From New Dawn 113 (Mar-Apr 2009)
From 1209-1249 one of the worst genocides in history was conducted against the Cathars, a heretical sect in southern France. Pope Innocent III, promising gold and indulgences (the remission of punishment due for sins) in exchange for the blood of the Cathars, sent 30,000 crusaders into France to massacre the Cathars and their supporters.
The Cathars were hunted, tortured, burned at the stake and savagely murdered by the Church’s hired killers. Estimates place the total number of Cathars and sympathisers murdered between 300,000 and 1,000,000 men, women and children. Throughout this bloodbath, an amazing phenomenon was witnessed. The Cathars did not express fear, anger or pain, but only bliss, despite the most horrendous atrocities committed against them. What were they on?
According to William Henry in Mary Magdalene: The Illuminator, it was a psychoactive substance produced by the brain – the Cathars had learned the techniques necessary to produce it from the secret teachings of Jesus. It was called Christos (anointing oil) by the Essenes, who passed on their secrets to Jesus from Moses, who had obtained them in Egypt from descendants of the banished Atonite priests of Akhenaton.
These teachings involve the power of the sun and the power of the spoken word and constitute what I call “the mysteries of the sun.” They were part of the Egyptian, Babylonian and Greek mysteries, and the Gnostic teachings of the early Christians and secret societies. They have been given to every culture by great adepts as means of enlightening the minds of the people and freeing them from the darkness of ignorance and superstition.
In this article, I will briefly examine the life and teachings of the founders of various mystery schools in the Middle East and Mediterranean area from the Pharaoh Thutmose III to Omraam Mikhail Aivanhov. There were other mystery schools in India, China, Peru and elsewhere, but the ones I have chosen represent a continuity that spanned millennia and formed the spiritual roots of the Judeo-Christian heritage.
The story of the mysteries of the sun is as old as mankind and as new as the latest scientific breakthrough. In 1882, Ignatius Donnelly published Atlantis: The Antediluvian World. In this book, he argued convincingly that Atlantis had established colonies in Peru, Egypt and elsewhere and that the mythologies and mysteries of these peoples represented the original religion of the Atlanteans, which was a form of sun worship.
He wrote, “The religion of the Atlanteans, as Plato tells us, was pure and simple; they made no regular sacrifices but fruits and flowers; they worshipped the sun. In Peru a single deity was worshipped, and the sun, his most glorious work, was honoured as his representative. Quetzalcoatl, the founder of the Aztecs, condemned all sacrifice but that of fruits and flowers. [We can see how far the Aztec religion degenerated over the centuries to the low point of human sacrifice by the time of the Conquest.] The first religion of Egypt also was pure and simple; its sacrifices were fruits and flowers; temples were erected to the sun, Ra, throughout Egypt. In Peru the great festival of the sun was called Ra-mi.”
Between pre-dynastic Egypt and the eighteenth dynasty, the “pure and simple” solar religion of Egypt became very corrupt and complicated. There were several sun gods and a whole host of minor gods. The priesthood was rich and powerful and the people depended on them for magic amulets, praying to the gods on their behalf and giving them a proper elaborate send-off into the afterlife. Fruits and flowers were no longer fitting sacrifices; animals took their place.
Enter Pharaoh Thutmose III. A younger son of Amenhotep I, he owed his rule to the intervention of the priesthood of Amen-Ra who, in a religious ritual invoking the will of Amen-Ra, appointed him pharaoh, even though he was not in line for the succession. Thutmose realised that the priesthood was becoming too powerful and sought to curb their power by outwardly paying obeisance to Amen-Ra, but secretly worshipping Aton and supporting a separate priesthood of Aton at Heliopolis who were loyal to the throne.
Under his rule, Thutmose III permitted the common people to indulge in all their fanciful beliefs and superstition such as magic amulets. He believed that a gradual change in the existing religious beliefs could be more easily and permanently accomplished by establishing a secret mystery school, the students of which would put into practice higher standards. He wanted to gradually infuse into Egyptian religion from the top down those mysteries, myths and rites that would raise the people to a higher understanding and morality.
Thus, in 1489 BCE he founded a secret mystery school, the Order of the Rose Cross, which the Rosicrucians claim descent from and which still exists today. Members of this mystery school were called the Therapeutea, meaning “physicians of the soul.” The sungazing Essene sect of Alexandria later adopted this name and the rosy-cross symbol.
