Saturday, January 31, 2009


by Jonathan Sellers

Under the year 1766 there is an interesting passage that might explain how Catharism came to the Languedoc:

It is worth mentioning here, that the story concerning the Qadosh Fathers, or the Thebaid Solitaries, or the Knights of the Morning Star, came from Tschoudy's L'Etoile Flamboyante. -- that in the time of Solomon's Temple, the Qadosh Fathers assembled in Jerusalem; then at the time of the Essene Community, they were established there; then after the Destruction of the Second Temple, they dispersed, into two groups: 1) One into Syria; 2) the other into the Thebaid; these two groups dispersed once more, each into two groups -- Syria and Sicily, Libya and the Thebaid; that at the time of the Crusades they returned to Jerusalem...and regained possession of their Temple when Godefroi de Bouillon conquered Jerusalem. Eventually, they became Masons, and Knights of the East and Knights of Palestine, etc. There is much more than a faint rumor of truth in all this. It is clear to us that indeed a group of Essenes or Gnostics established themselves in the Transjordan region in the late 1st Century c.e.,; that Syria has long been home to Gnostic sects; that there were Thebaid solitaries, one of which was Anthony the Hermit. That the Syrian group, when it split into two, one group went to Sicily -- this is how the Kabbalah came to Europe, in the 8th to 9th Centuries c.e., when Abu Aharon ben Samuel ha Nasi of Baghdad came to Calabria, and later when he moved to Lucca, where he taught the Practical Kabbalah to the head of the Kalonymide family. This is what is known as the origins of the Hasidim in France and Germany, for the Kalonymides travelled to southern Germany and established themselves. They had a strong influence on the Languedocian Kabbalists.

There is another interesting asside to the Sabbatean question in the year 1768. Martinism is an occult teaching founded by Willermoz, Pasqually, and Saint Martin who was Catholic. It appears that Swedenborg was impressed by this teaching:

Under the aegis of Pasqually the Rite of the Elect Priesthood was one of occult instruction as well as occult practice, and the pageant (in Waite's manner of opinion) of cumulative grades. The teaching was under pledges, and that part of it which Saint Martin felt permitted to unfold was put forward in his first book. La Chose may refer to Pasqually's Guide in the unseen, howsoever communication was established... But the pledges may have covered also instruction from other sources, the "Predecessors" about whom Pasqually wrote to Willermoz on 13 April 1768.

In l768 Swedenborg was so inspired by his revelations that he broke his anonymity to publish, under his own name, The Delights of Wisdom Concerning Conjugial Love. The question of whether to translate the Latin original into English would later provoke bitter controversy in the Swedenborg society that the Blakes attended.

The book is still available. Google has posted parts of it online.

Returning to the Timeline:

In 1768 - 1769 there were two Frankist agents in Prague and Prossnitz, the Shabbetean centre in Moravia, and there they were even allowed to preach in the synagogue.

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