Read this article on the evil mystery religion that rivaled Christianity shortly after our Lords passion… Vows of secrecy, secret handshakes, hidden underground temples with initiation processes and symbolisms… For men only…!
**“grade rituals involved the recital of a catechism, wherein the initiate was asked a series of questions pertaining to the initiation symbolism and had to reply with specific answers”
" There are several examples of persons, commonly those of higher social status, joining a Mithraeum with the status pater - especially in Rome during the ‘pagan revival’ of the 4th century. It has been suggested that some Mithraea may have awarded honorary pater status to sympathetic dignitaries"
"The initiate into each grade appears to have required to undertake a specific ordeal or test, involving exposure to heat, cold or threatened peril. An ‘ordeal pit’, dating to the early 3rd century, has been identified in the Mithraeum at Carrawburgh. Accounts of the cruelty of the emperor Commodus describes his amusing himself by enacting Mithriac initiation ordeals in homicidal form. "**
True. I only bring this up because every holiday season, this mystery religion becomes paralleled with Christianity as if the two are similarly related, when in fact it shared far more similarities with the mysterious cult of Freemasonry.
I know quite a few facts about freemasonry, which I’ve discussed many issues with Freemasons here on the forums… They confirmed them as true. They haven’t been back since.
It is important to note that there are two versions of the Mithras religion. There was an ancient one in the Persian Empire long before Jesus and his experience on Earth, and that (which you mentioned) that arrived afterward. This is important because we know almost nothing about the original Mithras myth.
The “new” Mithras myth seems similar to Christianity mostly for two reasons: 1) people have so lived in a Christian-influenced mindset that people see ‘parallels’ with other religions even though they might be purely conjecture. 2) Much of the Mithras cult was actually directly influenced by early Christianity.
It wasn’t uncommon in the Roman Empire for pagans to adopt popular practices of Christianity and incorporate them into their traditions, especially as the faith gained steady stream among elites and ordinary people alike. Many thought this kind of practice could save paganism, but as we all know, that did not happen.
People seem to be inculcated with the idea that “older” means influencing the newer. This is not the case.
Nah, Christianity was modeled after this “mysterious” religion (not the other way around), so that it could gain as much money as possible and become the richest organization in the world. Today, the Catholic Church is the fulfillment of this Christianity, a worldwide secret organization where millions are murdered each day, so that the pope may get even more money. The Vatican is responsible for all misfortunes in the world. And it does all of this on it’s MASSIVE [size=] budget.
Because being poorer than most cities and universities is SO rich. :rolleyes::rolleyes:[/size]
I have often speculated if Mithras, is related to “Mitra” which is mentioned in the Vedas. It is from the same basic word that you derive the Sanskrit term for friendship from which the name “Maitreya” is based, if I am correct. I agree with FabiusMaximus, the Roman version of the cult of Mithras versus the ancient Persian religion are indeed probably quite different.
I don’t see how any of those features necessarily make a religion evil or satanic. Or was the purpose of your post to try to get people to stop disparaging modern mystery traditions, like Freemasonry, in which case I apologize for misreading you.
I browsed through the article, and while I agree that Catechumens going through RCIA are part of an ‘initiation’ process, I still haven’t seen any evidence supporting “vows of secrecy”, “hidden underground temples”, or the study of “symbolism”.
I would also like to add that I have always thought that RCIA is unnecessary, and that there is no need for Catechumens in the modern Church. So at least I’m consistent with myself.:shrug:
Perhaps you could provide some examples of ancient Church “symbolisms” and the “vows of secrecy”.
I never knew that the Holy Church used these types of methods for evangelization… I always thought they just broke-off going village to village spreading the word and Baptizing -dusting off their sandals of those who rejected them. :shrug:
…but now I’m to believe that there was much more of a ‘fraternal’ atmosphere involved? Perhaps you should tell me more. Maybe we could steer this thread more in the direction of the concept of “Oikonomia” and the development of “Canons” in relationship to the early Church, and then compare that with the fraternal ideologies of Freemasonry and other ancient Pagan religions.