William Henry, in The Healing Sun Code, linked the rosy-cross and the Rosicrucian secrets with the “rising of the Healing Sun, the source of life and wisdom.” I recently talked to a woman who studied Egyptology for 25 years and knew about Thutmose III and the Rosicrucians. She told me that she once knew a Rosicrucian lady, who every time she felt ill would face the sun and do a special breathing exercise in which she would breath in the fire of the sun to burn impurities in her body. She lived to be very old. This technique was part of the secret teachings of the Rosicrucians, which they were very careful not to reveal to the uninitiated.
Another technique used by Thutmose III and members of his order was the use of healing rods while sungazing (see Figure 1). These were copper and zinc tubes that contained hardened coal and magnetite respectively. They were reintroduced to the world by the Russian mystic Count Stefan Colonn Walewski, who was a member of a sungazing mystery school in the Caucasian Mountains. They amplify the current that passes through the body between the sun and earth while sungazing, enhancing meditation and quickening healing and the development of psychic powers.
Thutmose III’s son and grandson continued with the mystery school and the cult of Aton, but it wasn’t until his great grandson, Akhenaton, took the throne that things came to a head.
The Revolution of Akhenaton
In 1369 BCE, Amenhotep IV took over the reigns of Egypt from his ailing father Amenhotep III. During his upbringing, he was educated at the Temple of the Sun at On (Heliopolis) where the priests instilled in him a devotion to Aton. When he became pharaoh, he was given the secret mysteries of the sun handed down from his great grandfather. He learned that Aton was the one true, self-created, unmanifest God and that most of the other gods, including Amen-Ra, were man-made. Early in his reign, he changed his name to Akhenaton, meaning “the servant of Aton.” Unlike his great grandfather, he had no tolerance for spiritual ignorance.
Akhenaton initiated a change in the religious climate from a fear-based polytheism with its death cult, magic amulets, numerous idols, animal sacrifice, and secretive rituals of a powerful priesthood to a more devotional religion, which was free of graven images, obsession with the afterlife, and magic; which emphasised reverence for sunlight and cleanliness, and simple burial; and which allowed ordinary citizens to freely worship in open-air temples with offerings of fruits, flowers and incense, as was done in the original solar religion of Egypt. Aton’s temples had no idols or graven images other than the one Akhenaton devised – a sun disk from which proceeded rays, the ends of which terminated in graceful hands. Some of these hands held the ankh, the symbol of life, to the nostrils of his sungazing worshippers.
This symbolism shows that Akhenaton understood the relationship between sunlight, prana and breath. He knew that sunlight is the source of all life upon earth. This was not worship of the physical sun but worship of one God, a supreme deity, whose spirit was in heaven and whose physical manifestation was the sun – the symbol of life. It changed the worship of the sun as a god to the worship of God symbolised by the sun. Paintings and carvings of Aton were always accompanied with a sort of hieroglyphic footnote (seen at the top of Figure 4, page 56), stating that it was just a representation of the All-encompassing Creator.
Thus, Akhenaton established the first monotheistic religion by elevating Aton over Amen-Ra and other gods. His mother, Tiya, did much to mediate and stem the tide of controversy caused by his bold opposition to the powerful priesthood of Amen-Ra. However, after she died, he took the offensive and ordered his army to disband the priesthood and deface their false gods.
Akhenaton loved to officiate at ceremonies as the high priest of Aton. The following quote from a decree made by Akhenaton upon the founding of his capital city, Akhetaton, shows that morning sungazing was a daily ritual of Atonism:
“Every eye beholds him without hindrance while he fills the land with his rays and makes everyone to live. With seeing whom my eyes are satisfied daily when he rises in this temple and fills it with his own self by means of his rays, beauteous with love, and embraces me with them in life and power forever and ever.”
During these ceremonies, Akhenaton and his congregation would sing his Hymn to Aton. Although the vast majority of Egyptians did not give much credence to Atonism, and Akhenaton’s court followed the rituals of the outer religion out of a sense of duty, there existed an inner circle of about 300 initiates who learned from Akhenaton the mysteries of the sun. Among these were Joseph the son of Jacob, who Robert Feather, in The Mystery of the Copper Scroll of Qumran, claims was Akhenaton’s vizier Nakhte.
