Egypt, Page 5

It is at this point that we begin to encroach upon a most enthralling insight, revealed by the discovery during the last half century of a letter from Clement of Alexandria to one Theodore in which is quoted a passage from what is now known as “The Secret Gospel According to Mark”; see 4 ABD 558, “Mark, Secret Gospel of,” and fn 6 in “Peter, James and John”. Welburn in the ninth and last chapter of his Gnosos (GNOS), shows how the passage fits precisely with Steiner’s revelations to humanity early in the century. Quoted by Welburn, it reads as follows:

They arrived at Bethany. And a certain woman, whose brother had died, was there. And coming before Jesus she prostrated herself and said to Him, “Son of David, have mercy on me.”

The disciples rebuked her. But Jesus was angry, and went with her into the garden, where the tomb was. And straightaway a great cry was heard from the tomb. Jesus went and rolled the stone away from the door of the tomb. And straightaway he entered, and there was the youth. He stretched forth his hand and raised him, grasping his hand. And the youth looked at him, and loved him. And he began to entreat him, that he might be with him.

And going out of the tomb, they came to the house which belonged to the youth—for he was rich. And after six days, Jesus told him what to do, and in the evening the youth came to him, wearing nothing but a linen cloth. And he remained with him that night. For Jesus taught him the mystery of the Kingdom of God.

And thence arising, he returned to the other side of the Jordan.

Clement of Alexandria’s letter further says to Theodore that this is a “secret Gospel,” and when asked about it, “one should not concede that the secret Gospel is by Mark, but should even deny it on oath. For ‘Not all true things are to be said to all men’.” Such attitude is typical of Clement. Clement identifies the portion quoted above as being from the original version of Mark, but it is not in the one we have. Clement himself, in the letter, states that the quoted passage fits within Mark 10 between the present vss 34 and 35 (4 ABD 558 and Welburn are both in accord).

Welburn shows that the youth was Lazarus (as many others now recognize; 4 ABD 558), and his conclusions seem to be confirmed by other observations. Note the discussion in “Three Days’ Journey” of the raising of Lazarus and the meaning of the fact that Jesus is said to have “loved” him. Note then that the only other place in any of the Gospels where this statement is made with reference to Jesus’ dealings with another individual (except for Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha, in Jn 11,5) is in Mk 10,21, where the rich “Young Man” is being told by Jesus what he lacks. Other evidence suggests that Lazarus was indeed wealthy; see Emmerich, The Life of Jesus Christ and Biblical Revelations (LJC), Vol. 1, p. 334. What is fascinating here is the writing by Clement of Alexandria entitled “Who is the Rich Man That Shall Be Saved?” It is quite verbose, but makes the point that one does not need to abandon all one’s property so long as one abandons it as of importance within the soul, which Lazarus apparently did. There is a lengthy concluding anecdote in which the aged Evangelist John seeks to redeem a youth; one can see in it a portrayal of just such a situation as he himself, as Lazarus, must have gone through spiritually in his own youth. See 2 Nicene-1, pp. 594 and 603-4.

It is sobering to reflect that the Lazarus/John account is one of those few highly significant things reflected in all four Gospels. While neither Matthew (Mt 19,16-30) nor Luke (Lk 18,18-27) use the word “loved,” they give an account of the same event. The character of the Essenes is described by Philo (see PHILO, “Every Good Man is Free,” XII and XIII at pp. 689-690, and “Hypothetica,” 11.1-11.18, pp. 745-746) in a manner that suggests, considering that Matthew’s Gospel arose out of Essene wisdom as Steiner tells us, that Philo and Matthew were both admirers of this unique Jewish sect (see also Welburn, The Book with Fourteen Seals [BFS]).

It is this Lazarus/John, thus identified by Mark writing in Alexandria, who opens his own Gospel with the doctrine of the Logos (Jn 1,1,14) so preeminently expounded by Philo. For this alone the influence of Philo upon Lazarus/John is convincingly demonstrated. There is, however, a more precise esoteric bit of evidence in the latter’s use of “the great city which is allegorically called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified” (Rev 11,8; my emphasis). He is there speaking of the “two witnesses” (Rev 11,3), who are Moses and Elijah (Rev 11,5-6). To what does John refer but to the writings of that most renowned allegorizer of Mosaic law, Philo? For Philo specifically gives us the allegorical meanings for both Egypt (PHILO, pp. 267-8 and 847) and Sodom (pp. 226, 313 and 423), each of which relate to the outward body, senses and passions as against things of the soul.

From that we move to a topic appropriate as we near the end of the “terms and phrases” portion of this “Burning Bush” volume. What did Philo have to say about the burning “Bush?” He refers to it (PHILO, p. 465) as “a bush or briar, a very thorny plant, and very weak and supple... entirely enveloped.. . by the abundant flame,.. . it nevertheless remained whole without being consumed, like some impassible essence, and not as if it were itself the natural fuel for fire, but rather as if it were taking the fire for its own fuel.” And while he at this point then says it was a “symbol of the oppressed people, and the burning fire was a symbol of the oppressors; and the circumstance of the burning bush not being consumed was an emblem of the fact that the people thus oppressed would not be destroyed” by their oppressors, he elsewhere raises the symbolism to a level applicable to the human soul or Ego. “Moses was urged on. . . to investigate the causes through which the most necessary of things in the world are brought to perfection; for seeing how many things come to an end, and are produced afresh in creation, being again destroyed, and again abiding, he marvelled, and was amazed, and cried out, saying, ‘The bush burns, and is not consumed’” (p. 335). This rings of the same recurring nature (i.e., reincarnating) of the process of “Perfect(ion)” of the “I Am” which is demonstrated in the renewal of the “Grass,” as in Ps 90,5-6, Is 51,12 and Mt 6,30 (with Mt 5,48).

If we are to bring the Egyptian Philo out of the Egypt of the fourth Cultural Era, the Greco-Roman, so that we may in our own fifth Cultural Era retrace the emphasis of the third Cultural Era, the Egyptian, raising ourselves above the things of the world of phenomena, “flesh,” into those of the spirit, we must see how indeed, as Philo indicated, the higher meanings of scripture are those expressed by it allegorically. For even Philo, recognizing this, did not have available in his Era, the spiritual insights that dawned upon humanity when the high being who incarnated as Rudolf Steiner14 was able to reveal the basis, which he called “Anthroposophy,” for understanding the allegorically expressed higher meaning.

Egypt, Page 4
Pillars on the Journey, Page 1