I think my problem stems from a discontent for ‘fraternal’ acts. I suppose I lay more importance on spirituality, faith and the Holy Spirit -which is why I have a great respect for the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism.
We’ll, it doesn’t really matter anyways because Christianity is based on our Lord Jesus as an example… Secrecy is not our mission, unlike Mithra and Freemasonry -where secrecy is/was engraved into the very fabric of those cults.
…and we don’t idolize genies, the sun, Cain or any of Cains children as our role models… We don’t recite “plays” to each other upon being initiated, rather we recite prayer to God for God to hear.
Sorry I’ve been missing. As you might know, it’s been Christmas.
Remember that the early Church was never a public religion, since it was not socially acceptable (i.e. legal) until the time of Constantine in the 4th Century. A large portion of the teachings of the early Church were kept secret from those who had not been properly initiated, including many things that we teach to pre-schoolers, like the words to the Our Father.
And they were not wrong to do so. Jesus also taught this way, teaching some doctrines to his closest disciples, and others to the masses. Jesus is well-known for his parables, but it’s apparent from reading the Gospels that he only used those for talking to the masses.
And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. – Matthew 13:10-11
So even the Lord kept secrets, because He understood that you do not cast your pearls before swine, nor give that which is holy unto dogs (Matthew 7:6).
And I don’t see why you have a distaste for plays. The Mass is a form of a play, because it contains a reenactment of the Last Supper. Have you ever been to a Palm Sunday mass? Many (Catholic) churches re-enact the Passion, with different readers for different parts of the dialogue, and the waving of the palms. And my own church does a reenactment of the Nativity at the Christmas Eve Mass every year. They have all the children who are in that year’s First Communion class participate.
And I don’t think any religion really idolizes things like the sun, at least not in its depth. Consider this quote from Manly P. Hall, which actually relates very closely to the topic we are discussing:
There are, however, but few mature minds in the world; and thus it was that the philosophic-religious doctrines of the pagans were divided to meet the needs of these two fundamental groups of human intellect–one philosophic, the other incapable of appreciating the deeper mysteries of life. To the discerning few were revealed the esoteric, or spiritual, teachings, while the unqualified many received only the literal, or exoteric, interpretations. In order to make simple the great truths of Nature and the abstract principles of natural law, the vital forces of the universe were personified, becoming the gods and goddesses of the ancient mythologies. While the ignorant multitudes brought their offerings to the altars of Priapus and Pan (deities representing the procreative energies), the wise recognized in these marble statues only symbolic concretions of great abstract truths.
So even the pagans did not really worship the sun, and those with eyes to see and ears to hear understood that the gods and goddesses in their myths were merely symbolic personifications of archetypes and intelligent principles.
Don’t get me wrong. Not all of the pagans understood this. It was likely the same as it is in Christianity today. There are many Christians who actually believe that every word in the Bible is 100% literal. But there are also those who understand that the message of the Bible is far deeper than what you can get with just a surface reading.
By the way, what is it about fraternalism that upsets you? I must admit I’m not entirely familiar with the term, so I don’t have a very clear concept of what it is you are describing. Perhaps if I knew better, I could help.
I’m not so sure I agree with this paradigm. Secrecy and fraternalism tend to create a ‘High Society’ type of culture, which is not in line with the definition of a Universal Church based on humbleness -one of the core teachings of Jesus IMHO.
In other words, there is a difference between:
A.) keeping secret as a form of protection, such as what we see in Saudi Arabia today, where Christians are persecuted, and,
B.) Keeping secrets in order to maintain a ‘high society’ type of fraternity.
…With the casting pearls and giving unholy things to dogs, we should take into consideration the Catholic interpretations of those quotes…
[7:6] Dogs and swine were Jewish terms of contempt for Gentiles. This saying may originally have derived from a Jewish Christian community opposed to preaching the gospel (what is holy, pearls) to Gentiles. In the light of (Mt 28:19) that can hardly be Matthew’s meaning. He may have taken the saying as applying to a Christian dealing with an obstinately impenitent fellow Christian (Mt 18:17).
(Mt 28:19)Go, therefore,* and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit
(Mt 18:17)If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church.* If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector
…So this is how I percieve the secrecy of freemasons and Mithra, and their common relationship in contrast with the secrecy of the ancient Church.