The Bible records that Joseph married Asenath the daughter of Potiphera, a priest of Aton in Heliopolis, and archaeologists discovered a private chapel to Aton in the ruins of Nakhte’s home in Akhetaton. Robert Feather thinks that after Akhenaton’s death, some of these initiates went to the sun temple of Heliopolis and others, including Joseph and his family, went to Elephantine Island in the land of Cush (Ethiopia), where they built another sun temple and established a branch of Judaism that exists to this day.
The Mysteries Formed the Basis of the Judeo-Christian Tradition
After the death of Akhenaton, the teachings of Atonism, its rituals and precepts, were almost completely destroyed by fanatics of the established religion. This has been the fate of every mystery teaching involving the sun in the past. Most historians and religious writers think that Akhenaton’s monotheism was a brief aberration in a long tradition of Egyptian polytheism and that it died with him.
But, buried in the pages of historical and scriptural texts are hints that his ideas survived in the Jewish faith. For example, Psalm 104 is almost identical to the Hymn to Aton. They also survived in the secret teachings of the Essene and Therapeut Brotherhoods, which were associated with early Christianity.
In the History of Egypt, the Egyptian priest Manetho wrote, “Moses, a son of the tribe of Levi, educated in Egypt and initiated at Heliopolis, became a High Priest of the Brotherhood… He was elected by the Hebrews as their chief and he adapted to the ideas of his people the science and philosophy which he had obtained in the Egyptian mysteries when he established a branch of the Egyptian Brotherhood in his country, from which descended the Essenes. The dogma of an ‘only God’, which he taught, was the Egyptian Brotherhood interpretation and teaching of the Pharaoh who established the first monotheistic religion known to man [Akhenaton]. The traditions he established in this manner were known completely to only a few of them, and were preserved in the mysteries of the secret societies, the Therapeutea of Egypt and the Essenes.”
After returning from Heliopolis, Moses became an annoyance to the priests of Amen-Ra and the court of Ramses II because of his Atonistic ideas. The historian Josephus records that Moses was sent on a military expedition to Cush in an effort by Pharaoh’s courtiers to get rid of the “dissident.” There he not only found a wife but another outpost of Atonism on Elephantine Island. Robert Feather thinks that it was in the wilderness of Cush that Moses saw the burning bush and received his mission.
Flavia Anderson, in The Ancient Secret: Fire from the Sun claimed that the burning bush was actually a small golden tree with a crystal that reflected sunlight so brightly that it appeared to be on fire. A similar talisman, called a punchao, was used by the Incas to put worshippers in a trance so that they could see and communicate with beings of light.
Anderson also relates this golden tree to the Urim and Thummin (perfect light) of the Jews, which was a crystal set in a golden stand, and by which the high priest communicated with God. Anderson thinks that Moses encountered this golden tree during an initiation in the sun temple of Heliopolis. But it’s more likely that he saw it in the sun temple of Elephantine Island right before he returned to Egypt. It’s also likely that some of the Atonite priests who were descendants of Joseph and his family joined Moses in his mission. The Bible records that there were two rival factions of priests during the Exodus. One faction had Egyptian names such as Korah, Dathan, Abiram and On.
In The Secret Initiation of Jesus at Qumran, Robert Feather shows how the descendants of these Egyptian priests, originally appointed at the time of Akhenaton, could have maintained their cohesion down to the beginning of the Qumran Essenes (610 BCE). When they entered Canaan, they settled around Shiloh and so became known as Shilonite priests. They became prominent around the time of Ezekial (589 BCE), Onias IV (160 BCE) and Jesus (4 BCE). These were also times when the Essenes were active. The Qumran Essenes, based on the Shilonite priests, came to have a much purer Judaism that rejected animal sacrifice, idols, amulets and burial with worldly goods which crept into the Judaism of the rest of the Israelites. During the Exodus, these priests were pro-Moses and against the priests of Aaron. It is likely that the priests of Aaron, who backslid into idolatry of the golden calf (the Egyptian goddess Hathor) while Moses was on the mountain, may have been responsible for reintroducing another Egyptian practice of holocaust sacrifice, prohibited by Atonism. On Mount Sinai, God gave Moses the first set of tablets to present to the Hebrews. Figure 2 (page 55) is a detail from a painting by Beccafumi. It shows Moses receiving the tablets from the sun, which is depicted as an opening in the sky.
However, when he came down the mountain and saw how the people had lapsed into idolatry, he realised they weren’t ready for what was on the tablets. So he smashed the tablets and went back up the mountain where God engraved ten simple commandments on a second set of tablets.
