Thoughts on ancient gospels and the like

30 June 2007

Qlippoths and adoptions

Filed under: hypostasis,possession — markandmore @ 18:28

I am going to wander around a few interesting concepts that centre on:

Mark 1:9  And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. 
1:10  And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: 
1:11  And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
1:12  And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness. 
1:13  And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him. 
1:14  Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,

Now, Qlippoth are shell entities, demons if you like, that have insinuated them selves into this universe from Yahweh’s previous attempts at universe building. Maybe the concept also applies to entities that come through from universes build by other gods, but ‘qlippoth’ is jargon from the qabala, and its authors do not admit of other gods. I am mainly interested here in the concept that Yahweh and his hypostases travel between universes or realities.  Alternate realities of this sort are of course commonplace in science fiction.  And the metaphor of the heavens opening is easily taken as a portal.   

A phenomenon much observed of the world of Mark’s Gospel is the large number of demons that the protagonist will encounter within a short walking distance, and while the protagonist is not recognized as a messiah by the Earthlings, he is instantly recognized as Yahweh’s hypostasis by the demons or qlippoth.  These two ‘facts’ would jive if the qlippoth had come through the portal with him.

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Next I am going to consider the proposal of adoptionism.  As usual, the concept comes in flavours.

To the entry through the portal, contrast:

Mark 15:33  And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.
15:34  And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

The reading here is that Jesus was adopted (possessed) by the Yahweh hypostasis when it came through the portal, and later having put the Jesus body on a cross, it left it to suffer and die.   This is in opposition to:

  1. John’s Gospel where the Christos pre-existed as the divine Logos
  2. Paul’s Gospel where Jesus was adopted at the Resurrection
  3. Matthew’s and Luke’s Gospel where Jesus is the Messiah because of Holy Blood, because of his line of descent.

The adoptionist position is one of the earliest positions in Christianity, certainly earlier than the orthodox position that grew into Catholicism.  It was declared a heresy in the second century.  The first prominent exponent of the position was Theodotus of Byzantium.  He taught:

  1. Jesus was a man born of a virgin   (not in Mark)
  2. that he lived as a man and was most pious (the second part not in Mark)
  3. at the Jordan the Christ came down on him in the form of a dove
  4. until this happened he wrought no wonders (agrees with Mark)
  5. the Spirit (which Theodotus calls Christus) was manifested in Jesus

There is no indication in Mark that Jesus was anybody special, pious or otherwise, before the baptism.   The Spirit=Christos=the Yahweh hypostasis takes any body, and then works through it.  Also, the distinction made elsewhere in Christian writings between the Holy Spirit and the Christos is not being observed here.

(The dove is/was a symbol of Aphrodite and other goddesses;   Vespasian’s son who commanded the troops who destroyed Jerusalem in +70 and who succeeded him as emperor was called ‘Titus’ which means ‘wild dove’ and was also used as a slang term for ‘penis’  [cf ‘cock’ in English];  the Italian who opened up the new world for the Spanish in 1492 was also named for the dove.    I will return to dove symbolism in a later post.)

Latin for adopted son is Filius adoptivus, which also of course is used to describe Octavian (later Augustus) in relation to Julius Caesar.   I will return to the seepage of jargon and concepts between Christianity and Emperor Worship in another later post.

The concept of possessing another’s body has also been explored in science fiction.  A popular example was the television series Quantum Leap, where the personality of a scientist jumps into the bodies (one at a time) of individuals in the past, and has to live in their life situation.   An ethics of body jumping, or possession quickly comes into view.   Without the consent of the possessed person, can the possession be ethical in any sense at all?   Some science fiction stories have presented host who consent because they gain knowledge, health and/or longevity as part of the deal.  These considerations have been considered in the Trills, humanoid host and long-lived possessing entity found in Deep Space Nine, and the Goa’uld and the Jaffa in Stargate SG-1.  If we go beyond the problem of consent, the major dictate of jumping or possession would seem to be not to embarrass the body who has to go on living after the possessor retreats, and certainly not to leave the body in a dangerous or life-threatening situation.   Any entity that uses a body and leaves it, for example, being crucified and about to die, is at best ethically challenged.

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