…But the Mass or even the stations of the Cross is more than a play, unlike the underlined section above. In Catholicism, we are to believe in things like transubstantiation and that we really are worshiping Jesus as God, not merely His teachings… We are taught that He is the word made flesh, not the other way around. :o
Personally, I have a distaste for fraternalism because of it creates division. I see it as a society building tool. There are aspects of the Church’s Canon law that I have trouble coming to terms with, such as having to ‘prove’ that one will raise their child Catholic before the child can become baptized… I have trouble with the concept of RCIA, especially considering the fact that ancient Christians took part in Holy Communion having only the belief that the Eucharist was a ‘symbol’… There is proof that this actually took place.
I have a problem with the whole ‘initiation’ processes as a whole. :o
…but if This concept of Hall’s is correct, and there are two ‘types’ of people -the religious and the philosophical, then this directs the topic much much deeper.!
What then could be said of the Egyptian magicians who cast spells and used figurines to represent armies…? And the plays that the Masons use involving Hiram Abiff? If these acts are not worship then what exactly is it…?
I read an article recently about how an Egyptian king when his army was at war, would retreat to his private room with a bowl of water, and placed small boat figurines in it. He would sink the boats of his enemy, while his own boats he kept afloat… It is said that what happened in his bowl also happened at the war-front.
…so there is something to be said for ‘play’ enactments, and their significance involving high societies. Even the Opera then may have some significance involving some deep seated philosophical effects.
…back to the OP, I believe the Mithra (a secret high society) also enacted plays…
To extend this philosophical concept even further, what can be said then of television…? Could it be that the sitcoms we watch or the dramas tap into some part of our consciounce -causing a reaction…? Causing societal change…? I think the proof is in the pudding…
I’ve always known that the human body is a tool for ‘influence’. Every part of our physical human body seems to be constructed for the purpose of influence, from our minds to our languages, to our mouths to our fingertips…
God is an ‘influencer’.
We’re all always influencing everything we come in contact with. Everything is, we’re just the most outwardly expressing, most purified aspects of this phenomena.
I cannot comment on the current Freemasons, since I am not a member of their fraternity. However, it is my understanding that they were once a Mystery School, but have since degenerated into merely a fraternal organization.
That said, the Mystery schools, like Mithraism, the Mysteries of Eleusias, the Egyptians Mysteries, etc. were not meant to create a tiered society, nor to segregate those who were considered to be “better” or a “higher class.” In fact, in order to be a part of them, a person basically had to abandon all attachment to the material world.
You are correct in your view that one reason Christianity was kept secret was as a form of protection. However, the same is true of the Mysteries. However, what is being protected, both in the Mysteries and in the early Church are not just the physical lives of the practitioners. Jesus and Paul actually talk about some of the reasons for the secrecy, which I will get into. Before I get into the various forms of protection that make that secrecy necessary, let’s look at the whole quote by Jesus regarding pearls before swine. I originally threw it in just as an allusion, but it is instructive to see it in its entirety, because in it he makes his intentions clear.
Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
With that as a context, we can get into the various forms of protection accorded by secrecy:
Protection of the lives/well-being of those participating in the Mysteries. This is the one you mentioned, and the necessity of this is obvious. The teachings of the Mysteries (and the early Church as well) are an affront to sensibilities of most people, and a repudiation of a materialistic way of life. There are those who would seek to cause harm to the practitioners seeking the Truth, which is what Jesus referred to when he said they will “turn again and rend you.”
Protection of the sanctity of the Mysteries themselves. This refers to the necessity to treat holy things with respect. If you are a Eucharistic minister, you would not hand the Consecrated Host over to someone who you know is practicing witchcraft, and only wants the host in order to steal it and do horrible things to it. That would be sacrilege, and a disrespect for our Lord. The same principle applies here. It doesn’t have to be witchcraft. There are those in the world who make a mockery of religion. Who treat holy things as a joke. And those people are excluded, not out of malice or elitism, but merely to allow them the time to become more mature, so they can approach God in good faith and with a humble heart, thus reaping the spiritual benefits of the rituals, rather than accumulating bad deeds by profaning That which is holy. Thus Jesus warned about the swine “trampling the pearls under their feet.”
