THE FOG – The Therapeutae
The other day I was informed that there is a group of people who believe the world is flat. They are known as the Flat World Society. I thought this was a joke but when I researched it I discovered it was true. They say science cannot prove the world is round.
In 1881, English writer Samuel Rowbotham published Zetetic Astronomy: Earth Not a Globe. A 430-page book in which he affirmed that the Earth is flat. The Flat Earth Society is a modern group dedicated to promoting Rowbotham’s ideas. Really! I am not joking. However I now have a great idea for an April fool’s day joke. With this type of absurdity among us it is easier to understand why there are still many climate change deniers.
When we meet people like this who are our neighbors in the global village what can be said? How can we truly measure whether human consciousness is expanding or not? One way may be to look at our global culture starting with democracy. For in many ways on the surface democracy promotes all the values we as humans aspire to. However when we look inside democracy we can see that it is sick and decaying at its core.
The evidence can be seen in how political systems are becoming fueled more and more by frustration, anger and violence. The right demigod at the right time and who knows what will be born. As it is we are still trying to heal from the last demigod attack of fascism and Nazism.
This is why dogma and theology must always come second to the healing arts when seen through the eyes of religion. The therapeutic process is paramount for the evolution and growth of consciousness. For it is only through a healthy consciousness that any democracy or social system can become a true and worthy mechanism for change.
We must return to the world of the Magi as experienced by the Therapeutae. The meaning of the therapeutae is “healers”. The therapeutica were an ancient order of mystical ascetics who lived in many parts of the ancient world but were found especially near Alexandria, the capital city of Egypt. This pre-Christian group of ascetics is known today from the writings of Philo of Alexandria, who described the group in his De Vita Contemplativa (On the Contemplative Life), written around 10 C.E. Philo compared the Therapeutae to the Essenes as both sects were known for their exemplary religious devotion and ascetic practices.
According to Philo, communities of Therapeutae were widely established in the ancient world but the particular sect near Lake Mareotis, Egypt, was quite famous for its healing arts. The Therapeutae were renowned for both their asceticism and healing abilities. Indeed, the English words “therapy” and “therapeutic” are etymologically connected to the name of this ancient religious Order, indicating that medicine, religion, and healing were deeply connected in the ancient world. In fact healing was seen as a religious art.
The Therapeutae are forerunners and the model for the Christian practice of ascetic life. The practices described by Philo were considered as one of the first models of Christian monastic life. Eusebius was so sure of the identification of Therapeutae with the earliest Christians that he deduced that Philo, who admired them so, must have been Christian himself.
We must also acknowledge and respect that as the Therapeutae was active in the one part of the world, in another part of the world which became known as the America’s the same process of healing also existed. Only today the Therapeutae is a history lesson while the Shamanic culture of the America’s is still present and relevant. The growth and spread of the healing energies of the Shaman is a gift to all of us and must be recognized by main stream churches. As the Orthodox Church loses its relevance in contemporary society as evidence by the empty pew, the rise of Shamanic and Shamanka culture is now once again taking its rightful place. Now that years of oppression and attempts to systematically exterminate Shamanka and Shamanic culture has failed, First nation, Inuit and Metis spirituality is once again offering a way back to gnosis and harmony with Mother Earth.
Having barely survived genocide the oral traditions of native peoples across the planet have now become our saving grace. Just as the early Europeans were saved from extinction by starvation in the wilderness of Turtle Island by its native people’s centuries ago, todays aboriginal peoples are once again prepared to turn the other cheek by embodying the Christian virtue of forgiveness towards its oppressors.
The evidence that we must return to the healing arts is obvious as technologies continue to grow but are not reducing the pain and suffering in the world. Not because it cannot. But because People lack the will or proper political leaders who can consolidate a creative solidarity among the peoples of the earth. We must remember that technologies are inanimate and when manipulated by greed they can become a destructive force just as easily as they can become a constructive force when motivated by enlightened generosity.
The role of the cleric, priest, priestess, elder, tau, shaman or shamanak is to grow personally and spiritually then share what they know with others. Therefore they can become a means for the companion seeker to grow personally and spiritually. This is how we will save ourselves and the planet. We don’t need to make a better computer. We only need to make a better self. Then maybe the world will have a better chance at solidarity.
This solidarity can only come to pass through gnosis. As we grow in gnosis we will pass through higher and higher levels of gnosis until we reach full awareness and enlightenment. I believe we have all been born with an intrinsic desire to achieve full consciousness.
In doing so we must remember the words of Luke 2:52 when Jesus sat with the elders in the temple.
“And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”
Just as Jesus had to grow in awareness and consciousness so must we all grow personally and spiritually! Then after our time in the desert we to will discern our life’s purpose.