What could have been on the first set? Perhaps the solar mysteries! In any case, the mysteries were handed down by word of mouth from Moses to the Shilonite priests to the Essenes.
Archeologists found in the catacombs of Rome a drawing of Jesus holding a rod of power when raising Lazarus from the dead (Figure 3, page 55), showing that early Christians understood that the source of Jesus’ power came from the sun. The Bible records that just before Jesus raised Lazarus, he “lifted up his eyes” to the sun and prayed. The rod is a symbol of the life force, which every Egyptian sun god and sun gods from Babylonia, India and Peru are shown wielding in paintings and wall carvings, such as in Figure 5.
Many scholars are now coming around to the realisation that Jesus was a member of the Qumran Essene movement and that many of his teachings are similar to the Essene teachings. The Essenes and Therapeuts considered themselves to be the children of light and so did the early Christians.
According to Gene Savoy in his book The Essaei Document: Secret Teachings of an Eternal Race, Jesus received the Essenes’ secret teachings, which he calls the paradosis, meaning a divinisation process by which one became immortal. Savoy hints at sungazing being a key factor in this secret teaching.
He writes: “That the Essaei [Essenes] faced the sun at these times [sunrise and sunset] suggests that the sun was used as an intermediary by which men of the earth were linked by ‘cords of light’ with heaven… and were nurtured on a divine food upon which the angels fed…”
The Therapeuts believed that pure souls returned to the sun and that sunlight indeed is the heavenly, incorruptible food of the soul.
Savoy’s “cords of light” linking everyone can be thought of as an energy grid. The sun is one part of this energy grid; the earth is the other. Savoy wrote elsewhere: “The followers of Mithra gathered on the summits or stood in the waters, lifting their hands in prayer before the rising sun…” Savoy also mentioned in Project X that sun worshippers in Peru would stand on the summits of mountains or sun temples. This made me think of the vortices and ley lines of the earth grid, which are focal points and lines of electromagnetic energy usually found on high points on the earth’s surface and in stream beds.
Richard Leviton and Robert Coons, in “Ley Lines and the Meaning of Adam,” a chapter from Anti-Gravity and the World Grid, claimed that the electromagnetic system of our bodies, the entire biosphere and the earth grid are part of a much larger solar system grid and it’s all connected. And the energy that powers this grid is the Light of God. They wrote, “The landscape temple made of stones and crystal… linked Heaven and Earth through Man. The terrestrial temple also functioned as a Grid Door by which human consciousness… could actually exit this plane and enter ‘the realm of the Gods’ [what William Henry called ‘the dimension of the blessed’]. Through this Grid Door, the Gods could also channel their spiritual vibrations and messages.”
Perhaps that’s how God channelled the mysteries of the sun and then the Ten Commandments to Moses on the terrestrial temple of Mt. Sinai, as depicted in Figure 2. It’s significant that key events in Jesus’ ministry occurred on the peaks of mountains and in streams (his baptism, his last temptation, the sermon on the mount, his transfiguration, his death, and his ascension).
Jesus passed on the Essene secret teachings on the mysteries of the sun to his disciples, including Mary Magdalene. The early Christians, who were not privy to these teachings, at first worshipped the spirit of Christ in the sun, but around the third century they lapsed into a personality cult of Jesus worship, which has continued to this day.
Fragments of these secret teachings can be found in the Dead Sea scrolls, in the apocryphal text known as the Pistis Sophia, and in the Essene Gospel of Peace, which was hidden in the Vatican library for centuries before Edmond Bordeux Szekely discovered it in 1928. In the Pistis Sophia, an ancient gospel suppressed for over a thousand years and ignored by the orthodox churches even after its publication in the last century, Jesus, after his resurrection, elaborates on the solar mysteries and how necessary they are for entering the kingdom of heaven:
“Ye are to seek after the mysteries of the Light, which purify the body of matter and make it into refined light exceedingly purified. Amen I say unto you… I have torn myself asunder and brought unto them all the mysteries of the Light, that I may purify them… else would no soul of the total race of men have been saved, and they would not be able to inherit the Kingdom of the Light…”
How this purification occurs is hinted at in this further passage: “Now, therefore, he who shall receive the mysteries of the baptisms, then they becometh a great, exceedingly violent, wise fire and it burneth up the sins and entereth into the soul secretly and consumeth all the sins which the counterfeiting spirit hath made fast on to it.”
