From the perspective
of the ancient Essenes, every human on the earth is an initiate in the Mystery
School that we call Life. Whether they are conscious of it or not, every human
will experience in the presence of others mirrors of themselves in that moment.
If we have the wisdom to recognize those mirrors, we may accelerate the
evolution of emotion and understanding.
What the Essenes said was that for us to know and master ourselves in this
world, we will see one or some combination of mirrored patterns in others. The
seven mirrors are progressively more and more subtle. Back in the '70s, we heard
about the first mirror, of who you are in the moment. The notion was that if you
find yourself around individuals who are angry or dishonest, they are showing
you your dishonesty or anger. Sometimes the mirrors would apply, but sometimes
they wouldn't. We had discovered the first mirror, but had yet to see the other
mirrors, such as the second mirror, which reflects what we judge in the moment.
This is tremendously powerful but very subtle. The ancient Essenes had a very
sophisticated understanding of interpersonal human relationships and the role of
emotion in those relationships. It's the role of emotion that we have carefully
sifted out of our Western experience up until very recently. Now, as we go back
into these texts, we see that it is emotion that proves the power and, when
coupled with logic, true magic and miracles occur.
Who Were the Essenes?
Since the archaeological discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1946, the word "Essene"
has made its way around the world--often raising a lot of questions. Many people
were astonished to discover that, two thousand years ago, a brotherhood of holy
men and women, living together in a community, carried within themselves all of
the seeds of Christianity and of future western civilization. This
brotherhood--more or less persecuted and ostracized--would bring forth people
who would change the face of the world and the course of history. Indeed, almost
all of the principal founders of what would later be called Christianity were
Essenes--St. Ann, Joseph and Mary, John the Baptist, Jesus, John the Evangelist,
The Essenes considered themselves to be a separate people--not because of
external signs like skin color, hair color, etc., but because of the
illumination of their inner life and their knowledge of the hidden mysteries of
nature unknown to other men. They considered themselves to be also a group of
people at the center of all peoples--because everyone could become part of it,
as soon as they had successfully passed the selective tests.
They thought, and rightly so, that they were the heirs of God's sons and
daughters of old, the heirs to their great ancient civilization. They possessed
their advanced knowledge and worked assiduously in secret for the triumph of the
light over the darkness of the human mind.
They felt that they had been entrusted with a mission, which would turn out to
be the founding of Christianity and of western civilization. They were supported
in this effort by highly evolved beings who directed the brotherhood. They were
true saints, Masters of wisdom, hierophants of the ancient arts of mastery.
They were not limited to a single religion, but studied all of them in order to
extract the great scientific principles. They considered each religion to be a
different stage of a single revelation. They accorded great importance to the
teachings of the ancient Chaldeans, of Zoroaster, of Hermes Trismegiste, to the
secret instructions of Moses and of one of the founding Masters of their order
who had transmitted techniques similar to those of Buddhism, as well as to the
revelation of Enoch.
They possessed a living science of all of these revelations. Thus, they knew how
to communicate with angelic beings and had solved the question of the origin of
evil on the earth.
One of their major preoccupations was to protect themselves from any contact
with evil spirits, in order to preserve the purity of their souls. They knew
that they would only be on earth for a short time, and they did not want to
prostitute their eternal souls. It was this attitude, this strict discipline,
this absolute refusal to lie or compromise, that made them the object of so much
persecution through the ages.
The Essenes considered themselves the guardians of the Divine Teaching. They had
in their possession a great number of very ancient manuscripts, some of them
going back to the dawn of time. A large portion of the School members spent
their time decoding them, translating them into several languages, and
reproducing them, in order to perpetuate and preserve this advanced knowledge.
They considered this work to be a sacred task.
The Essenes considered their Brotherhood-Sisterhood as the presence on earth of
the Teaching of the sons and daughters of God. They were the light which shines
in the darkness and which invites the darkness to change itself into light.
Thus, for them, when a candidate asked to be admitted to their School, it meant
that, within him, a whole process of awakening of the soul was set in motion.
Such a soul was ready to climb the stairs of the sacred temple of humanity.
The Essenes differentiated between the souls which were sleeping, drowsy, and
awakened. Their task was to help, to comfort, and to relieve the sleeping souls,
to try to awaken the drowsy souls, and to welcome and guide the awakened souls.
Only the souls considered as awakened could be initiated into the mysteries of
the Brotherhood-Sisterhood. Then began for them a path of evolution that could
not stop anymore through the cycle of their incarnations.
Everybody knew the Brothers and Sisters in white. The Hebrews called them "The
School of Prophets"; and, to the Egyptians, they were "The Healers, The
Doctors". They had property in nearly all of the big cities; and, in Jerusalem,
there was even a door that bore their name: the door of the Essenes. Despite
some fear and joking, due to the rejection of that which one does not know, the
people as a whole felt respect and esteem for the Essenes because of their
honesty, their pacifism, their goodness, their discretion, and their talent as
healers, devoted to the poorest as well as to the richest. They knew that the
greatest Hebrew prophets came from their lineage and their School.
Moreover, even if the Brotherhood was very strict about the law of secrecy with
regard to its internal doctrine, it cultivated many points of contact with the
people, notably through places of lodging for the pilgrims from every horizon,
through helpful actions in difficult periods, and especially through the healing
of illnesses. These places of primary teaching and of healing were located in
precise areas where people could go freely.