Protection of the souls of those who are not yet mature. This is somewhat related to my previous point, but it goes much deeper. Paul talked about this in 1 Corinthians 3, where he discusses feeding the Corinthians with milk, rather than meat, because they are carnal. The teachings and practices of the Mysteries (and the early Church) were extremely potent. And they could be used for ascending to the heights of holiness, but if used with a polluted mind, and a heart still enmeshed in sinful desires, they would damage the person’s soul, serving rather to fortify their desires and deepen their suffering. If you give meat to a baby, it will get sick. The same is true of the Mysteries. So they were concealed out of love for those who were not ready, in order to protect them from the consequences of their own sinful nature, and were revealed once the person was mature enough to utilize the practices to draw closer to God.
Protection of those who might be harmed by the Initiates into the Mysteries. As I mentioned earlier, and as you alluded to in your post about the Pharaoh and the boats, the practices taught by the Mystery schools harnessed incredible amounts of energy, and out of recognition that “there is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10), the practices were kept out of reach of those who might use them to cause unjust harm to other people.
With respect to the story about the Pharaoh sinking the ships, I will be forthcoming and say I had no knowledge of this account prior to your mentioning it. My first reaction is to assume there is probably some embellishment in the records, but if the Pharaoh did manage to win a naval battle through the use of divine power, I would not be the least bit surprised. Ancient Egypt was one of the most important places in the ancient world for the practice of the Mysteries (that’s what the pyramids were for), and it is almost common knowledge that the Pharaoh would be at least an Initiate, if not a Master of the Mysteries. There are many similar accounts of Moses and Joshua using divine power to influence the outcome of battles (Exodus 17, Joshua 10, to name a few). These stories may be largely symbolic, but they reflect the same archetype, and may be based, at least loosely, on historical events.
By the way, I would be interested in reading that article about the Pharaoh if you don’t mind telling me where you read it.
Regarding the significance of the plays, I am glad you have come to realize that they had significance beyond mere reenactments. That is what I was hoping you would see when I drew a parallel between the plays used in the Mysteries and the plays used in the Mass (which, as I mentioned earlier, also used to be a secret ritual). The reenactments done in the Mass are not empty recitations. They are a tool used to channel divine energy. The Mysteries are no different in function.
And that is a very astute comment you made about the opera. Many of the operas were written by Initiates into the Mysteries. Verdi and Wagner come immediately to mind, but there were others. Thus, many of their operas were written in order to communicate the teachings of the Mysteries to the general population through the use of music and symbolism, much how Jesus used parables. Most viewers would not be conscious of the full scope of the teachings being presented, but they would nevertheless receive some benefit, at least on the subconscious level, and many might later become more aware of the depths of the teachings buried in their memories should they later be initiated into the Mysteries. Some examples of operas I know of that do this: The Parsifal, Wagner’s Ring Cycle (Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried, Götterdämmerung), Attila, Aida, Faust. Obviously, the full list would be much, much longer.
Television obviously has a similar effect, but in a negative fashion. Although some television programs are made to help man ascend to holiness, the majority of it acts in the opposite fashion, causing man to descend further into his sins and dark desires, rather than elevating his consciousness to God. There have been studies done which find that people who are watching an event show brain activity similar to that of those actually experiencing the event. We don’t really need science to tell us this. When we watch TV, we often find ourselves getting angry at the villain when he does something evil, or being embarrassed on behalf of the protagonist when he does something stupid, even though it was not us who performed the stupid act. Thus, television is fostering activity in the brain that is harmful to the person, and harmful to the soul. Remember that our brains learn through repetition, through continually reinforcing the same channels and patterns of thought. And many of the television programs we have now are based on criminals, con artists, lascivious individuals, and murderers.
So yes, I fully agree that television acts on man’s subconsciousness. My personal, uninformed opinion on this matter is that there are many who are using the influence of television (as well as other forms of media) in order to encourage bad habits, harmful thoughts, and negative emotions in the general population. It might be good to take a night off from television to go see an opera.