak concludes that, as there are seven Sabbatical cycles in a Jubilee, the world will exist for 49,000 years. Human civilizations will thus also rise and fall seven times during this period.
Rabbi Moshe Ben-Yehudah, a modern Kabbalist living in Jerusalem, sums this up very succinctly: "With the completion of each succeeding cycle of 6,000 years, the entire creation is brought one step higher in its (never ending) process of Tikun (Rectification), Birrur (Purification) and Aliyah (Elevation). This occurs in such a way that each particular level is elevated to the position of the one above it."
There is some dispute as to which cycle we are now in - some Kabbalistic sources maintain that it is the second cycle, while others believe we are already in the seventh and final cycle.
Is he speaking of a Manvantara, and/or its divisions into Yuga? The translation from Manvantara to the Sabbatical Cycle is not exact, yet the similarity in concept and its contradition in the Catholic concept of creation is striking.
Rene Guenon, in his book THE REIGN OF QUANTITY 7 THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES, bases his basic thesis on his belief in Manvantaras. Contemporary writer Charles Upton takes up Guenon's concept in his THE SYSTEM OF ANTICHRIST: TRUTH & FALSEHOOD IN POSTMODERNISM & THE NEW AGE. There is one essential difference, however. The Jewish cyclical concept posits an uplifting restoration, while the Guenonian cyclical concept posits a deterioration, and bases the claim on Hindu concepts. Catholics would see the end of the age descending into the reign of antiChrist. If the antiChrist is to come from the Tribe of Dan and rule the world from his seat in the Temple, would the Jewish perspective necessarily see a restoration in one and the same event?
In any case, H. P. Blavatsky took up the cause as she brought us closer to New Age. See the passage on her theosophy here. Was Blavatsky merely echoing a much older Jewish doctrine? Has it influenced Hinduism? The answers to those questions might prove to be quite interesting.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
AS ABOVE, SO BELOW
Here in a catched version of the Adelaide Jewish Museum website you can find the claim "As Above, So Below". (When you get to the website, scroll down.)
FROM THE EMAILBOX
Spirit & Life®
"The words I spoke to you are spirit and life." (Jn 6:63)
Human Life International e-Newsletter
Volume 01, Number 97 | Friday, December 21, 2007
What Part of Catholic Do You Not Understand?
Someone needs to ask the US bishops conference (USCCB) movie reviewer, Harry Forbes what part of the concept "Catholic" he does not understand. Mr. Forbes gave a glowing review to the film, The Golden Compass, and put all American Catholic bishops on record as supporting the work of an atheist! Subsequently, New Line Cinema attempted to do a full-scale promotion of the movie using diocesan newspapers claiming that the bishops' movie office had declared the film to be "entirely in harmony with Catholic teaching." Just to set the record straight: this movie has been condemned or criticized by at least one Cardinal, several Archbishops and Bishops in the US and the Vatican's official newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano. In fact, the latter called it "the most anti-Christmas film possible," referring of course to its deliberate release during the Advent season. Wisely, the USCCB removed Mr. Forbes' positive review of the movie from their website as soon as the controversy started.
Mr. Forbes is entitled to his own opinion on any matter, but he is not entitled to give his own opinions in the name of our bishops. The bishops deserve better - Mr. Forbes deserves to be fired.
This matter goes deeper than just one incident. We can rightly tolerate honest mistakes and errors of judgment when they happen. We are all human, and we would all like that same tolerance directed toward us for our mistakes. What is less tolerable and cause for appropriate action is a pattern of malfeasance. Mr. Forbes has a track record of shaming our bishops with his upbeat reviews of films that do not remotely reflect the values of any Christian let alone the bishops.
In 2005, Harry Forbes gave such a positive review to the homosexual promotional film, Brokeback Mountain, that the bishops had to withdraw the shameless review and replace it with another. Still stinging from the priest scandals of 2002 and beyond, the review was not only morally wrong, it was imprudent, ill-timed and embarrassing. In his original review of the two homosexual lovers and their infantile problems, Forbes soft pedals the gross man-on-man sex scenes and ends by saying that the bishops' rating of the film indicates that "some adults" may have problems with the moral content of the movie. That's like saying that "some wives" may object to their husbands having affairs with other women.
Forbes' track record does not stop there. It has recently come to light that in 2005 he issued another glowing review for a salacious homosexual movie called Rent based on a Broadway production of the same name. LifeSiteNews has recently documented the offensive commentary which was posted on the Catholic News Service website; suffice it to say that the bishops should not have to be on record as supporting that one either.
