I Pray All Is Well With Everyone…And Your Hearts And Minds Are Full of Love, Joy, And Compassion…For All Your Sisters And Brothers In Spirit. And Since Every Blessed Day Is Another Day Given Us To Represent The Love Of Our “Mighty I AM Presence” As God Intended…Let Us Strive To Make Every Day Of Our Lives Count In Love – This Week, Next Week…And All The Days After; By Exemplifying Those Higher Qualities In Thoughts And Actions – For All Life Everywhere – Including Mother Earth; Just As The Living God -The One Pulse Of All Life – Demonstrates Love For Us…In Every Breath We Take! Amen…
Give Thanks And Praises For Love And Life…
And Y’all Be Love…
“Jesus passed a series of years among the Essenes. He submitted to their discipline, studied with them the secrets of nature, and the occult power of healing. To develop his spirit, he gained entire mastery over his body. Not a day passed without self-questioning and meditation on the destiny of humanity. That was a memorable night for the Order of Essenes and the new adept, when he received in profoundest secrecy the superior initiation of the fourth degree, the one granted only in the special case of a prophetic mission, requested by the brother, and confirmed by the Elders. A meeting was held in a cave cut into the mountain and resembling a vast hall with an altar of stone seats. The chief of the Order was there with a few Elders. Sometimes two or three initiates, prophetesses also, Essenes, were admitted to the mysterious ceremony.
Bearing torches and branches of palm trees, they greeted the new Initiate who was clothed in a robe of white linen, as “Bridegroom and King”, the one they had seen in vision, and whom they now looked upon perhaps for the last time! Then, the chief of the Order, generally an old centenarian, (Josephus states that the Essenes lived to an advanced age), offered him the golden chalice as a symbol of the final initiation, containing the wine of the Lord’s vineyard, symbol of divine inspiration.
Some said that Moses and the seventy had drunk therefrom; others trace it back from Abraham, who received from Melchizedek this very initiation under the elements of bread and wine. The Elders never offered the cup to anyone in whom they had not recognized, with distinct certainty, the signs of a prophetic mission. But no one could define this mission, he was to find it himself; such is the law of the initiates – nothing from without, everything from within. Henceforth he was free, master of his own actions, liberated from the Order, a very hierophant, obedient to the impulses of the spirit, which could fling him into the depths or transport him on high, far above scenes of torture and human passion.
When after the songs and prayers and sacramental words of the Elder the Nazarene took the cup, a pale ray of the sun shooting through a rugged mountain crag ran in and about the torches and the flowing white garments of the Essene prophetesses. They too shuddered as they saw it fall on the Galilean’s beautiful countenance, now overshadowed with a look of infinite sorrow. Were his thoughts dwelling on the poor wretches of Siloam; had he already, in that ever-present anguish, caught a glimpse of the path he was to traverse?
About this time, John the Baptist was preaching on the banks of the Jordan. He was not an Essene but a prophet of the people, belonging to the sturdy race of Judah. Driven into the wilderness by a fierce unyielding piety, he had there, in prayer, fasting, and mortification, lived a life of the strictest asceticism. Over his bare sun-tanned skin, he wore a camel’s-hair cloak, symbol of the penitence he wished to impose both on himself and on his people. Deeply did he feel Israel’s distress, and ardently did he await deliverance. According to the Jewish idea, he imagined the Messiah would soon come as an Avenger and a Judge; that, like another Maccabæus, he would rouse the people to revolt, drive out the Romans, punish the guilty, and finally enter Jerusalem in triumph, where, in peace and justice, he would re-establish the kingdom of Israel over all nations.
He announced to the multitudes, who eagerly drank in his words, that the time was nigh for the coming of this Messiah, adding that they might prepare for it in a spirit of true repentance. Adopting the Essenean custom of ablution and transforming it, he had looked upon baptism in the Jordan as a visible symbol, a public accomplishment of the inner purification he insisted upon. This new ceremony, this earnest preaching to immense crowds of people, with the wilderness as a background, and beside the sacred waters of the Jordan, near the rugged mountains of Peraea and Judaea, seized hold of the imagination, and attracted multitudes. It recalled the glorious days of the prophets of old, and gave the people what the temple could not give them, an inner shock, and, after the terrors of repentance had passed, a vague though mighty hope.
…Jesus, who felt the prophetic calling even more emphatic within his soul, though as yet he was still feeling his way, came also to the desert of the Jordan, accompanied by a few Essenes, who already acknowledged him as master. He wished to see the Baptist, to listen to his message, and be baptized in public. His desire was to present himself in a humble and respectful attitude towards the prophet who had the courage to denounce the present rulers, and arouse from slumber, the soul of Israel.
He saw the rough ascetic, hairy and bearded, with his prophetic lionlike head, standing in a wooden pulpit under a rustic tent covered with branches and goatskins. All around among the scanty desert shrubs was a mighty crowd, an entire camp: publicans, soldiers of Herod, Samaritans, Levites from Jerusalem; Idumeans with their flocks of sheep, even Arabs with their camels, tents and caravans arrested by “the voice crying in the wilderness,” and this voice of thunder passed over these multitudes. It said: “Repent ye; prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.” He called the Pharisees and Scribes “a race of vipers.” He added that “the axe was already laid unto the root of the trees,” and said of the Messiah: “I baptize you with water only, but He shall baptize you with fire.”
Then, about sunset, he saw the crowds press towards a cove on the water’s bank, and Herod’s mercenaries bend their rough backs beneath the water poured over them by the Baptist. He drew nearer; John did not know Jesus, knew nothing whatever concerning him, but he recognized the Essene by his linen garment. He saw him, a mere unit in the crowd, enter the water up to the girdle, and humbly bend to receive the baptismal sprinkling. When the neophyte arose, the savage preacher’s fiery eyes met the Galilean’s calm, gentle gaze. A quiver ran through the man of the wilderness as he saw the look of wondrous sweetness beaming from the eyes of Jesus, and involuntarily the question escaped his lips: “Art thou the Messiah?” The mysterious Essene made no reply, but with bowed head and crossed hands, he awaited the blessing. John knew that silence was the law of the Essene novices. After solemnly extending both hands, the Nazarean disappeared with his companions among the water reeds.
…Could it be that he were the Messiah? The Baptist’s question also found an echo in the soul of Jesus. Ever since his consciousness had sprung to life, he had found God within himself, and the certainty of the kingdom of Heaven in the radiant beauty of his visions. Then came the suffering of humanity which had filled his heart with the awful outpour of its anguish. The wise Essenes had taught him the secret of religions and of mysteries, they had shown him the spiritual decadence of humanity, and its expectation of a savior. But how could he find the strength needed to rescue it from the pit? And now, the direct call of John the Baptist fell on the silence of his meditations like a thunderbolt from Sinai. Could he be the Messiah?
Jesus could answer this question only by inmost meditation. Hence this retreat, this forty days’ fast, narrated by Matthew in the form of a symbolic legend. The Temptation in reality represents in the life of Jesus this great crisis, this sovereign vision of truth, which all prophets, all religious initiates must infallibly experience, before beginning their works.”
Jesus, the Last Great Initiate, by Edouard Schuré, 1908