In the Essene Gospel of Peace, Jesus gives a teaching on the purifying role of sunlight in this baptism of fire. He tells the sick after instructing them on fasting, “And if afterward there remain within you aught of your past sins and uncleanness, seek the angel of sunlight… For I tell you truly, holy is the angel of sunlight who cleans out all impurities and makes all evil-smelling things of a sweet odour. None may come before the face of God, whom the angel of sunlight lets not pass. Truly, all must be born again of the sun and of truth, for your body basks in the sunlight of the Earthly Mother, and your spirit basks in the sunlight of the truth of the Heavenly Father.”
The receiving of this fire through sungazing with arms upraised in a Y formation or bent at the elbow and hands spread out and facing the sun was called by the Greeks “fire blooming” because the radiance or essence of the sun thus channelled burned away impurities in the solar plexus, which, by the way, is associated with the sun and with fire. One can find wall carvings, paintings, statues, woodcuts and photographs of sun worshippers from all over the world – Hindus, Muslims, American Indians, ancient Egyptians, Medieval monks, Russians, Incas, and even aborigines in prehistoric petroglyphs – all with upraised arms. William Henry wrote in Mary Magdalene: The Illuminator that when Jesus taught his disciples the Lord’s Prayer, he also taught them this prayer position, which he learned from the Egyptians, who called it the Ka position (Figure 6, page 57). Moses also learned it from the Egyptians and used it to invoke the Light of God during the Israelites’ battle with the Amalekites. Significantly, the battle was won at sunset.
This leads us to consider another part of the mysteries revealed by the Pistis Sophia, which is a certain power of the spoken word. The soul, in order to be cut free from the counterfeit spirit, must utter “the mystery of the undoing of the seals and of all the bonds.” This is the science of the spoken word, the uttering of sacred mantras, prayers and songs that remove or restrain the evil self, the “karmic records” of the individual.
These spiritual sciences and techniques were not revealed to all the faithful. According to the Pistis Sophia, the mysteries were to be given only to those initiates who proved themselves worthy through years of testing. They were also kept secret because of the threat of persecution.
The Mysteries Survive Persecution During the Dark Ages
In Lost Light, Alvin Boyd Kuhn wrote that sun worship “was the heart’s core of all religion and philosophy everywhere before the Dark Ages obscured the vision of truth… The dreadful shadows of the Dark Age will not end until the bright glow of the solar wisdom is released once more to enlighten benighted modernity.”
During the Dark Ages, the mysteries of the sun survived and were passed down through the Knights Templar, Cathars, Paulicians, Bogomils and other Gnostics. Many of these saints were brutally murdered by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches in an attempt to suppress their teachings, which threatened the Churches’ established authority.
One of the most inspired Gnostics was Saul of Tarsus. Saul experienced a sudden conversion and gnosis on the way to Damascus. Paintings of this experience usually show Saul being blinded by the noonday sun shining through a break in the clouds directly upon him.
Gene Savoy, in The Essaei Document, claimed that Saul had learned that the Essenes sungazed in order to communicate with God. When Saul tried it, he received a powerful, life-transforming message, which left him blind and temporarily insane so that he could not eat or drink for three days. In 1840, Dr. Gustav Fechner, the father of psychophysics, experimented with gazing at the sun through coloured filters and liquids. He did it at noon and, as a result, became blind and insane. However, after much prayer and meditation in a dark room, he recovered his sight and sanity and more. He began seeing auras and angels, whom he called “beings from the sun.”
Socrates taught in his academy that personal transformation was only possible through understanding the word of God, the Light, and that it was attained only through inner illumination absorbed from the sun. Apparently, Saul the persecutor was transformed by the sun into Paul the proselytiser.
Clement of Alexandria recorded that Paul, before going to Rome, said that he would bring to the brethren the Gnosis, or tradition of the hidden mysteries, as the fulfilment of the blessings of Christ, who, Clement says, reveals the secret knowledge and trains the Gnostic by mysteries, that is, revelations made in the state of higher consciousness. Such a state can be attained through deep meditation, chanting and sungazing. Unfortunately, Paul was arrested in Rome and a few years later executed. His true teachings on the mysteries of the sun were lost for several centuries until they were resurrected in Armenia and Syria during the late seventh century by the Paulicians. This group was so named because their teachings were the Gnostic mysteries handed down from St. Paul when he brought them to the Balkans and Syria during his ministry.
