Author of the Month

The Electric Jesus: The Healing Journey of a Contemporary Gnostic (cont.)
By Jonathan Talat Phillips

Books by Jonathan Talat Phillips

The Electric Jesus

The Electric Jesus

US - UK - CA

Christ was not just a man but a distinct aeon or larger divine being in the pleroma. Those who fully realized the mysteries became one with “Christ,” carrying this high vibrational force inside them. Bedazzled by the cosmic palace, Sophia, the aeon of wisdom, created her own world without consent from the über-parent or her male counterpart. This experiment went awry and Sophia separated from the pleroma, creating a sinister Frankenstein ruler called the Demiurge (craftsman or maker), who manufactured our “counterfeit” material world.

This was The Old Testament God, who Gnostics called Yaldabaoth, Samael (God of the blind), and Saklas (a fool), as he believed himself to be the only god in the universe, ignorant of the pleroma and the omnipresent light of the parent. Breathing life into Adam (and unknowingly the divine spirit of Sophia), the Demiurge ruled over humans with his demonic bully-friends, the archons. The angelic realms of the pleroma embarked on a rescue mission for both Sophia and Adam and Eve. Like an undercover agent, Jesus snuck behind enemy lines into the Garden, inviting the first humans to eat of the Tree of Knowledge (“the Epinoia of pure light”) to “awaken them out of the depth of sleep” and their “fallen state.”

The Gnostic’s description of archons immediately intrigued an activist side in me. These devilish autocrats seemed representative of the oppressive empires that dominated Western history books. Today’s Halliburtons and Bechtels, Neo-cons and Exxons, seemed to follow a long shadowy lineage of hierarchical powers profiting from human suffering while expanding their empires. Maybe the Gnostics understood that we needed mystical agents of transformation smuggling in celestial light to liberate lost souls on the planet.

And the Christ story seemed to be the perfect place to help free us from worldly bondage. I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that millions of people living today have been wounded or mislead by literalist Christianity, robbed of their own divine spark. For more than a millennia, the Judeo-Christian tradition has supplied the underlying operating platform for our whole society -- our languages, laws, mores, work ethic, sexuality, even our way of perceiving time (with the Gregorian calendar) -- shaping our worldview, whether we realize it or not.

Integrating this tradition could prove a powerful tool in coming to terms with ourselves, and our history. And that doesn’t necessarily mean plodding through obscure Gnostic texts, making sense of strange Demiurge names. The mysteries lay right there in The New Testament for those with “eyes to see” and “ears to hear.” But we need an upgrade of the Protestant Revolution, one that incorporates the gnosis of Christ-consciousness. Imagine already established churches, the ones on your block, enhancing their services with meditation, prayer, breathwork, energy healing, body movement, possibly even late night dancing, and among the more radicalized churches, the ingesting of psychoactive sacraments in a safe and protected space. Why build entirely new systems for connecting us to pneuma when the institutions have already been created, whether Methodist, Lutheran, or Baptist? But these “waterless” religions would have to give up their addiction to dominating worshippers, address the evolution of the spirit, and infuse the essence of the mysteries into their hollow edifices.

Many of the popular Eastern disciplines of today have us turning away from the world around us, meditating on our navel. But Christ wasn’t only a yogi; he was a mystical activist, carrying his message to those who most needed it. In this time of great transition, our ailing planet needs spiritual warriors, ones capable of standing up to the Western materialist machine, so we can create sustainable societies that care for their citizens, harmonize with the cycles of nature, and receive and honor the vast healing light that quietly connects us all.

1. Timothy Freke & Peter Gandy, The Jesus Mysteries (New York: Three Rivers Press, 1999), 1.

2. Sir James George Frazier, The Golden Bough (New York: Macmillan, 1992), chapter 37.

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