Friday, May 21, 2010

Jesus, The Logos, and Magic

I know I am going to regret this because I will not in front of a PC for two days, but there is a bit of a thing going on right now on the blog go round that I just can't resist commenting on. 

First POS posts this, which does in fact misrepresent Frater RO's thoughts on a subject quite a bit. It also presents a pretty limited understanding of mystical Christianity and I think that he falls into the trap that many occultsists and pagans do of not extending Christianity the same depth of attention to the mystical interpretation as they might another religion. 

Frater RO comments below in the same post, not only explaining what he meant, but also explaining the interpretation of Jesus as Logos, and thus his universality even to those not Christian. 

Next Patrick Dunn, posts this, which is more or less a presentation of the Gnostic/Neoplatonic emanation theory of creation and the place of the Logos within it. He than states that "Any magician, of any variety, of any religion, who does not understand this and would denigrate this particular deity casts doubt upon their understanding of magic." 

With all due respect, that is going more than a little too far. There are two problems with this thinking. 

The first is that oodles of people all over the world do magic without any concept close to this theistic emanation thinking. Buddhists for instance would not at all acknowledge the statements in Dunn's post and they do magic just fine, thank you. 

The second problem is a little more nuanced. You may recognize the concept of the Logos. You may also however be adamantly opposed to the idea that the historical Jesus is in any way representing it. Take the Mandeans for instance (which we are in Iraq btw) who believe that John the Baptist is the Logos and Jesus is a corrupt Sorcerer that stole his thunder. The Logos is a cosmic title. Christ is a cosmic title. Jesus however refers to a specific person that may or may not have existed at a specific time and preached a specific thing and than did or did not do the whole rise from the dead thing. So while I think it is dumb to do so, I think it perfectly reasonable that capable magicians may not jive with saying "Jesus is Lord". 

While I am at it, I will put my Christian Priest collar on and mention that if you are a Christian and using the term Jesus, it can be a bad mistake to look at him solely through the cosmic lens filter so that you only see this universally applicable "Logos". Christ is indeed the Logos, but to really explore the beauty, power, and meaning of Jesus as the Logos you need to get comfy with Jesus as that specific manifestation. You must come to terms with what Kierkegaard called the Scandal of Specificity, otherwise you are missing out on a lot of the really good stuff in favor of a very saccharine, vague, but universally acceptable cosmic Christ. 


Argent said...

I fully agree.
I thought at first that his book was the way it was due to the publisher. However based on this last comment on his blog it seems Mr. Dunn hasn't done his homework in some areas of the esoteric yet...

Jason Miller, said...

I dont have anything against Patrick or his book. I think his synopsis of Gnostic/neoplatonic emanation theory is a really pithy one. I just think that he applies it to broadly

Anders Branderud said...

"Historical J....."!?!

The persons using that contra-historical oxymoron (demonstrated by the eminent late Oxford historian, James Parkes, The Conflict of the Church and the Synagogue) exposes dependancy upon 4th-century, gentile, Hellenist sources.

While scholars debate the provenance of the original accounts upon which the earliest extant (4th century, even fragments are post-135 C.E.), Roman gentile, Hellenist-redacted versions were based, there is not one fragment, not even one letter of the NT that derives DIRECTLY from the 1st-century Pharisee Jews who followed the Pharisee Ribi Yehoshua.
Historians like Parkes, et al., have demonstrated incontestably that 4th-century Roman Christianity was the 180° polar antithesis of 1st-century Judaism of ALL Pharisee Ribis. The earliest (post-135 C.E.) true Christians were viciously antinomian (ANTI-Torah), claiming to supersede and displace Torah, Judaism and ("spiritual) Israel and Jews. In soberest terms, ORIGINAL Christianity was anti-Torah from the start while DSS (viz., 4Q MMT) and ALL other Judaic documentation PROVE that ALL 1st-century Pharisees were PRO-Torah.

There is a mountain of historical Judaic information Christians have refused to deal with, at: (see, especially, their History Museum pages beginning with "30-99 C.E.").
Original Christianity = ANTI-Torah. Ribi Yehoshua and his Netzarim, like all other Pharisees, were PRO-Torah. Intractable contradiction.

Building a Roman image from Hellenist hearsay accounts, decades after the death of the 1st-century Pharisee Ribi, and after a forcible ouster, by Hellenist Roman gentiles, of his original Jewish followers (135 C.E., documented by Eusebius), based on writings of a Hellenist Jew excised as an apostate by the original Jewish followers (documented by Eusebius) is circular reasoning through gentile-Roman Hellenist lenses.

What the historical Pharisee Ribi taught is found not in the hearsay accounts of post-135 C.E. Hellenist Romans but, rather, in the Judaic descriptions of Pharisees and Pharisee Ribis of the period... in Dead Sea Scroll 4Q MMT (see Prof. Elisha Qimron), inter alia.

To all Christians: The question is, now that you've been informed, will you follow the authentic historical Pharisee Ribi? Or continue following the post-135 C.E. Roman-redacted antithesis—an idol?

Patrick said...

Argent, you're not totally wrong: I certainly have lots more "homework" to do (what a grim way of imagining the Great Work, though, as homework). I think we all do. Ipsissimi are thin on the ground.

By the way, I have two books, not just one. I don't recommend you buy the second, though; I doubt you'll enjoy it. Others, however, might.

冠廷 said...


Ron said...

Hey Anders don't Flip out dude, it's all cool. Each of us believes as we see fit. Which is why I belong to the Church of What's Happening Now.

Argent said...

@ Patrick
I have to say I also missunderstood your post a bit, which made me think you were being a bit shallow on some aspects. However, your elucidation made it, well, lucid.

Regarding your book(s), I'm certain people enjoy them as there are good reviews out there. I'm looking forward to read any future work of yours that is maybe a bit more...whats the word I am looking for here... in depth? As your command of linguistic theory should be able to fuel some good in-depth research that I would love to get my teeth into.


Ipsissimi are more common than we'd think, most of them simply don't have anything to do with the mainstream occultism we know of. What we signify with the word might not be anything these people relate to, however. Anyway, talk later, take care.

ChandraNova said...

Bet he was fit, though - if the Biblical Charlton Heston epics let us down with regards to the hawt thighs, and strong biceps, I for one will be looking at a whole new paradigm, except Shiva's thrusting trident, Odin's single-eyed/single-minded rule, and others - well, they don't leave MORE space, do they?

Fuck your gods! No, really...;o)

(How's that working for me? Pretty good, thanks for asking!)