The Paulicians were persecuted and diminished in the ninth century, although until relatively recently there existed an Armenian sun cult whose adherents were known as Arevorti, “children of the sun.” In the tenth century, a new Gnostic movement, the Bogomils, arose in Bulgaria, which carried many of the same beliefs and practices of the Paulicians, including sun worship. However, their teachings were based on the Gospel of John.
At the beginning of the 12th century, Byzantium started to persecute the Bogomils. Many were killed, but some fled to Italy, southern France and elsewhere. By the middle of the 12th century, Gnostic schools like the Knights Templars and Cathars had sprung up and spread throughout Western Europe. These were the Western European counterparts of the Eastern European Bogomils.
The Cathars “pure ones” and the Knights Templars were concentrated in the Languedoc and Midi regions of Southern France. The Cathars claimed to possess the Book of Love (AMOK) the original initiatory version of the Book of John (the only gospel the Cathars, Knights Templars and Bogomils read) which likely contained the solar mysteries. It taught that a spark or tiny sun of the Christ Light dwelt in man’s heart and it revealed how to nurture it like a seed of divinity so that it blossomed into the rose of the original rosy-cross mystery school. This teaching, which reputedly could transform a human into a divine being, once belonged to Thutmose III, Akhenaton, Moses, Solomon, Jesus, and John the Beloved. It was reputed to be able to dissolve all hatred, anger and jealousy from the hearts of men.
The Cathars believed that the key to this divine transformation was the correct understanding of the symbolism of the Eucharist, that is, the bread and wine and the Holy Grail. The light of the sun is the bread; its warmth is the wine. The Holy Grail is the brain’s third ventricle or cavity containing the pineal and pituitary glands (Figure 7, page 58).
This secret, known to the Cathars as the consolamentum (“with the sun in the mind”), was kept hidden from the uninitiated. The Cathars believed man entered the kingdom of God through his soul, the seat of which was considered by Descartes to be the pineal gland. The Cathars believed that the solar elements of the Eucharist transubstantiated into the body and blood of Christ within themselves. The world transubstantiation comes from the Latin trans, across, and substantia, substance. This substance or glandular secretion, caught by the Holy Grail (the third ventricle), is what the Hindus call Amrita, “the elixir of immortality” and the Greeks called Ambrosia, “the nectar of the gods.”
William Henry, in Mary Magdalene: The Illuminator, wrote, “All the occult mysteries speak of a key that is required to unlock mystical secrets of enlightenment. Specifically, the lost secret of the Templars… is about building a better human through the release of secretions from the astounding manufacturing plant of spiritual oils, the human brain. This oil or essence was the key secret of Mary Magdalene and the Essenes, recovered by the Templars from between the temples. The skull [specifically the third ventricle] is… the Cup of Life, the Grail, that catches these secretions from the brain… The Templars’ ultimate objective was to restore true Gnostic monotheism to the world, uniting Christianity, Judaism and Islam in a New Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. The ‘new’ humans that inhabited this New Jerusalem (or New Atlantis) would know and embody the secret of the Kingdom of Heaven within the brain and its capability of producing… the elixir of life, the Sacred Soma, the tonic of immortality, for these terms all refer to the cosmic essence or brain substance.” It was also called Christos (anointing oil) by the Essenes.
Like their forerunners, the Bogomils, the Cathars engaged in chanting. This along with sungazing was the key to activating the pineal gland and producing the oil of Christos. The use of mantras and chanting can awaken the pineal because it sits above the mouth suspended in the third ventricle, a chamber filled with cerebrospinal fluid. Its location above the mouth in a fluid chamber makes the pineal gland quite uniquely positioned to respond to sonic vibrations. Manly P. Hall, in The Opening of the Third Eye, stated that the pineal gland “vibrating at a very high rate of speed, is the actual cause of true spiritual illumination.”
The bliss that is experienced during sungazing and chanting is not just a natural high. According to William Henry, bliss is created by Christos and is a state of extreme happiness and freedom from attachment, conditioned responses and fear. It is the key required to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov said that only those who are happy and carefree like children can enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
The teachings of the Cathars posed quite a threat to the fledgling Catholic Church. Unlike the Cathars, the Church of Rome clearly did not produce a substance that gave people an experience of divine bliss. And if it did, it would keep it from the people. That’s why the Church had to exterminate them.
