How did the highest degree in esoteric initiation become western religion’s biggest lie?
More than two thousand years before Christianity, initiates from spiritual traditions around the world were already practicing a secret mystical ritual in which they metaphorically died and were reborn into a higher spiritual state. During this living resurrection they experienced a transformative awakening that revealed the nature of reality and the purpose of the soul. Upon returning to the material world they were declared “risen from the dead.”
Exploring the practice of living resurrection in ancient Egyptian, Greek, Persian, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Celtic and Native American traditions, Freddy Silva explains how resurrection was never meant for the dead, but for the living — a fact supported by the suppressed Gnostic Gospel of Philip: “Those who say they will die first and then rise are in error. If they do not first receive the resurrection while they live, when they die they will receive nothing.” He reveals how these practices were not only common in the ancient world but also shared similar facets in each tradition: candidates took instruction for up to three years, then retreated for a three-day period into a cave or restricted room called a bridal chamber to undertake a voluntary near-death experience, roamed the Otherworld, and returned fully fully aware to the body before being led by priests or priestesses to witness the rising of a morning star.
Silva describes the secret chambers around the world where the ritual was performed, including the so-called ‘tombs' of pharaohs Unas and Thutmosis III, which featured empty sarcophagi and detailed instructions for the living on how to enter the Otherworld and return alive. He reveals why esoteric and Gnostic sects claimed that the literal resurrection of Jesus promoted by the Church was a fraud and how the Church branded all living resurrection practices a heresy, relentlessly persecuting the Gnostics to suppress knowledge of this self-empowering experience. He shows how the Knights Templar revived these concepts and how they survive to this day within Freemasonry.
This important lost art led to a personal experience of the divine and opened the path to self-empowerment and higher consciousness, leading initiates such as Plato to describe it as the pinnacle of spiritual development.
254 pages, with over 100 images. Note: 2017 Inner Traditions reprint is the same book.
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