The Temple Sleep

These raw facts lead us to what was called, in the ancient mysteries, the “temple sleep.” When a candidate for initiation into these mysteries had been prepared through various disciplines, the priest (hierophant) then led the candidate into a cave or tomb where he or she was put to sleep. While human bodies have densified to the point that this is not possible today, it was possible in ancient times for the priest to also cause the etheric body to leave the initiate for three and a half days. During this time it was joined to the astral body and received through it impressions from the spiritual world. When the etheric body was brought back into the physical, the initiate was awakened by the priest and remembered what was experienced in the spiritual world. But while the etheric body was out of the physical, the latter would have appeared to an outsider to be dead.

And just as Buddha was said to have received enlightenment under the bodhi tree, so also in biblical language was it received “under the fig tree.” Christ’s cursing the fig tree cannot be understood except in the light that this method of initiation was ending. We can begin to comprehend what the Song meant by the “beloved” being “awakened under the apple tree” to the love that pleases (Song 8,4-5).

This method is called, eight times in the Bible, a “three days’ journey.” Jacob, Moses and Jonah all go through this experience. It is the “sign of Jonah” that applies to both the raising of Lazarus and then of Christ himself.1

Lazarus was thought to have been dead, but Christ was serving as the priest, at a time when it was quite dangerous to undertake this type of initiation, and caused the etheric body of Lazarus to re-enter him before he came out of the tomb. This was the raising of Lazarus, and he emerged with spiritual insights that none of the other disciples had.2, 3

When one was said to have been “loved” by the teacher and initiator, it meant that this one was the one most highly initiated by him. So when John’s Gospel speaks of “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” it was speaking of Lazarus. This phrase was never used before Jn 11, but commenced to be used immediately thereafter.

This is the first and most important thing we have to remember in unveiling Evangelist John—it refers to Lazarus, whose name was changed when he had gone through this experience, just as others in the Bible had their names changed under similar circumstances, not the least of whom were Simon who became Peter, and Saul who became Paul—but there were many others.

To the best of my recollection, every resuscitation in the Bible, Old Testament and New, involves this ancient initiation procedure, with one exception we shall presently discuss.

We will now look at how this truth is further disclosed in scripture

Peter, James and John