This is a continuation of the post that I did on Melchizedek and Yeshua. I was going to include information on the Essenes in that post, but there is just too much information and the more I read the more I wanted to share. There is more information in another post called Love Our Mother that speaks to the issue of how little is said in the Bible/Torah/Tanakh about Mother, and even less as regards the command to love our Father and the Son, but nowhere are we instructed how about our Mother.
History of Essenes – Brotherhood Book
The Essenes considered themselves to be a separate people, not because of external signs like skin colour, hair colour, etc., but because of the illumination of their inner life and their knowledge of the hidden mysteries of nature unknown to other men.
Traces of their teaching are found in almost every country and religion. The fundamental principles were taught in ancient Persia, Egypt, India, Tibet, China, Palestine, Greece and many other countries. The purest form, however, came through the Essenes who lived during the last two or three centuries B.C. and the first century of the Christian era at the Dead Sea in Palestine and at Lake Mareotis in Egypt.
I find this quite interesting, given my current ventures in Reiki and Therapeutic Touch. In Palestine and Syria they members were known as Essenes and in Egypt as Therapeutae, or healers! Essenes were also called Children of Light.
The esoteric part of their teaching is given in the Tree of Life, the Essene Communions with Angels and the Sevenfold Peace, among others.
The exoteric [that’s a new word for me] or outer teaching appears in Book I of “The Essene Gospel of Peace” and the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in 1946-47.
As for the origin of the brotherhood, some believe it is a derivation of Esnoch or Enoch and claim he is the founder, their communions with the angelic world having been given to him. Others think the name comes from Esrael (Israel), the elects of the people to whom Moshe (Moses) brought forth the communions at Mount Sinai when they were revealed to him by the angelic world.
Still others attribute it to Ezra and say that though the commands were given to Moshe who gave them to the people, Ezra received 97 commands, 24 of which were given to the people and the remaining 70 were shared only with the wise and holy ones who were given to understand. Ezra is said to have written these with the help of 5 others appointed by YHWH to take down everything that YHWH spoke through Ezra.
When Ezra received the command to find these 5 men, then to speak to the people and let them know what YHWH had commanded, he was also told to tell the people that he was to be left alone for 40 days during the time of transmission of the teachings. Sounds to me much like Yeshua having been baptized, going off into the wilderness to commune with YHWH for 40 days, when he was in fact tempted by HaSatan.
Something to Think About: Note the occurrences in Scriptures of time spans of 40: be it 40 days or 40 years. Seems to me significant events occurred in those times.
Their teaching appears in the Zend Avesta of Zarathustra who translated it into a way of life that was followed for thousands of years. Their fundamental concepts can be found in the following organizations:
- the Yoga systems of India
- the same teachings later came from Buddha and his sacred Bodhi tree is correlated with the Essene Tree of Life
- the same teachings found expression in Tibet in the Tibetan Wheel of Life
- Pythagoreans and Stoics in Greece followed the Essene principles
- it was an element of Adonic culture of Phoenicians, the Alexandrian School of Philosophy in Egypt
- contributed to many branches of western culture
- Yeshua interpreted these teachings in the Seven Beatitudes given in the Sermon on the Mount
Essenes lived simple lives usually located on the shores of rivers and lakes. They worked the land, were primarily agriculturists and arboriculturists with vast knowledge of the land, crops and climatic conditions.
Essenes had no servants or slaves and it is said they were the first people to condemn slavery both in theory and practice. There were no rich nor poor among them. They had their own economic system based wholly on the Law and showed all man’s food and material needs can be attained without struggle, though knowledge of the Law.
Essenes were also known for their expertise in the fields of ancient writings and studies, astronomy, prophecy, herbology and plant studies for healing of man. They respected all living things and never ate meat or drank “fermented” drinks (alcohol).
They got up early and spent time before sunrise studying and communing with
nature and evening was actually the beginning of their day. Their holy day, Sabbath, began Friday evening.
A few of the teachers and healers that they sent out from their brotherhood are names we are familiar with from the Torah and Bible:
- John the Baptist
- John the Beloved and
- Essene Master, Yeshua (Jesus)
Even though there’s very little in Scriptures about the Essenes, they were prominent and their teachings definite relevant to society. Records of them are available through the writings of their contemporaries, people like:
- Pliny the Roman naturalist
- Philo the Alexandrian philosopher
- Josephus the Roman historian,
- Solanius [no idea who this person is]
Gospel of the Essenes tells us that the Essenes were described in pretty flattering terms:
- “a race by themselves, more remarkable than any other in the world,” and
- “the oldest of the initiates, receiving their teaching from Central Asia,” and
- “teaching perpetuated through an immense space of ages,” and
- “constant and unalterable holiness.”