Fortunately, today we live in an age of spiritual freedom and anyone can teach and learn the science of the spoken word and techniques of sungazing presented by sun yogi Hira Ratan Manek and others. Although the light of the Cathars was snuffed out in the 13th century, at the beginning of the 20th century, the teachings of the Bogomils were revived by the master Peter Deunov and his chief disciple, Omraam Mikhail Aivanhov.
The Mysteries of the Sun Revealed
On January 31, 1900, Mikhael Aivanhov was born into a poor family in Serbtzi, a small village of Macedonia. Throughout his childhood and adolescence, he was inspired by reading the Gospel of John, lives of the saints and books on yoga, which led him, at the age of fifteen, to an experience of illumination or samadhi.
He went to the seashore to gaze at the sunrise. After meditating and sungazing for a little while, he sensed the presence of a heavenly being. Suddenly bathed in a cloud of brilliant light, he was plunged into a state of ecstasy. Later, he commented: “It was so beautiful that I was beside myself. To see such a being, with all those colours, all that light! He was almost invisible in the extraordinary luminosity that surrounded him. I found myself flooded with light. I was in a state of bliss, of ecstasy so immense, so powerful, that I no longer knew where I was. It was a delirious joy; it was heaven; it was the universe! Ever since then I have felt that if God were not all beauty I could not believe in him. It is beauty that remains in my mind as the one essential: neither power, nor knowledge, nor wealth, nor glory. Only beauty!”
On the basis of his own spiritual experiences and of his reading of what he called the “Book of Nature,” he discovered the mysteries of the sun before being taught them by Peter Deunov. Mikhael and his master would go together to meditate in the pre-dawn stillness and watch the sun rise. Deunov also gave him the basic methods and exercises in mantra, prayer and sacred song: the mysteries of the spoken word.
In 1959, he travelled to India, where he visited numerous ashrams and met several spiritual leaders. He was welcomed by several renowned Hindu sages as an accomplished master in his own right. One adept hailed him as a “solar rishi.” Another gave him his spiritual name, Omraam. One of the masters he met was the immortal bodhisattva, Babaji, who in 1992 and 1998 gave his blessings to another teacher of sungazing, sun yogi Hira Ratan Manek.
Central to Omraam’s teaching is the concept of light. He saw in light the first emanation of the Divine, retaining the Divine’s qualities more than any other manifestation. As he insisted: “Light is a living spirit which comes from the sun and which establishes a direct relationship with our own spirit.” He explains how we can use light to transform ourselves and become radiant as the sun. In The Splendour of Tiphareth, he wrote, “Only the sun’s rays are capable of replacing all that is impure, worn out or obscure within you, and they can only do so if you learn to receive them. If you welcome them with your whole heart, they will begin their work of replacing the ‘old man’ in you, so that you will be wholly regenerated, renewed and resuscitated; your thoughts, feelings and acts will all be different. Only the sun’s rays are capable of working this transformation within you.”
Omraam loved to talk about the Spirit of the sun. In this respect his philosophy coincided with the age-old mysteries of the sun, which taught that the true sun is not the star that is visible in the sky, but the invisible spiritual sun, the source of all life, light and love.
He pointed out that, “On the physical, material level, the sun is the door, the link and the medium thanks to which we can make contact with the Lord… Through the sun, we work with God Himself. I can say that certain things that no human can teach me have been revealed to me by the sun. No book can give you what the sun gives you if you learn to have the proper relationship with him… If you want to create a bond between you [and the sun], you have to look at him in all consciousness. If you do that there will be a communication of vibrations between the sun and you in which forms and colours, a whole new world, will be born… The sun is an intelligence, a life, a living light. And when you understand that, all of a sudden he begins to speak to you… Try asking him a question and you will see that he will answer you.”
Omraam died in 1986, but his teachings on the mysteries of the sun live on in numerous books. Over 90 books have been published in English, and there are enough notes from his hundreds of lectures to fill another 400 books. Of these books, the ones that are primarily concerned with the mysteries of the sun are The Splendour of Tiphareth: The Yoga of the Sun, Toward a Solar Civilization and Light is a Living Spirit. Louise-Marie Frenette’s newly-released biography of Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov, The Life of a Master in the West, has just been published in New Zealand by First Edition Press (to order call +64 (04) 586-1973). Today, his teachings and sungazing rituals are practiced by the I.D.E.A.L. Society, The Hearts Center and other spiritual communities around the world.
The above article first appeared in World Explorer 37 Vol. 5 No. 1.
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