What we are expecting is standard practice in the business world: namely, that those who present their company's (or church's) views to the public represent the views of their employers faithfully. If they make a mistake they can be forgiven and the damage repaired; but if they misrepresent their bosses consistently and on fundamental matters, they should be fired to defend the very integrity of those who they speak for in public. Simple as that!
Join me in defending our bishops from further travesty; please respectfully petition the USCCB to give this Forbes guy a nice shove out the door.
To express concerns, contact:
Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I.
Archdiocese of Chicago
155 E. Superior Street
Chicago, IL 60611
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer,
President, Human Life International
BERIT KJOS REVIEWS "THE GOLDEN COMPASS"
Christian apologist and occult investigator Berit Kjos reviews Philip Pullman's "Dark Materials" series from which TGC was taken, citing passages and giving volume and page for the citations. If you are Christian and considering giving the books as a Christmas gift, or taking a child to see the movie, you owe it to the child to read her report. It's quite an eye opener!
A couple of excerpts:
Lyra's choices take her to the arctic island Svalbard. She sails northward from England with some valiant Egyptians [gypsies] determined to rescue children abducted by the heartless Church for experimental purposes. While traveling, she studies her alethiometer ["truth measure"] and practices the deep trance-forming concentration needed to receive its mystical guidance. Though she doesn't yet know it, she's being prepared for a greater purpose:
“The witches have talked about this child for centuries past.... And they have spoken of a child such as this, who has a great destiny that can only be fulfilled elsewhere—not in this world, but far beyond. Without this child, we shall all die."[1, p.176]
Do you see how this fantasy undermines Biblical values? Pullman's crafty tale pulls the readers' minds into an occult context where -- through their imagination -- they experience life from his atheist/occult perspective. In fact, his methods sound just like the transformational tactics in UNESCO's global education plan.
That, I presume, is a reference to the education plan that Lee Penn describes in FALSE DAWN (p. 89).
REDEFINE GOD AND UNDERMINE CHRISTIANITY. Near the end of the third book, "The Amber Spyglass," Lyra rescues the captive dead. Corrupting the reader's view of Christ, Pullman trades Jesus for this telepathic 12-year-old girl who could hardly be less like our Lord.
The "God" or "Authority" in this story is a feeble old man. The following statement by an angel shows Pullman's contempt for him:
“The Authority, God, the Creator, The Lord... those were all names he gave himself. He was never the creator. He was an angel like ourselves—the first angel, true, the most powerful.... The first angels condensed out of Dust, and the Authority was the first of all.... One of those who came later was wiser than he was, and she found out the truth, so he banished her. We serve her still. And the Authority still reigns in the Kingdom, and Metatron is his Regent."[5 -31-32]
"She" refers to Sophia, the goddess of wisdom in the Gnostic context of multiple gods. Linked to a "divine spark" in everyone, she encouraged self-discovery and self-pleasing enlightenment rather than obedience to any authority. No wonder she was banished!
Metatron is featured in many occult systems. The Kabbalah and the Tarot view him as a powerful archangel. In Hermetic magic he is linked to the god Hermes and the mythical Emerald Tablet with its infamous code, "As Above, So Below." It summarizes the occultist's goal of connecting with higher powers in order to command change here below.
"Divine spark" is a Jewish concept from the teaching of Kabbalist Isaac Luria.
Metatron is a Jewish angel.
Reb Yakov Leib of Donmeh West explains "As Above, So Below":
Ayn-Sof is the pre-mundane, undifferentiated condition of the God-head in which everything and, therefore, nothing is contained. It is this undifferentiated Unity that will explode into disunity at the moment of Shevirit ha-Kelim -- the "Shattering of the Vessels" (i.e., the Ten Sefirot) -- that accompanies the act of creation as described by R. Isaac Luria.(bolding mine - ct)
Thus, metaphorically speaking, the YH splits apart from the VH -- and it falls to man to "repair the face of God," to return it to its wholeness so that, "YHVH shall be King over all the earth, [and] on that day YHVH shall be One, and his name One." (Zechariah 14:9; also the "Alenu" of Shakrit, the Jewish Morning Prayer Service.)
A primary principle of Kabbalah is, "As above, so below" -- or the doctrine that whatever a person does or thinks on this earthly plane has, through his Kavannah (or mystical intentionality), a corresponding "action" or "thought" on the supernal plane. (The reverse, of course, is also true: whatever transpires in "heaven" has a corresponding effect on "earth".)
We see this echoed in the so-called "Lord's Prayer" of "Jesus" when he says, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." And in the Zohar we read, "Come and see: the world above and the world below are perfectly balanced." (Zohar 2:176b) And the Midrash states, "Both heaven and earth are balanced by each other." (Bereshit Raba 1:15)