Perhaps, as in the case of Yeshua, they were highly respected and it was the people in power who felt threatened by both their teachings and their popularity with the people. Some things just never change, do they!
Some of the outer teaching is preserved in Aramaic text in the Vatican in Rome! Being a former Catholic girl and studied and read a lot on my religious inheritance, I wonder just how much unknown and unread literature is stowed away in the basement vaults of the Vatican.
Other teachings in Slavic text were found in the possession of Habsburgs [whoever or whatever they are] in Austria and said to have been brought out of Asia in the 13th century by Nestorian [yet another unfamiliar name] priests fleeing the hordes of Genghis Khan.
Echoes of their teachings and practices can be found today in:
- rituals of the Masonic Order
- **the symbolism of the seven-branched candlestick
- the greeting we use in our churches, “Peace be with you,” which has been used
from the time of Moshe (Moses), and
- the seven days of the week which have long since lost their spiritual meaning
**In Judaism the menorah is a 7 branch candlestick used outside of Hanukkah as a symbol representing the menorah used in the ancient Temple of Judaism. During Hanukkah they use the 9 branch candlestick. I find it interesting that the 7 branch menorah is as a “symbol representing the menorah used in the ancient Temple of Judaism.”
I am beginning to think that a better portion of what we call the Bible has been written based upon selective teachings of the Essenes, and that as I have found in comparing other writings, whoever put the books of the bible together was very selective in what went in and what was not only left out, but never even mentioned as the church of Rome began to grow. After all, it was Pope Clementine who changed Sabbath to Sunday and who decided to celebrate Yeshua’s birthday on December 25th (a pagan holiday celebrating the solstice). Yeshua was in fact born in late September.
Another side note on the word “pagan.” I always thought it meant unbelievers. Webster’s defines pagan as:
one of a people or community observing a polytheistic religion, as the ancient Romans and Greeks.
a member of a religious, spiritual, or cultural community based on the worship of nature or the earth; a neopagan.
Some of their religious practices are in fact incorporated into the RC church. That was one of the prime reasons for changing Yeshua’s birthday, so the church could garner and gather the pagan worshippers into their church practices; build up their numbers and build up their coffers. I found the same thing happening in Cuba where there are any number of Catholic churches. In fact I attended several, and with one particular family who informed me that some of the practices incorporated in Cuba have to do with the Santeria voodoo practices brought over by the African peoples who came via Haiti.
Pagans respected Mother Earth, and that just answers another question for me as to why they were persecuted and ostracized by the “old boy” mentality of the Catholic church. Heck, it was someone in that organization who decided Mary of Magdala should be called a prostitute, when in fact she was from a wealthy family and was loved by Yeshua. There is a Gospel of Mary of Magdala that was part of the scroll materials discovered in the caves around Qumran.
Churches are made up of a whole bunch of stuff, and in the case of Catholic, and I dare say non-Catholic, we have a patchwork quilt. I have yet to attend any type of service where I didn’t get or feel some ‘truth’ at the end of the service. I took on the mantle of “don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.”
Scholars have suggested that given the long life of Essene teachings it could not have been the concept of any individual or people, but the interpretation by succession of great teachers of the Law of the Universe, the basic law that is eternal and unchanging as the stars, the same thousands or tens of thousands of years ago, as it is today and will forever be.
Honouring Days of the Week – Tree of Life
As I am closing off this post, I am looking at a further look into the Spiritual meanings of the days of the week. I knew there were specific Angels assigned for each day of the week. My work in Reiki includes colour and crystal therapy, and there are specifics for each day of the week. This practice and the information had to be sourced from somewhere, and am beginning to think it may very well be the Essene studies, practices, prayers and teachings.
This morning I was wondering if our days would not be much improved if we really did look at each day as such a precious gift from our Creator, and honoured and respected every moment of that day. I thought about how it is a typical thing for us here in North American to moan and groan at the end of a week-end and say, “Oh no. Tomorrow is Monday. Ugh!”
One final note, on the days of the week. Long before I got into keeping Sabbath, I noted that the most inspirational times I have ever experienced have been on a Sabbath. I’m not talking about going to church. I am saying that on Sabbath (Saturday a.m.) when I do my meditation and prayer in the morning I get the most amazing and sometimes weird thoughts and ideas; get answers to questions I forgot that I had asked. It is as it says in Scripture or somewhere, Sabbath was made for man and I wholeheartedly. It is the time when there is true fellowship with the Father; I feel it to the core of my being.